YES To All of It!

By Mik Hyldebrandt


Whether you’re into fairytale nuptials or a quick trip to city hall to get hitched, wedding season is here! Peach spoke to some happy couples about the wedding process and asked their best advice if you’re planning to exchange rings this spring or summer.


David Richardson & John Zingo

Photo: McCall Studio


Although the couple isn’t officially married yet, they are well into the process of arranging their wedding which is about a year away. They chatted through an app first, and then met a couple of weeks later in a gay club on New Year’s Eve. David teaches high school orchestra, and John is a Flight Attendant.


Who proposed?

David proposed in front of the Trevi Fountain in Rome, Italy. He got down on one knee, and the crowd at the fountain cheered and applauded.


Who is in charge of planning the wedding?

We both have responsibilities and check in with the other one to make sure decisions are ok. It will be a smaller, private wedding – about 100 people – at the Peachtree Club at the corner of 10th and Peachtree St.


Our Advice for Planning a Wedding

Start early, set a budget (and stick to it), find a planning schedule from an online wedding site, and ask close friends for help, advice, and feedback on everything!


Warren Schmitt & Taylor Tisdale


The couple was legally married in 2016 in Spartanburg, SC. They met at work where lunches turned into dinners and then into an 18-year relationship. The couple doesn’t work together anymore though – Warren manages recruitment for ADP, and Taylor leads a business line in commercial real estate for JLL.


Who proposed?

Warren proposed to Taylor on December 31, 2015 at Il Localino just before midnight! He got down on one knee, asked Taylor to marry him, and naturally he said yes! Everyone in the restaurant cheered.


Who was in charge of planning the wedding?

A coworker of Taylor’s, Laurie Pike. She performs wedding planning as a side business.


What was your wedding like?

We had a small group of about 60 people attend an outdoor ceremony at Piedmont Park. The reception was held at Magnolia Hall in the Park with an open bar, buffet dinner, two wedding cakes, and DJ by Neon.


Our Advice for Planning a Wedding

Be patient, as last-minute glitches always happen! Our wedding was about love, and we wanted our guests to have a great time. Also, a wedding planner is essential!



Jim Farmer and Craig Hardesty

Jim is the man behind Out On Film, the Atlanta LGBT film festival, and Craig is HR Manager at McGuireWoods. The couple met on and were married in the summer of 2015. Craig proposed after the couple had watched the news about the legalization of gay marriage evolve.


Our Advice for Planning a Wedding

Our advice is to do what is best for you, not what you are traditionally supposed to be and make sure you have fun in the process.  We had no idea what was going to happen in the state moving forward, and we wanted to do this before there was any motion to deny it.


 Phil Beechler & Ryan Lynch

Phil and Ryan were friends for years before they started dating. They met in Charlotte through mutual friends and have now been married for five months. Phil works as a paralegal and Ryan is a bartender at Woofs.


Who proposed?

I would love to say that it was a giant romantic gesture, but that’s not the kind of guys we are. We were watching TV late on a Friday night, and I asked Ryan if he’d like to go down to the courthouse. Ryan said that if I were serious, both our mothers would kill us if we eloped, so I got down on one knee and asked.


What was your wedding like?

We married on Pride Saturday last year and had a giant reception in the park. Rita Ora asked us to come on stage because of the giant “Mr. & Mr.” balloons. Ironically, two of our closest friends Jake and Moriah were the ones running through the crowd with our balloons, and we were too far away to make it.


Our Advice for Planning a Wedding

We tailored our wedding to fit us – not our family or friends’ expectations. It was simple, straightforward, and all about the love that we have for each other.


Buzz Busbee & Rodney Foster

The couple met within two months of moving from Atlanta to Seattle independently of each other. They have been married since July 2016. Buzz is the owner of a branding design studio & Creative Director of ABETTERBUZZ Brand Goods. Rod works for SAP Concur where he’s part of the Global Business Transformation PMO Group.


Who proposed?

Rodney proposed in 2015 while we were vacationing in Sitges, Spain. We were walking through town to dinner, when he stopped and proposed just outside of the Iglesia de Sant Bartomeu in Santa Tecla.


What was your wedding like?

We got married in Gas Works Park on Lake Union overlooking Seattle. That’s where we went on our first date in 2008. The ceremony was picnic style, and we had about 70 friends and family attend. Following that, we had an amazing sunset dinner reception at Westward, a waterfront restaurant in Seattle.


Our Advice for Planning a Wedding

Invest in finding and hiring the right wedding planner… it’s well worth the money. Embrace the process completely. It flies by, and all of a sudden it is over.


William Treadwell & Jesse Lirette

Photo: Li Su, Cindy Brown

The relationship started out as acquaintances on Facebook and evolved into a now 8-year relationship. William and Jesse have been married for a little over four years now. William is Senior Director of Creative for the HQ of Floor & Décor, and Jesse is the General Manager and Director of Sales and Events at Southern Exchange.


Who Proposed?

Jesse proposed on my birthday (October) at the top of the Westin. On Jesse’s birthday (November) I surprised him with prepaid tickets to SF CA to be legally married (before gay marriage was legal in all states). We both contributed to the design of our wedding rings.


What was your wedding like?

We had a small SF ceremony at The Palace of Fine Arts with a magistrate and an intimate group of friends on January 1, 2014. Jesse is an event planner and took charge of all the planning of our large public wedding at 200 Peachtree in Atlanta June 8, 2014.


Our Advice for Planning a Wedding

Have patience, listen to one another’s desires and have fun through the planning process.


Daniel Brennan & Laurence Brennan

Photo: Tom Thomas

The relationship started with a ‘hello’ on a dating app, and after a few weeks, they had their first date. The couple has now been married since December 2016. The celebrated a larger Jewish wedding in October 2017. Laurence is the operations manager at Real Tall Real Estate, and Daniel is an administrator for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.


Who Proposed?

We were walking on a beach in Florida, and as the sun set and I (Daniel) started singing a song to Laurence and then told him how much I loved him. I then got down on one knee and asked if he would be my husband. I made sure he liked the ring, and then pulled an identical one out of my pocket for myself. Without missing a beat, he took the ring, got down on his knee and proposed to me as well. We both cried and then, like all good Jewish boys, called our mothers.


What was your wedding like?

The first one at the Temple on Peachtree was small and personal, and we both agree that out of the two, this one was our favorite. The second, our big, gay, traditional, Jewish ceremony was held on the banks of the Chattahoochee. The ceremony took place with all of the trappings of a Jewish wedding complete with a chuppah, rabbi and lots of Hebrew.


Our Advice for Planning a Wedding’

Good communication, kindness for each other and patience with the process goes a long way to have the day you want to have for yourselves.


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