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A Wedding by the Sea

Two grooms celebrate their union in dramatic style

Rob Roy and Eddie Swaim were together for seven and a half years before they decided to tie the knot.  When same-sex marriage first became legal briefly in California in 2008, Rob says, they weren’t quite ready to wed. The two  hadn’t been together very long, and besides, a good deal of time is required to pull off the type of wedding Rob and Eddie envisioned.

“We wanted to plan each and every detail,” Rob says. Once the law became final in 2013 after the Supreme Court overturned Prop. 8, a California measure barring same-sex marriages, they started planning. Rob says, “We always knew that we would get married; it was just a question of the time and place.”

The time finally was now and the place was the Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel in Dana Point.

“We were blessed to be brought together and we feel that our relationship and marriage are special enough to work through anything together as one,” says Rob. (While 14 states still ban same-sex marriage, the Supreme Court recently agreed to decide whether all 50 states must allow gay and lesbian marriages. )

Rob and Eddie, who live in Palm Springs, met at a neighbor’s party. Eddie is a personal trainer and Rob was seeking one. “We trained for about a month before our first actual date,” says Rob.

“And the rest is history. Eddie and I became close friends before becoming a couple, and we both feel this was a blessing. We were both coming from other relationships and wanted to make sure that we were not jumping into something too soon.”

They selected the Ritz-Carlton as their venue because they both love the beach and ocean. They also wanted a convenient travel distance for their friends in Palm Springs.

“Once we arrived at the Ritz, we were treated like royalty,” Rob says. “The staff could not have been more welcoming from our first meeting, and the site of the actual ceremony and cocktails and hors d’ oeuvres was spectacular.  We looked at properties from Santa Barbara to Laguna and this destination really had a special feeling.”

Kevin Covey Productions designed
the wedding. Rob says, “He has such a  great
eye for detail and made our wedding a
true masterpiece.”

Covey explains the look he was trying to create: “For the ceremony, we had a custom runway created to evoke the sleek and modern feel we wanted to accomplish for these stylish grooms. The tables for the reception were custom-made for the wedding to provide a masculine yet modern residential feel. Even the cake had a special acrylic table.”

The dramatic flower arrangements combined white phalaenopsis orchids, purple vanda orchids and dark purple callas, designed by Fayaz Chamadia of Bloombox Designs in Costa Mesa.

One detail that almost fell through?  The cake.

The Ritz-Carlton typically provides the cake, but Rob and Eddie had their hearts set on a cake from their favorite pastry chef in Palm Springs: Roman Blas of Over The Rainbow Cupcakes. In the end, the Ritz-Carlton made an exception to their rule and Rob and Eddie got the cake they desired; even better, it was a wedding present from Blas.

Each groom has favorite moments from the wedding weekend. One of Eddie’s was having many of their closest family and friends meet for the first time. “That wasn’t something that I had pondered beforehand and when it actually happened it struck me as a pivotal moment in our relationship. It felt like two separate parts of us had joined together,” he says.

The sand ceremony, which involved the grooms each pouring a different colored vial of sand into a single glass vessel, was touching.

During that portion of the wedding,  a vocalist sang the hymn “How Great Thou Art.” Eddie says, “I had very strong feelings about expressing our faith as part of the ceremony and was happy that Rob not only went along with it – it was his idea.”

Rob was particularly moved when Eddie said his vows and “one tear slowly trickled down from his amazing eyes.”

He also loved looking at the ballroom before any of the guests arrived. “To actually see all of the ideas come together was completely overwhelming. It was totally beyond my wildest expectations. It was sensory overload,” Rob says.

 Including their chow-shepherd mix, China, in the ceremony as their “flower girl” delighted both grooms. Rob says, “We’ll be looking at our wedding pictures when we are old and gray, and it’s very special for us that China will always be part of those memories.”

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