Eco Chic

Real Wedding: Phil & Andrew

At the end of the Camino de Santiago, an 800km trek through northern Spain, it is customary to leave a stone from your homeland with a message at the spot where Christopher Columbus set sail for the New World. Andrew was shocked when Phil threw his rock to him, a single question written on it: “Will you marry me?” They had been dating for eight years, and the time had come for them to begin a new journey together.

The couple immediately knew that they wanted to combine Andrew’s love of everything modern and bling with Phil’s natural tastes in an “Eco Chic” theme. From a list of a whopping 170 possible venues (of which they visited 68!), they found only one that perfectly suited their vision: Holman Ranch, overlooking California’s gorgeous Carmel Valley.

Beautiful, sunny weather greeted them on their big day. Guests were transported to the venue by a motorized cart draped in flowers, welcomed by a three-piece jazz ensemble playing against the mountainous backdrop.

The grooms, both in head-to-toe Hugo Boss, were escorted through a homemade chiffon archway and down the aisle by their respective mothers. They wrote their vows to one another separately but chose to end them in the same way, reflecting on California’s current ban on same-sex marriages: “Let no law stand between our union, let us make of our two lives, one life.”

Two rituals added an extra special touch to their ceremony. First, each attendee placed a white rose in a vase in front of the couple as a show of support for their union. Later, Andrew and Phil placed a special bottle of wine in a box, along with a letter from each to the other expressing their love. The box and its contents are to be opened either on their ten-year anniversary or to support them during a rough patch. 

Andrew’s father constructed several special elements for the event, including a wall adorned with photos of the grooms’ families and a vineyard trellis laced with notecards full of guests’ advice to the newlyweds. Homegrown succulent boxes displayed the seat assignments.

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