San Francisco gay couple opens up about exchanging wedding vows on TV
Most wedding-bound couples have a rehearsal dinner. Brandon Styles and Kevin Masek had a dress rehearsal concert with Madonna.
According to Brandon, getting married at the Grammys was “totally surreal.” They joined 32 other couples, gay and straight, who walked down the aisles during Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’s live performance of “Same Love” with special guests Mary Lambert, Madonna and Queen Latifah.
Brandon and his husband first got asked to participate in the historic live television event on Christmas Day, after a friend had referred them to The Casting Firm.
“At the beginning we weren’t told very much. It was all very cryptic and we had to sign NDAs,” Brandon said. “All we knew is that we were going to get legally married, so we had to file for a marriage certificate.”
The couple first met on Match.com two years ago and got engaged in August 2013. It wasn’t their plan to get married so soon after their engagement, but the opportunity to make TV history was too good to pass up. Throughout the initial planning, however, Brandon said that he still felt a sense producers and execs might pull the plug on the marriages out of fear of backlash.
“It didn’t really hit me until we got to the Staples Center and did the dress rehearsal with Madonna,” he said.
During the actual Grammys, the 33 couples were held in a tent backstage where they got to meet Paul McCartney and Ariana Grande, who jumped up and down with joy and congratulated the couples.
Even though live television can be a frazzled affair behind-the-scenes, Brandon said he vividly remembers walking in during the last chorus of “Same Love.”
“You could hear the roar of the crowd, a deep rumbling,” he said. “Then everyone got up and I lost it.”
Because this was the first time anything like this had ever happened, Brandon confessed to feeling a little nervous about the reaction the marriages would get from the A-List attendees. Those worries were levitated shortly after Brandon saw Jennifer Lawrence.
“When we exchanged the rings, I could Jennifer Lawrence sobbing,” he said. “It was the type of crying where your diaphragm can’t handle it. Celebrities seem so detached that I really wasn’t expecting them to be moved to tears. It was humanizing.”
With this type of romantic exposure, however, comes the cynics.
After the telecast, Lena Dunham tweeted: “Don’t wanna be a pessimist but I’ll be you anything that half the couples who got married at the Grammys are looking for agents.” Just as a disclaimer: I did not find Brandon and Kevin through an agent or publicist.
Perhaps more damaging, stories about the Grammy marriages have been floored with homophobic comment, but Brandon doesn’t let it ruin his special moment.
“I’m strong and I won’t be emotionally crippled by people who don’t even know me,” he said. “In the end, making that statement was totally worth it.”
And as for another controversial topic of the night, Queen Latifah?
“Didn’t she come out? I thought this whole time that a lesbian had married me,” Brandon said. “I wouldn’t be surprised if she showed up at Dinah Shore this year.”
Brandon and Kevin plan to have another more intimate wedding ceremony with immediate family and close friends and without Jennifer Lawrence.
“It will be more traditional this time,” he said.