Real Couples // An Inspired Celebration of Love: Gary + Michael

While Gary and Michael felt that their wedding overall was fairly traditional, there were certainly elements that made it un-traditional. Their wedding ceremony was based off of Aristophanes's Speech in Plato's Symposium and lyrics from the song "Origin of Love" from the musical, Hedwig & the Angry Inch. In Plato's Symposium, men attending the symposium were asked to deliver a speech in examination and praise of "Love." Aristophanes's speech sets up the original myth of love and the feeling of "wholeness" when you find your love partner.

In the musical, Hedwig tells her life story, which began when she was Hansel Schmidt, an East German "slip of a girlboy," who loved philosophy and western rock music. Hansel becomes fascinated by "The Origin of Love" based on Aristophanes' speech. It explains that three sexes of human beings once existed: "children of the sun" (man and man attached), "children of the earth" (woman and woman attached), and "children of the moon" (man and woman attached). Each were once round, two-headed, four-armed, and four-legged beings. Angry gods split these early humans in two, leaving the separated people with a lifelong yearning for their other half. Hansel was determined to search for his other half.

Gary and Michael's wedding rings have words inscribed inside of them that are taken from the song lyrics. Gary's wedding ring says "you had a way so familiar," which speaks to the bond between the two lovers once they find each other and are finally rejoined. Michael's wedding ring says "mountains stretched up to the sky," which speaks to the vastness and immensity of love and how they were meant to be before all time. Not surprisingly, the last song they danced to at their reception was "The Origin of Love."

Additionally, Gary's father, who is a pastor, gave an incredibly heartfelt toast and spoke of the love that Gary and Michael had found in each other, before voguing down the makeshift reception "runway" during the dancing portion of the night.

Lastly, Gary and Michael's wedding/reception was the first gay wedding held at their selected venue, the Wedgwood Wedding & Banquet Center in Placerville, California.

Photos and words by Cristal Veronica

cristal veronica, wedding photographer


Cristal Veronica is a queer Chicana feminist photographer foodie living in San Francisco with a love language made up of music, coffee, & talk of donuts.