Real Wedding

Utica Wedding Elegance: Adam & Don

Janelle Rodriguez Photography d

When guests arrived at Adam & Don’s wedding, the first thing they received was a hug from each groom. “Don and I agreed we wanted people to feel at home when they came to our wedding,” Adam explained. Next, guests received hors d’oeuvres and drinks, and they were ushered into the ceremony.

The Utica wedding, held on Oct. 8, 2011, took place at the Dorothy Smith Center for Advocacy, which is a former Jewish Synagogue. The main hall, where the ceremony and reception took place, has ceilings that are 20-30 feet high and two gorgeous chandeliers. There are beautiful stained glass windows that line the hall and go nearly from floor to ceiling.
Though neither groom is Jewish, they have a deep respect for the various religions that make up their city’s spiritual landscape. They also chose the Dorothy Smith Center for Advocacy because it is a place that provides services to the community that they believe are essential. 

They had 150 guests, plus their two beloved dogs. They were married by a local judge who had told them a year prior that if they ever got married, he wanted to officiate. “How can you or why would say ‘no’ to a judge who tells you he’ll be doing your wedding?” Adam said. Their DJ was a well-known former disc jockey in the Utica area, who Adam grew up listening to. “You can’t beat that,” he said.

The grooms personally crafted their center pieces, including glass hurricanes and candle holders from their home, along with candles that Adam had burned over the course of 11 months. “You see, I can be a stickler for details,” Adam explained. “I love the soft glow of a wide candle that has been burned down and now shines light from within. Our house always looked like there was going to be a seance at any moment.”
The grooms met the summer after Adam’s freshman year in college. He was home for the summer, browsing on MySpace when he came across Don’s profile. Don looked familiar, but Adam couldn’t quite place him, not until Don disclosed that he was the local news anchor for the main station in town. “What started as a random online conversation grew to be just a ‘summer thing,’ which grew to be an ‘I can’t live without you thing’,” Adam said. “Nearly 10 years later, he’s still my favorite anchorman.”
As he reflects back on his wedding day, Adam shares this: It was absolutely perfect. But what we remember most is the feeling that was in the air. The entire room was filled with love and support. It was overwhelming and amazing to feel all of that love. Everyone was in tears from my father and brother to Don’s uncles and cousins and even the judge. The staff at the venue was even crying! We still have people who come up to us and say that they remember that day and how they felt in that moment. The details of that day may eventually fade with time, but I don’t think we will ever forget the amazing amount of love and support we felt from our family and friends.

Their LGBTQ-Friendly Vendors

Photographer:  Janelle Rodriguez Photography // Reception Venue: Leaf, Loaf, and Ladle

Submitted via Two Bright Lights

Denise Oliveira is a Brooklyn-based writer. She has a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University in New York City and is the founder of Prequels, where she interviews engaged couples to create wedding invitations and favors that incorporate their love story.

More Real Weddings