CLIFTON & CHAD: CELEBRATING 'THE YEAR OF MARRIAGE'
Celebrating ‘the year of marriage’
Fortunately, the New York restaurant where Clifton Guterman and Chad Gough met for their first date stayed open 24 hours.
The pair decided to meet for a glass of wine about 9 p.m., after Guterman finished performing in an off-Broadway play. They sat at the bar and talked. And talked and talked.
“The date just kept going,” Gough says of that day, Feb. 21, 2008. The two finally decided to head home about 2:30 a.m. They shared their first kiss as snow began to fall over the city.
“It was very romantic,” Guterman says.
The two met on Match.com and learned they had much in common. Both are Southern — Guterman is from Iron City, Ga., a very small city in South Georgia, and Gough hails from Rushford, Va. Although they grew up in rural towns, their families were socially progressive and are supportive of who they are. The two even grew up on roads named for their grandfathers.
“Our upbringings were so similar. I had not met like anyone like that in New York,” Gough says.
Guterman describes the night as magical and says he knew at that first date he was in love.
“I had been looking for him for a long time,” he says.
The two moved in together after six months before moving back to Atlanta, where Gough works in international finance and Guterman can be seen acting in many local plays, including “Wolves” at Actor’s Express.
The two talked about marriage early in their relationship and Guterman says he kept dropping hints for more than four years. Gough asked him why he didn’t propose. Guterman replied that wasn’t what he imagined as a boy.
“That wasn’t the story in my head. That’s not what I dreamed of,” he says.
In December, Gough popped the question in their home after decorating for Christmas. The tree was lit and the fire glowing when he knelt down and asked Guterman to marry him. This was the story Guterman dreamed about.
The two celebrated their five-year anniversary by getting legally married in New York on Feb. 21, 2013. They then recreated that fateful first date by sharing tiramisu at French Roast, the 24-hour restaurant where they first met. They were even lucky enough to snag the same bar stools they sat on five years ago.
The New York ceremony was a practical one, held in City Hall. A European honeymoon is set for the end of April.
In June, the couple will travel to Iron City to attend wedding showers hosted by family members.
“My South Georgia cousin called me and said they wanted to throw us a shower down there. She said some ladies in the church who are close to my mom wanted to help because my mom always helps with all the showers,” Guterman says. “She said they wanted to do something for her child. And we were like, ‘Yeah!’ We will come down and have a good time.”
Another ceremony, including catered meals and a chance to dress up, will take place in September when the couple will host 50 of their closest family members and friends for an intimate dinner at a restaurant they’ve rented, a catered brunch at their home and a weekend of activities in Atlanta.
There won’t be any of the trappings of a traditional marriage that their straight friends planned. Instead, there will be good food and good times.
“The most important thing to us is to celebrate with our family and friends,” Gough says. “We’re doing what feels right to us. And that is kind of liberating.”
“We’re calling it the year of marriage,” Gunterman adds.
Chad Gough and Clifton Gunterman were legally married in New York on their five-year anniversary and are planning a September celebration in Atlanta. (Courtesy photos)