In this season of thanks, one of the things I’m most thankful for is all the support from all of you, dear readers, friends and family, for my marriage to Ryan Cameron earlier this month. It was a helluva party!
Now, photos from the event are officially revealed for the first time. Scroll down to see the selects.
Our marriage was a long time coming. Ryan proposed in July 2019—I said yes immediately!
Then we set a date to be married in May 2020… well, I’m sure you can guess how that turned out. As in, did not happen at all thanks to Covid etc. This really wasn’t the worst thing. We pressure-tested our relationship with two years of lockdown and at the end we still got along, better than ever. Onward…
Earlier this fall, Ryan and I joined the wave of post-Pandemic marriages happening in 2022. We were forced into a shotgun marriage ahead of the date we originally planned. The bank was holding the shotgun (our mortgage)—we wanted to buy our first home together, you see.
Success! Peter’s Steele paid off! And you all were so generous. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. You made our dream come true. We are now in our new place.
The Beverly Hills Courthouse ceremony was lovely. My mom and her partner Kris and our friend Jonathan were witnesses. We had lunch at The Ivy afterwards. Trés posh. But still, we hadn’t celebrated publicly.
So we decided to gay it up extra by reenacting things at one of our favorite events, Palm Springs Pride.
My mom generously provided the venue. And her partner Kris—and Kris’ daughter Sarah, my sister and brother-in-law, and Ryan’s dad John—helped with the set-up and the service. It was a totally D.I.Y. event. Like Il Corral or Pehrspace meets Bridezilla (minus the tantrums). It felt totally right and natural.
We even made this special video:
The official officiant? Of course we had to have a funk wizard lead things! As in The Most Reverend (& Funky) Cory “Chaki” Sklar.
Chaki wrote the beautiful text below. We’re publishing it here as, unfortunately, we couldn’t invite every single one of our beloved friends to the party. I’m especially sensitive to the fact that all of our Cleveland and Erie folks were not close enough geographically to participate. Perhaps some day we will have a party when we visit the Rust Belt again. Until then, know that we love you all.
Take it away, Chaki:
Welcome & introduction
Good afternoon and welcome, family, friends and loved ones! Ryan and Sean have brought us together here for an occasion of great joy and celebration.
My name is Chaki, I’m a friend of the couple’s, and I have been asked to officiate today’s wedding. This momentous act of love we are about to witness..
Sean and Ryan would like to thank each of you for being with them today. They know that making the journey took considerable effort for a good many of you and for this they are deeply grateful. Although many of you don’t live right around the corner, you are never far from their hearts. You’ve shared in their best and their worst days, and you are an irreplaceable part of their yesterdays, their today, and all of their tomorrows. A marriage needs the help of a community of friends and family who will be there to stand by the couple during hard times and during happy times. May we always do all within our power to support the union that will be made here today and to nurture the bond between these two people whom we love.
And to Sean’s mom, Joanne, we thank you greatly for your hospitality.
So with that, I welcome you to this legendary paradise known as Palm Springs on this beautiful Saturday afternoon. It’s so special to be here, in the gayest little town in the WORLD, on annual PRIDE WEEKEND no less. It’s 2022 and queer love is still being targeted, denied and erased by evil politicians and homophobic bigots. So I want to acknowledge this wedding today not only as a celebration, but as an act of resilience, resistance, and power. (snap fingers) VIVA GAY MARRIAGE!!
Ryan and Sean’s story (I’ll make it short and sweet) begins with an encounter on the website Craigslist. You know the one where you can get free furniture, look for jobs, housing, or have umm… Encounters with like minded people. Their first encounter wasn’t a serious one. It was, you know,just a casual one.
When Sean went to meet Ryan at his apartment for the first time, Ryan was partying a little too hard for any romance to occur and passed out in the middle of their initial conversation. Sean in turn, made sure Ryan was comfortable and was considerate enough to lock the door on his way out (awww).
Ryan would not forget Sean’s sweetness and consideration in this instance. Sean would not forget how hot Ryan was and even noticed his sweet Star Trek: The Next Generation Borg tattoo, even though Sean is more a fan of the original series.
Around nine years passed and after many struggles, relationships, and life events, these two were meant to meet again. Through the magic of “the algorithm.”
Sean was suggested to Ryan, a military veteran who was homeless and living in the West L.A. VA rehab at the time, as a “Someone you haven’t spoken to in awhile” on Facebook. Ryan sent Sean a message reading “SUP” to no response. That’s right. “Sup.”
When Sean posted that it was his nine-month Sober-versary, Ryan reached out to congratulate him. Sean took notice of his kindness, and there their reconnection was ignited. On their first date on the way to an AA meeting, they were stuck in traffic, were able to catch up, bond and fell for each other then and there. The ease in which they were able to talk and open up to each other came naturally. All because of traffic on the 405 freeway. Could there be a more L.A. story?
Sean would pick up Ryan several days a week from the VA rehab to attend meetings. Their bond continued. They would communicate in cat memes. And anyone who is currently friends with Ryan on Instagram knows that he still exclusively communicates in cat memes to this day.
When Ryan completed his rehab, living together in sin was the obvious choice. During the great pandemic when they were stuck in the house together, they noticed they actually enjoyed living together and didn’t want to kill each other. They adopted two beautiful fur babies. Their cats Fritter and Beignet. Fritter is now a successful catfluencer and has more followers than anyone at this wedding. They are a truly beautiful family.
But really, their story is that of a miracle. Through pure will, strength, love and recovery, these two men that were struggling with their darkest demons were able to find each other, help each other towards the light and have managed to do the impossible… own a house in Los Angeles.
Ryan is working toward his bachelors in Korean from UCLA and, ultimately, his masters in Social Welfare and becoming a licensed clinical social worker. Sean has worked his way into becoming a huge success in the world of branding and has recently returned to the thing that made him a legend to many of us, putting on concerts and events. Bringing together artists and performers from all walks of life.
Before the reading of the vows I wanted to quote these beautiful words:
I never knew anybody ’til I knew you
And I know when it rains, oh, it pours
And I know I was born to be yours
These are lines from “Born to be Yours” by Ryan’s favorite band, Imagine Dragons.
And now these words:
We were born to go
And leave no star unturned
We were born to grow
We were born to learn
These are lines from Sean’s favorite band, Hawkwind.
Sean and Ryan, the symbolic vows that you are about to make are a way of saying to one another, “You know all those things we’ve promised and hoped and dreamed—well, I meant it all, every word.” Before this moment you have been many things to one another- acquaintance, friend, companion, lover, and even teacher. You have learned much from one another in these last few years. Now you shall say a few words and things will never quite be the same between you.
For after these vows, you shall say to the world, “This is my husband.”
[Sean and Ryan read vows—repeat after Chaki…]
“I promise to always make you as happy as you were the first time I told you I love you”
“I am yours, and you are mine, from this day forward, through sickness and health, poverty and wealth, until the very end”
Ryan, do you come here freely and without reservation to give yourself to Sean in marriage? If so, answer “I do.”
Sean, do you come here freely and without reservation to give yourself to Ryan in marriage? If so, answer “I do.”
Exchange of rings
These rings are a physical symbol of the promises that these two just made to each other. Please place the rings on each others fingers.
With nothing else to be said…
By the power invested in me by the Universal Life Church and the great state of California, I now pronounce you husband and husband! You may seal this declaration with a kiss!
It is my distinct honor and pleasure to introduce to you for the very first time Mr. Sean Carney and Mr. Ryan Cameron!
NOW LET’S PARTY
See some recent posts featuring my hubs:
More fun with our wedding guests: