With help from 180 of their closest friends and family, this local couple became the first same-sex couple to marry at the Worlds Fair Pavilion.
Andrew Gaule 26, Education Executive, Estée Lauder Companies
Joshua Nichols 35, Owner and Stylist, KINK Hair Salon
Their Story Joshua Nichols and Andrew Gaule met when Josh was working as a stylist and Andrew’s aunt brought him in for a trim. Josh ended up being Andrew’s hairstylist for years before they began dating. One day when Andrew was back in town on business, the pair met for a drink at Just John. They found a quiet corner and talked for hours, planning a second date before finishing their first cocktail. Both are very ambitious and driven in their respective careers; Andrew is organized and logical while Josh tends to be more creative and spontaneous. In other words, they felt their personalities complemented each other perfectly.
After the couple did long-distance between Chicago and St. Louis for a while, Josh knew he had to get Andrew to St. Louis for good. During one of Andrew’s visits, Josh arranged a dinner Downtown and then brought Andrew to the Arch grounds, where he knelt down on one knee and popped the question directly under the historical monument. Andrew accepted, and onlookers of the magical moment applauded the couple.
Going green When looking for a venue, the couple wanted a location that evoked history and thought there was no better place in the city than the World’s Fair Pavilion in Forest Park. Later, they were told that they were the first same-sex couple to host a wedding ceremony and reception in the historic setting.
The duo chose a classic black and white color scheme with emerald green as a bold accent. Best friends served as maids of honor, wearing emerald dresses of their choice, and each of the guys’ brothers served as their best men in black suits with emerald ties. The ring bearer was the couple’s rescue dog, Kiki, dressed in a matching emerald bandana. Botanicals on the Park created boutonnières and bouquets of dendrobium orchids with sprinklings of white hydrangeas for the reception tables. As a surprise, wedding planner Leslie Schultz gave pashmina scarves in black, white and emerald to all of the guests to keep warm. Though the weather held up perfectly, everyone wore their scarves throughout the evening anyway.
Dainty Delicacies Because restaurant owners Natasha Creel and Emily Matthes are good friends of the couple, Roxane in Clayton provided the catering. Josh and Andrew wanted all of their favorite foods in a cocktail setting with no sit-down dinner. Options included chicken and waffle sliders, tomato bisque shooters with grilled cheese croutons, smoked trout, Frida’s veggie burgers, tuna tartare on wonton strips, grilled vegetable salad, hummus and crudités. The cake was created by the couple’s favorite bakery, La Patisserie Chouquette in Tower Grove. It was tall and looked like hand-stamped black leather featuring both vanilla bean with espresso buttercream and dark chocolate with gianduja buttercream. The bakery also made custom macaroons in an emerald shade flavored with absinthe for guests to take home.
Emotional Affair Josh and Andrew held their ceremony on a gorgeous autumn evening. As they exchanged vows, the sun set and transformed the sky and landscape into a breathtaking backdrop. The ceremony was written personally by the couple’s close friend, and by the end of it, there wasn’t a dry eye in the crowd. During another memorable moment, Andrew’s grandfather recited a sentimental reading for them. As soon as dusk fell, everyone lit up sparklers on the outskirts of the pavilion, creating a beautiful end to the ceremony.
Romantic Remix The couple chose “Your Song” for their first dance. They both loved the song, originally recorded by Elton John, and when they found a recent version by Ellie Goulding, they knew it would fit their nuptials perfectly. Their friend Ed Schultz served as DJ for the rest of the reception. Tunes started off with jazz standards and escalated to party remixes that kept everyone on the dance floor all night.
Photo credit: Christal Kelley Photography