Some of the greatest love stories take place on the stage. Or, like with Edward Warwick and Gary White, just beside it. The couple met at the first read-through for The Drowsy Chaperone, a musical at Live Arts in which they’d both been cast.
“There was an open seat next to Gary,” Edward said. “I think there may have even been a heavenly light shining on it, like in the movies.”
That was back in 2010, and since then it’s been three years of what sounds like nonstop fun, all culminating (up to this point, at least) in a complimentary wedding provided by A Charlottesville Wedding Gift, the big-day giveaway spearheaded by local photographer Jack Looney.
The first same-sex recipients of the prize, Edward and Gary are planning to get legally married in Washington, D.C., but wanted their Charlottesville ceremony to be the first place their guests saw them as a married couple.
“While gay marriage isn’t recognized in the Commonwealth,” Edward said, “it meant so much to us to have the chance to show our love and lifelong commitment to each other in front of our family and friends, in the place where we live and love.”
But what about the big day? Edward describes the theme as “Southern, sophisticated, and a little bit snarky.” Take, for instance, the clean, masculine invitation, which included a punchy saying to clue guests in on attire: “You could show up wearing a black tie, but you’d be way overdressed.” Or the ceremony seating signage: “No bride, no side.”
It was important to the couple to keep a sense of humor about the day, because they spend most of their time together laughing.
“A couple weeks before the announcement, a few of the judges and vendors asked to meet us in person,” Edward said. “When we got there, they said, ‘We just wanted to see if it was actually possible for two people to have that much fun together!’”
The fun continued throughout their big day, as Edward and Gary (with the help of planners Dickie Morris and Maureen McKenna) incorporated their love of theater into every detail: marquee letters, a custom show poster, theater tickets for escort cards, playbills for programs, and a bourbon cocktail called “The Drowsy Chaperone.”
The day wasn’t without its surprises, albeit good ones, like Anita Gupta secretly asking each of the grooms about a special cake for the other, and Tavia Brown privately requesting phrases from each groom to inscribe in the rings.
They ended up choosing the same phrase, “‘vwhile you can,” which is heard in one of the musical’s final scenes. Because someone on stage drops a cane just as the chaperone is about to answer whether the couple should get married, it’s hard to know if she says “live while you can,” “leave while you can,” or “love while you can.” Said Edward, “We always said she was saying ‘love while you can,’ so that’s what we both picked for each other.”
Edward Warwick and Gary White
November 10, 2013
Photography: Jack Looney, Jen Fariello, Sarah Cramer Shields, Andrea Hubbell
Event planner: Dickie Morris and Maureen McKenna of Just a Little Ditty
Ceremony and reception venue: The Carriage Museum at Trump Winery
Officiant: Claire Goodman
Catering: Harvest Moon Catering
Flowers: Southern Blooms by Pat’s Floral and Sugar Magnolias
Cakes: Anita Gupta of Maliha Creations
Desserts: Paradox Pastry, Cakes by Rachel, Favorite Cakes, Eye Candy, Carpe Donut
Music: Peter Richardson (ceremony guitarist); DJ Derek Tobler (reception)
Suits: Custom suits from Rooklin’s (Edward’s family’s men’s shop)
Custom ties: Me & Matilda
Shoes: Cole Hahn (Edward); Aston Grey (Gary)
Invitations: Rock Paper Scissors
Calligraphy: If So Inklined.
Hair and makeup: Jeanne Cusick and Daphne Latham
Furniture/rentals: Stonegate Event Rentals
Linens: Festive Fare
Favors: byCary and Gearharts Fine Chocolates
Transportation: Albemarle Limousine
Accommodations: Stay Charlottesville at The Old Metropolitan Hall
Additional vendors: Hot Pots by J.W. Townsend Landscapes (all of the potted trees/indoor landscaping), Blue Ridge AV & Lighting