Austin Gay Wedding

Weddings of Our Own: Nathan & David

Austin, September 4, 2015

Photography by Carlos Salazar, Tresal Photography

NAMES Nathan Bayless & David Walentynowicz.

LIVE IN Anderson Mill, Austin, Texas.

OCCUPATIONS Nathan is a training specialist; David is a pharmacy technician.

HOW THEY MET While living near one another in the same neighborhood.

HOW THEY GOT ENGAGED David asked Nathan three times before he finally accepted, and they decided on a wedding date—after a yearlong engagement—following the Supreme Court ruling.

HOW THE WEDDING PLANNING PROCESS WENT Family support came as a pleasant surprise. At first the couple didn’t want to tell anyone. Soon enough, however, each groom’s parents offered financial assistance. Employers were also generous. Before they knew it, their guest list reached over a hundred. They wanted everyone to be there.

REHEARSAL DINNER They had a few friends over as they packed and made last-minute arrangements. Nothing was overlooked—nothing, that is, except one element of David’s wardrobe. Nathan: “We spent the night before our wedding with close friends working together to learn how to tie David’s bow tie.”



WEDDING COLORS Blood orange and cerulean.

THEME When Nathan and David first purchased their home, they found blue jay feathers in the yard. To them, the bird symbolizes truth, faithfulness, and solidarity—all values they hoped to express during their wedding celebration.

FLOWERS A combination of vibrant wildflowers and succulents meant to represent “passion and dedication for one another.” They incorporated blue jay feathers into the boutonnieres and corsages.

DIY HIGHLIGHTS Every detail, from the birdcage letterbox to the birch-wood ring box, was selected to create a feeling of old-world glamour and ethereal romance.

THE MENU Hors d’oeuvres included black-bean-and-cheese bites as well as mango-and-avocado bites. The dinner was Tex-Mex, with beef and chicken fajitas served, along with portobello mushroom, squash, bell pepper, and onion fajitas for vegetarians. Specialty cocktails included the Flirtini, Love Potion #9, and Punch Drunk Love.

DESSERT A three-tier pistachio cake with honey-butter cream frosting and a two-tier mocha mudslide cake layered with chocolate. Each was adorned with succulents. In addition, there was a plain white cake made especially for Nathan’s dad. MUSIC A playlist was arranged for each portion of the evening—the pre-ceremony cocktail hour, dinnertime, cake cutting time, the first dance, the bow tie toss, and last call. Local Austin artist Marilyn Rose Erman also sang and played acoustic guitar.

IF THEY HAD TO DO IT OVER They might have taken the time and spent the money to have a rehearsal dinner to work out any kinks.

FAVORITE DETAIL Nathan’s favorite was the sand ceremony, during which each attendee dropped a stone in a vase, setting a foundation for symbolic sands that were then poured in together. For David, the highlight was the ambient nebula-effect lighting on the ceiling of the reception space.

UNIQUE ELEMENTS OF THE DAY Rather than have a traditional wedding party, the grooms instead gave close friends significant roles in the evening’s affairs.

UNEXPECTED EVENT Having close family and friends in the room as the grooms tried to dress for the wedding.

ADVICE FOR OTHERS Designate someone to handle “unforeseen situations,” directions, and vendor questions and needs. Also, don’t be afraid to demonstrate public displays of affection.

THE DAY IN THREE WORDS Fleeting, destined, and transformative.

Vendor List


The Wizard Academy, Austin


Gobo Projector Rental


Pastor Don Carlson, Ph.D.


Zoë Terwilleger


Carlos Salazar, Tresal Photography


Original Traveling Photo Booth Co.


Flora Fetish


Marilyn Rose Erman


Floyd’s 99 Barbershop


Hampton Inn, Austin


Traveler’s Joy