As owners of Urban Orchid, Jeff Zelmer, 50, and Brandon Sitler, 37, have crafted their lives around the wedding industry as local florists. In January when the U.S. Supreme Court announced it would take the case for same-sex marriage, the couple of 11 years pre-emptively canceled their Santa Barbara, California, wedding and booked the Union Club for Sept. 18 in the hopes they could get married at home.
Jeff: "For me, the idea of gay marriage was more difficult to conceptualize than it was for Brandon. I had never in my life thought it would ever be a possibility. I really needed to get my hands around it, and think about it, and understand it and make sure we were doing it for the right reasons. I didn't want all of a sudden the life that we had with each other to be diminished or discounted prior to us actually getting married. At the end of the day, you just want to be happy with the person that you love. That's all that's important."
Brandon: "I don't think either of us was expecting it to go as well as it did, but I knew after the first date we were going to be together forever. I had always imagined myself getting married and marrying Jeff, but I had in the back of my head that Jeff would never get married. I didn't want to have some ceremony that didn't really mean anything other than to us, because everybody already knew we were together and knew we loved each other. Two years ago, we went to London. I had in my head that I was going to propose, because I didn't care if it was legal or not, but Jeff proposed. I feel like we're running this course that was already predestined for us. Everything seems to be lining up and falling into place."