It’s not a joke, it’s the quintessential San Diego wedding reception, and it’s going down this evening at Onyx Room in the Gaslamp.
“I’m half-Irish,” says the Cuban guy.
Earlier today, the cop, police lieutenant Phillip Collum, married the Cuban/Irish gent, my BCF, William Lopez. Pastor Rich McCullen performed the ceremony at Missiongathering Christian Church in North Park.
“Being a pastor who happens to be a gay man, it was an absolutely amazing experience,” says McCullen, having just presided over the second gay wedding of his career. “I just had to remember not to say, ‘You may now kiss your bride.’”
When the couple walked down the aisle, Rebecca Jade, the former singer from the house band at Anthology (remember that jazz bar in Little Italy?) sang the 1978 Heatwave hit, “Always and Forever.”
During the vows (see “Side Dish,” further down), there wasn’t a dry eye in the house.
After the pastor said, “You may now kiss your husband,” the couple walked back up the aisle, shaking their hips to the jazz trio’s performance of Emeli Sandé's “Next to Me” as the congregation cheered in their jubilant wake.
“Our guest list was 14 homos and 61 straight people,” says Lopez, several cocktails in and dancing in front of the DJ at Onyx.
Lopez owns Alternative Strategies, a hospitality-focused advertising and PR agency, so the reception is catered to the nines by seven San Diego restaurants.
On the menu...
Sesame seared albacore with house made kimchi and teriyaki sauce, and house-made garlic barley pretzels with poblano beer-cheddar sauce and whole grain honey-porter mustard from barleymash in the Gaslamp.
Sweet crawfish and cheesy grits with Cajun cream sauce, and smoked braised short rib over potatoes with reduction and roasted garlic purée from Brazen BBQ in Hillcrest .
Beer-braised short ribs with a merlot and vanilla reduction, wild mushroom and English peas from Kitchen 4140 in Bay Park.
Chicken mole and shrimp enchiladas served with rice, refried beans, guacamole, chips and salsa from Ortega’s Mexican Bistro in Hillcrest.
Spinach and chicken Mac & Cheese, and shrimp and grits with jalapeño red onions and cilantro from West Coast Tavern in North Park.
Seafood paella (shrimp, fish, scallops, mussels, calamari, garlic, shallots, saffron risotto) and ceviche from Viva Bar + Kitchen in the Gaslamp.
Various custom cupcakes (red velvet with cream cheese frosting, peanut butter and jelly, carrot cake with cream cheese frosting, chocolate cake with German chocolate topping) and French macaroons for dessert from D Bar in Hillcrest.
Radio station promotions director Kiku Boyance (Energy 103.7 and KyXy 96.5) handled the wedding planning; Epic Limo provided the transportation. It’s your basic incredible night on the Finest City town.
While everyone else is eating, Collum, always the calm one (and undoubtedly the better half, for as long as they both shall live), speaks quietly.
“After the vows were complete, when rings were exchanged, and when we had finished our lifelong commitment and promises in the presence of our family and loved ones,” he says, “at that point, the finality of the event and the sealing of our union struck me as being complete, and I was filled with a sense of great joy and wholeness.”
As the crowd gathers to listen to toasts by two best men, Collum has a surprise. When he wasn’t protecting and serving during the past couple months, he was filming, editing and producing a serenade video of himself and the couple’s closest friends and family members lip-syncing a San Diego-centric version of the Bruno Mars hit “Marry You.”
Hearing the wedding party’s response to the video (see it here), you’d think Mr. Mars himself had entered the room.
Seven popular restaurants, one Gaslamp nightclub, two new husbands and one incredible night in San Diego - add that up, give it a poetic twist, and what do you have? A dine of the times.
Take a big bite out of PacificSD’s Dining Issue, dear Reader. This beeotch is tasty, and dinner is officially served.
William’s vows to Phillip...
Phillip, I take you to be my partner in life, from this time onward; to join with you and to share all that is to come; to be, to give and to receive; to speak and to listen; to inspire and to respond - a commitment made in love, kept in faith and eternally made new.
Phillip, you are the most beautiful, smart and generous person I have ever known, and I promise always to respect you. With kindness, unselfishness and trust, I will work by your side to create a wonderful life together. I promise to love you in good times and in bad, when life seems easy and when it seems hard, when our love is simple, and when it is an effort. I promise to cherish you, and to always hold you in highest regard.
Phillip, I love you. You are my best friend. Today I give myself to you in marriage. I promise to encourage and inspire you, to laugh with you, to be patient with you, to work together with you to achieve our goals, to accept you unconditionally and to comfort you in times of sorrow and struggle. These things I give to you today, and all the days of our lives.
Phillip vows to William...
I, Phillip, take you, William, to be my husband, partner and my one and only true love for life. In doing so, I make this solemn vow of everlasting love, to be a faithful partner in sickness and in health, in times of joy and times of sorrow. I promise to love you unconditionally, to support you in your goals, to uplift you in your challenges, to celebrate your achievements, to honor and respect you, to laugh with you and to cry with you, and to cherish you for as long as we both shall live.
I am eager to grow together, to know the man you are today and get to know the man you will become, and continue to fall deeper in love each day. I promise to love and cherish you through whatever life may bring us. You are my one true love now and forever.