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  • Karla Villar

Chase & Anton's Granite Prospect Brooklyn Elopement

Updated: May 7, 2020

Planner: Terrian, Dream Plan-It EventsPhotographer: Daniel Serrette Photography • Officiant: Karla, Once Upon A VowCeremony Location: Granite Prospect, Brooklyn Bridge Park • Venue: Cleo's Corner • Florist: Edelweiss Floral Atleir

Caterer: Chef O. Smith • DJ: Elnathan

Two grooms from the Caribbean fully embracing and kissing as they close out their ceremony officiated by LGBTQ officiant from Once Upon A Vow with guests clapping in the background.

Making Connections at our Intersections

I first heard about Chase and Anton from Terrian, a fellow wedding pro who specializes in designing intimate wedding celebrations, also known as micro-weddings.

Terrian and I initially met at the Love Union of 2019 where we discussed our overall sense of the wedding scene and potential ways of partnering as badass WOC entrepreneurs.

I shared how we, at Once Upon A Vow, perform elopements and destination weddings for many foreign couples. I let her know I was specifically interested in reaching a larger QTPOC audience from abroad looking to get married in NYC and offering up not just a personalized ceremony, but authentic connection and genuine camaraderie.

As a queer person, an immigrant from Peru, I know what it’s like not to be able to get legally married to the person I love and I understand the implications of not having that right or its protections. I also know first-hand some of the complications that arise when you do exercise that right and subsequently buck familial and cultural expectations for your wedding .

If getting “gay married” is more of a struggle than you wish it was or you have to deal with finding a work-around given the gender binary infused into the system or you have a lot of Spanish-speaking relatives that you don’t want fully engaged in the ceremony or if you need help figuring out which traditions actually suit you, then I want you to know that I get you and I’ve got you!!

Terrian resonated with the idea of connecting with couples through our shared identities and experiences. She also got the importance of boldly stepping up as an ally to the queer community, particularly significant given that she’s a first-generation Jamaican-American woman and same-sex marriage remains illegal in Jamaica.

Together we considered the possibilities that could be generated from meeting at our intersections. We specifically spoke of teaming up to honor the love stories and wedding dreams of queer Caribbean couples who may not yet be able to legally marry in their countries, but are eager to solemnize their union in the Big Apple. We said it aloud - out loud!

We parted ways with that thought in mind; we let it sink into our subconscious and one day we manifested it - the couple we’d imagined suddenly showed up.

Chase and Anton found Terrian and she remembered me as the officiant specifically looking to tell and celebrate love stories like this 'Berry' special romance!

We are Family. We are Community.

When I initially met Chase and Anton over video chat, I instantly fell in love with them. Each one, in different ways, reminded me of one of my closest childhood friends. Like my bestie, they seemed to be gentlemen with an earnest respect for certain traditions and etiquette who also enjoyed being rascals from time to time and breaking the rules that need breaking.

As they shared their story with me, I envisioned them as children, as young men, and as old humans in love - full of love!

To me, they felt familiar. They felt like family and, from my perspective, they were; they are. They are part of my global LGBTQIATS+ family!

They were both a beautifully curated brand of proud queer black love AND simply another version of a timeless love tale - the story of two souls coming together on this earthly plane to experience love and live life as a team - a family.

Anton & Chase chose to marry in NYC because of its history and their personal ties to the city. They have family and friends living here. They also have loved ones who eagerly traveled to this sacred queer epicenter to be with them - to honor their love and have some fun!!!

Here, in NYC, they not only have their friends and cousins and aunties, but they have an extended community, which includes queer ancestors who paved the way to make this love gathering possible. It is here, where the Stonewall Uprising and first gay pride march ever happened. Chase & Anton got to enshrine their commitment in the legal and cultural tradition of matrimony in the city known to have sparked the modern gay rights movement.

It was clear that supporting community is very important to Anthon & Chase as they were not only pleased to know that their wedding would be officiated by a member of the queer community, but they really appreciated knowing that a portion of their payment would go towards supporting a non-profit that works for and with communities in need. They really liked having several options and they chose RAICES; so, the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services received a donation on their behalf.

On September 9, 2019, 4 years after they made their relationship official with each other, they became husbands. The acquired new titles they can use and play with in private; affirming labels that accurately depict who they are to each other and who they've been all along - a family!

We held their personalized ceremony at the Granite Prospect - Brooklyn Bridge Park in a fairly secluded area above the stone steps. Anton & Chase were surrounded by an amazing crew of enthusiastic loved ones, under the shade of some trees. The sun was out and the birds were chirping. It was the tail-end of summer and simply gorgeous outside. And although it may not be like the beautiful Caribbean seas Anton & Chase are used to, the East River did offer up a nice coastal breeze that we can all appreciate on warm summer days.

It was a perfect spot with classic NYC backdrops, which includes skyline views with our historic Manhattan and Brooklyn bridges. Once the ceremony was over, they stuck around for a bit to take pictures as the sun was dialing down and starting to set.

Then they headed over to Cleo’s Corner in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn where they would all meet, eat, and be merry. It was time to dance and toss their boutonnieres and enjoy their first evening as a married duo!!

Cheers, Mr. and Mr. Berryman!!! We love you!

A shot of 6 hands of the two grooms and their guests (although you can't make out everyone) holding up wine glasses and toasting; big cheers for the couple and their wedding which was officiated by lgbtq+ officiant at Once Upon A Vow.!

Excerpt from the WELCOME portion of the ceremony:

"Now, keep your eyes closed and go back a bit farther. Go back to before you were on each other’s radar, before all the adult loves and teen crushes, go way back to the moment your little queer heart lit up with glee for the first time at the sight of that cute sweet boy.

Keep your eyes closed and visualize yourself telling that younger version of you - that teen - that boy - that his time has come. Tell him his prince is here. Tell him their time is now.

Open your eyes. Look at your prince and see him for all that he is -- all his daily habits and routines, all his ambitions and dreams, all the secrets and fears and hurts he shares only with you, and all the rest he still keeps to himself. He stands in front of you a man, fully grown and independent, but like all adults, he holds his inner child close to his chest.

So, I’d like to welcome those kids to your wedding and honor their experience. I want them to join us in this moment. I want them to know that they are enough; they’ve always been enough and they are deserving of all the bounties that the universe beholds for them which includes this tremendous love you two share."


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