How did you meet?
Martin and I met on Tinder! Back when tinder was still new!! Apparently, his friend stole his phone and swiped yes to about 200 girls and I think I was one of them. We matched and I didn’t write him right away cuz I wanted him to write me. He didn’t, so one night I was home and told my roommate there is this really cute guy but he hasn’t written to me, she said to write him! So I did. I think I said ‘’ hey there’’ He responded and we starting talking, a ton! We started texting and I think he added me on FB. It took us a couple of weeks to meet up because our schedules were really busy. We continued to talk and I had this feeling which seemed insane at the time that this was the guy I was going to marry. I texted my best friend and she was like omg wow! So it was time for our first date, he picked me up and took me to Alma which was a 9-course tasting menu! It was delicious and we had a really good time and instant chemistry. I also found out he missed a Billy Joel concert that night because of our date ( I still need to get him to see Billy Joel! ) After dinner was over we were walking around DTLA and there happened to be a Mexican death metal band playing at The Mayan, we went in and danced for ages! He took me home and we made plans to see each other the next day.
Long story short we knew about 3 days in that this was it for both of us. I also moved in on our second date and here we are 4.5 years later!
How did he propose?
We had been dating for 2 years and 3 months. Martin planned a trip to Europe and we were going to visit The UK as that is where he is from and I had never been there. We first arrived in London to stay with friends and he showed me all around there. A few days later we headed to Bristol, the town he grew up in. We stayed at his best friends aunts house who happened to be in the states. We got there and he told me to get ready we were going to go walk around and see everything. He showed me where he went to school and where he was a choir boy and I sang in the church, we then started walking up a street and I had no idea where we were going. He pointed up to a sign that read THE MAURETANIA, he said you know the story that happened here right? I did know the story but then started doubting myself and being like wait wait you mean THE story where your grandfather asked your grandmother to marry him…So he said should we see if we could go in? The door was magically opened, we started walking in and I said are we going to get in trouble? Once we made it past the entrance full of boxes and dust we entered into the beautiful room, where I saw champagne and flowers and then he started digging in his bag for something, I started to cry and he got down on one knee and told me the story again of what happened in this very same room and asked me to marry him.
THE OFFICIAL STORY AND FACEBOOK POST
In 1938 the great Ocean Liner, The Mauretania, ended her time as a sea-going vessel and was stripped down and destroyed. Parts of it were bought by the Bristolian entrepreneur WH Watkins to decorate a lounge that he named after the boat. In 1950 my grandfather, Desmond Thomas got down on bended knee and asked Sheila Hennessy if she would marry him. She said yes, and they began their lives as the people who would become my grandparents. The bar has been closed for quite a while now but I recently discovered that the building itself is listed and so it’s exactly the same inside as it was in 1938 and 1950. So on Saturday, 13th of August 2016, with a lot of help from some incredible people, I was able to take Miss Chelsea Gabrielle into that exact same nautically themed room and ask her to be my wife. She said yes. Which makes me the luckiest man to have stood in that room in 66 years.
Most difficult part of wedding planning process?
Definitely, the most difficult part is all the small minor details that you don’t think of!
How did you decide on a wedding venue?
I am a Los Angeles native so Palm Springs was a bit part of my childhood and growing up and my grandparents had a house there so I would go almost every weekend. So it held a special place in my heart. Next, because Martin is British we were expecting a lot of people to come from overseas and we wanted to choose a fun destination. LA can be not the best place for tourist sometimes. So we had a semi-destination wedding for locals and a destination wedding for people from Europe. We chose the Colony Palms because we liked the intimate feeling of the hotel and that we were able to do a buyout so the entire hotel was full of just our family and friends. It felt right to be in the same place with everyone for 3 days.
However, for the ceremony, we decided to do something a little out there and we weren’t quite sure if it was going to work. We decided to not have the ceremony at the Colony Palm because we wanted something a little more edgy and honestly more Cinematic. Martin is a director and drama is everything! In our minds, we wanted something out in the middle of the desert in the middle of nowhere…So we set out on a ‘’scout’’ in movie terms. We must have driven around for 5-6 hours and finally, we were about to give up and I told Martin no come on let’s try one more time to that area you want to go. So we head out a little further out and we get to this super old paved road. We start driving in and about a mile in we see what looks to be like a 60-foot bluff set against the mountains, we started getting giddy and saw a dirt road up that we were hoping led up onto the buff. Sure enough, it did! However, when we got up there we discovered this bluff and area had been being used as a shooting gallery! There were thousand and thousand of shotgun shells and tons of trash and things that people used for target practice.
We decided this place was perfect but we weren’t quite sure how to pull it off. Long story short together with Martins production company and Artisan Events we managed to pull it off. This included placing an ad on craigslist for a local clean up crew to tidy up and to level the land, transportation for all of our guest both to and from the hotel but also up the bluff. Artisan surprised us and got us Humvees to escort all of our guests up, I couldn’t believe how badass that was and was a huge hit! I also drove into the ceremony in a 1956 Porsche speedster, so the ceremony definitely featured some awesome automobiles! They also set up a full bar for our guests so they could have refreshments and get their drink on. I am so thankful to everyone who helped pull off our dream ceremony!
What’s your favorite memory from your wedding day?
My favorite memory is probably walking in towards my husband. I deal with anxiety on the reg and I was nervous I was going to have anxiety but it was honestly the calmest I have ever felt and it felt so special to know I was walking toward my future and towards my forever to a man who loves me and makes my world go round. We also did not do first looks so it was the first time we were seeing each other on the day! I will never forget it.
How did HitchSwitch make your post-wedding name change process easier?
HitchSwitch is amazing! I changed my name about 4 weeks after we got married. It would have been sooner but I got crazy sick. All the information was in the folder and took the guesswork out of it. I feel like it would’ve taken me way longer if I didn’t have HitchSwitch. We leave for our honeymoon very soon and I have my new passport with my married name ready to go!