Weddingbells (Toronto) - - Contents -

A cou­ple from Cal­gary hosts an in­cred­i­ble two-part cel­e­bra­tion burst­ing with vi­brant colours in Palm Springs, Cal­i­for­nia.

A cou­ple from cAl­gAry, Al­bertA, hosts An in­cred­i­ble two-pArt cel­e­brA­tion in pAlm springs, cAl­i­for­niA, com­plete with An epic pool pArty And A per­for­mAnce by A stAr from RuPaul’s DRag Race.

Ryan Mas­sel, a life­style blog­ger and TV host, and Rob Gairns, an ar­chi­tect, met more than 13 years ago while they were both work­ing as flight at­ten­dants. “We were sched­uled to work to­gether,” says Ryan. “A one-in-a-mil­lion sched­ul­ing co­in­ci­dence re­sulted in us find­ing true love.”

Ryan popped the ques­tion dur­ing an elab­o­rate sur­prise pro­posal in Cal­gary’s Her­itage Park His­tor­i­cal Vil­lage. “I had the head­line, ‘Ryan Mas­sel Asks Robert Gairns to Marry Him’ printed by the vin­tage print­ing press in Her­itage Park,” Ryan says.

“At first Rob didn’t see the head­line. I pointed to it and he said, ‘Wait, what?!’”

The cou­ple knew they had to have an ex­tra-spe­cial cel­e­bra­tion. “The world has come a long way with its le­gal ac­cep­tance of same-sex mar­riage,” Ryan says. “When Rob and I met, it would not have been pos­si­ble for us to legally marry. With our wed­ding we not only wanted to share the story of the eter­nal love we have for each other, but share the hope and dreams that love around the world will be rec­og­nized and ac­cepted for what it is: Love!”

The cou­ple split their wed­ding day into a two-part af­fair with a day­time pool party and an evening gar­den party. In­stead of hold­ing the cer­e­mony dur­ing the day, they opted to have it dur­ing the evening event. “This al­lowed us to gather guests to­gether first in a ca­sual so­cial set­ting to laugh and cel­e­brate be­fore the evening nup­tials,” Ryan ex­plains. “It also gave us more time to en­joy the day with them and shake off any pre-cer­e­mony jit­ters.”

Guests wore com­fort­able all-white at­tire as they min­gled and rev­elled in the fes­tiv­i­ties. For their guest­book, Ryan and Rob hired an artist to hand-cut sil­hou­ettes of the guests. “She made two copies, one for the guest­book and one for the guest to take home.”

Ryan and Rob also made sure some of their favourite Cana­dian brands went home with their guests. “We gifted jew­ellery, hand­made fab­ric bou­ton­nieres and even cus­tom soaps as a spe­cial treat,” Ryan says. “It al­lowed us to not only thank them for mak­ing the trip to Palm Springs, but to also share items that have been spe­cial parts of our life to­gether.”

As the sun set, guests made their way from the gar­den back to the pool, where video screens were set up, bear­ing side-by-side images of Rob and Ryan with a 10-minute count­down over­laid on top. “As the timer con­cluded, our side-by-side images faded,” Ryan says of the video. “Mu­sic lifted and separately we each faded in and out, telling the story of how we met and how we’ve felt over the last 13 years to­gether.”

As the video ended, the screens lifted to re­veal Rob and Ryan in bright pink and orange suits, ready for the start of an emo­tional, tear-filled cer­e­mony. The tears didn’t last long—the cou­ple had one fi­nal wow fac­tor up their sleeves.

“We needed a way to turn the tears into a party,” Ryan says. “Right af­ter our kiss, the screens de­scended and another video played. Again, the mu­sic lifted as one of the world’s top drag queens, Mor­gan McMichaels, came out and per­formed a six-song mashup that whipped the crowd into a frenzy!”

By KiM­beRlY agli­PaY. Pho­tog­ra­phy dOng KiM & KelseY HORne.

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