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Beyond Guy Fieri's Purple Suit: The Couples at Art Smith's 101 Gay Weddings

Because when Art Smith throws a wedding, it's going to be huge.

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Wedding gowns, linen suits, and matching bow ties aren't your average attire at the South Beach Wine and Food Festival (read: elastic waistbands), but for the dozen or so couples who wed at Art Smith's 101 Gay Weddings this weekend, it was a happy uniform indeed. Newlyweds flew in from all around the country to be able to say "I Do" at the James Royal Palm Hotel, now that Florida has legalized gay marriage and a fewfamous couples have gotten hitched. In fact, Florida holds a special place in Art's heart: the celebrity chef met his own partner in South Beach before having a monstrous wedding in DC where Moby performed. It was huge.


Several food network stars showed up to 101 Gay Weddings in style. Guy Fieri traded in his Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives bowling shirt for a fitted plum suit to officiate the wedding in honor of his late sister who was gay, while Ace of Cake's Duff Goldman suited up in a blue velvet blazer to present his multi-tiered, art deco-inspired wedding gift. But this was surely one party where it wasn't the Food Network stars, the chefs, nor the performers who shone; it was the people. Because as you can tell by the couples who tied the knot below, these guys and girls didn't need to tack on celebrity names to make their love stories complete.

Nicole Swanson and Stephanie Griffin

How did you two meet?

Nicole: She was a bartender and DJ at a nightclub we used to go to and I saw her and fell in love with her instantly. She was my best friend for five years.


Tell me about your wedding attire.

Stephanie: Well for her, I don't know if she had this in mind, but her look day in and day out is Old Hollywood, and I feel like that's what she went with.

Nicole: We were just window shopping and I came home with a dress two years ago!

Stephanie: Apparently she came out of the dressing room and strangers gasped. After we started dating, she was ready, like, four months in. Honestly, my dress was chosen so that she could be the feature. I wanted her to be the star, and she is. She's the showstopper.


What are you guys doing next?

Stephanie: We actually have another gathering with other friendsm, even though we have a group of friends here who were able to enjoy the party. I'm here a lot DJing and we made a lot of friends here although we don't live here. So we're just going to keep the party going!

Christian Garcia and Mark Edmonds

How did you two meet?Christian: We met 20 years ago in New York. I was working with Mark's old roomate at Beauty and the Beast on Broadway, at the retail shop. That's the short version.

Tell me about your wedding attire.Christian: We live in Vero Beach and this guy there does hand painted ties. We walked into a friend's gallery on Thursday and we still didn't have ties to wear so we just grabbed them.

What are you guys doing next?

Christian: What are we doing after?!

Mark: Were gonna enjoy food and wine.

Michael Hagdor and James Gilliard

How did you two meet?
James: We met through a mutual ex, meaning we both dated the same person. He was having a New Year's Eve party and invited us to come. We both were with someone, and within a week we were with each other. We've been together for eleven years. The longest time we've ever spent apart is three nights.

Tell me about your wedding attire.

Michael: It was all James!

James: We were originally going to wear what we had, but it wasn't special. We actually went to Express, he picked out the grey color of the suit and I picked out the shirt, the tie, the socks, the shoes, and it just worked.


What are you guys doing next?

James: We are here until Monday and then it's back to work in Philly.

Brett Barker and Tommy Layman

What Went

How did you two meet?Brett: He was a bartender when I was in beauty school. He gave me free drinks.

Tell me about your wedding attire.
Brett: I went with a little Miami chic, a little South Beach, a little tasteful tropical print.
Tommy: I wanted something that was a little casual but upscale. So navy blue, no socks, a T-shirt. I thought it was a good combo.
What are you guys doing next?
Brett: Not quite sure yet. We're probably gonna go out and get more drinks. Maybe a drag show!

Louise Seamen and Christy Nutt

How did you guys meet?Louise: We met online, on a chat room about 18 years ago. We've been together for 16 years.Christy: We've been married for hours!

Tell me about your wedding attire.Christy: I said purple right away. That was it. She just had to match.Louise: My socks are better matched.

What are you guys doing next?
Louise: We have puppies and we're going home to show them that we're married.

Claudio Markent and Gary Mantle

How did you two meet?
Claudio: We met at Amnesia almost 20 years ago in South Beach.

Tell me about your wedding attire.

Gary: Well today we just renewed our vows! We got married in January on the first day we were able to get married in Florida.

Claudio: We found out last minute this was going on so we wanted to see other people enjoy the moment.

Gary: So not too much thought went into these outfits. We just wanted to be matching.


What are you guys doing next?

Gary: We're going to go home and watch TV and just chill.

Claudio: I'm going to work actually, at Primo Pizza.

David Cheathal and Brian Hauf

How did you two meet?
David: We met online six years ago and thought we were going to be friends, and we are! Five years ago we got rings, but we're from Texas. We couldn't get legally married but we were in our hearts. We didn't think today would feel very differently, but it does.

Tell me about your wedding attire.
David: The list said Miami chic! So originally we planned a beach wedding and this is what we probably would have worn. Miami Chic can mean many things.

What are you guys doing next?
David: Sleeping!

The James Royal Palm

1545 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139 (305) 604-5700