Dripping Springs Gay Wedding
Nathan (left) and Benny married at Prospect House in Dripping Springs. Photo by Clayton Austin

Dripping Springs Gay Wedding: Prospect House

Benny VandenAvond & Nathan Garcia, Dripping Springs (Texas Hill Country), May 27, 2017

Photography by Clayton Austin

NAMES Benny VandenAvond & Nathan Garcia

LIVE IN Brentwood, Austin

OCCUPATIONS Benny works in risk management; Nathan works in accounting.

HOW THEY MET At a dance party how they got engaged Nathan surprised Benny by proposing onstage during a Peaches set at Austin’s Fun Fun Fun Fest. Benny: “Peaches announced, ‘He said yes!,’ sprayed the audience with champagne, and fired a taco cannon.”

BACHELOR PARTY They flew to LA to see friends and attend RuPaul’s DragCon. Benny: “Nathan suggested we pack our wedding attire so we could get photos with RuPaul and our friend, Michelle Visage.”

REHEARSAL DINNER They hosted a catered dinner party.

WEDDING DAY WEATHER Sunny with clear, blue skies


THEME Woodland creatures and curiosities. The altar featured faux taxidermy sculptures by artist Elizabeth McGrath. The grooms created the centerpieces: domed anthropomorphized scenes of faux and real taxidermied mice, bats, lizards, and bird skeletons along with vintage ceramics and their own childhood toys. Benny: “It sounds morbid, but it was actually really cute.”

FLOWERS Tables were set with clear and brown small-mouthed vases each containing three or four stems each of blue thistle, red protea, green Dianthus barbatus, yellow billy balls, waxflowers, foxgloves, and purple and white kale.

THE MENU Pulled pork and short ribs, cheesy polenta, Sicilian broccoli, and Mexican street-corn salad, along with Texas beers

DESSERT Doughnuts, doughnuts, and more doughnuts. Gourdough’s served fresh doughnuts with custom whiskey dipping sauces from an Airstream trailer. And Voodoo Doughnut created a sheet-cake doughnut with a portrait of the singer Peaches. Nathan: “We originally planned to serve only doughnuts for dessert, but we discovered a chocolatier in England willing to create a conjoined foxcub-skull cake topper out of white chocolate for us. We added a two-tier cake covered in marbled fondant.”

MUSIC Technically, the couple’s first song was “Love Shack,” performed live by the B-52s after bandmember Kate Pierson married the couple a few days earlier, before an Austin City Limits performance. At their formal wedding, however, Benny says: “We kicked off our ceremony with a surprise lip-sync to ‘You’re the One That I Want,’ from Grease.”

IF THEY HAD TO DO IT OVER They would have photographed the pre-wedding DIY activities with friends and family. Nathan: “When people say, ‘It will go by so fast,’ they mean it.”

IF THEY COULD HAVE SPENT THEIR MONEY DIFFERENTLY They would have added more entertainment. Nathan: “I love curating a good show.”

FAVORITE DETAILS For Nathan, it was commissioning 12 original artworks by the couple’s favorite artists, each piece celebrating their relationship and love. For Benny, it was their custom jackets.

UNIQUE ELEMENTS OF THE DAY Instead of a traditional mother-son dance, Benny danced with his father to the Jon Barker song “Thank You for Being My Dad.” Benny: “What I didn’t expect was that my dad would memorize the words and sing them back to me, replacing the word ‘dad’ with ‘son.’” The grooms’ moms enjoyed a lip-sync “battle” to “It’s Raining Men.”

UNEXPECTED EVENT Nathan surprised everyone by planting a Kim Davis impersonator in the audience to object to the marriage. The surprise got better when pro wrestler Brian Knobbs of the Nasty Boys shouted at the Kim Davis impersonator, “Sit your ass down!”

ADVICE FOR OTHERS Make your wedding yours.

THE DAY IN THREE WORDS Detail-oriented, unique, fierce

Vendor List

Prospect House, Dripping Springs

Noble Sandwich Co

Spike Gillespie, Custom Hitches Weddings

Clayton Austin

Adam Grumbo Films

Quick Draw Photo Booth

Zinnia & Co

Sugar Shaker Bakery

Conjurer’s Kitchen

Gourdough’s/Voodoo Doughnut (also check out our story on gay weddings at Austin’s Voodoo Doughnut shop)

Gardiner Rhoderick/Elizabeth McGrath/Beth Cavener

Daniel Esquivel

Snash Jewelry

Big Dipper

Kelly Kline/Althea Trix/Honey St. Claire

You can find more resources for planning an LGBTQ wedding in this part of Texas in our Austin Wedding Vendor Guide and Texas Hill Country Vendor Guide.