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These Grooms Asked Everyone to Wear White to Their Charleston Wedding

By Shayna Seid | Photography by 

Cameron Hinkle

Michael Damir Stettner-Palacios and Ian Jacob Stettner-Palacios, of the blog I Love That For You, met on the gay dating app, Jack’d. “We found out later, we were at the same concert in Houston, front row, and separated by 13 people,” Ian says. After being together for five years, Ian proposed to Michael at the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina, which they fell in love with during their first hurricane evacuation from their home in Charleston. 

When planning their wedding, Fox Events showed them three possible locations, and they fell in love with the last one—The Governor Thomas Bennett House. “We wanted to bring the gardens of the Thomas Bennett house inside for a modern, flowerless aesthetic to marry the old and new,” Ian says. “Our entire color palette was white, black, gold and green.” To match their modern theme, SAS-E Ink created their entire invitation suite, menu, and name cards. 

“Nothing about our wedding was necessarily traditional, but [we] knew that the decades old Berlin’s in Charleston could give us the classic look we would match in,” Ian says of finding their wedding looks. “After referencing a photo of a vintage, velvet green dinner jacket, our clothier and Ian quickly selected a velvet Hickey Freeman Olive swatch,” Michael explains. The dinner jackets were paired with crisp white tuxedo shirts, tailored black pants, and oversized bow ties.

In an unconventional move, the two instructed all of their wedding party and guests to wear white to their wedding. “Since a bride wasn’t present, we wanted to turn the tradition on its head and use white to honor all of the women in our life who have made an impact on our upbringing,” Michael says. “Ian built an entire Pinterest Board of ‘White Wedding Attire’ with links to retailers and brands for reference.” He also kept a shared note of everyone’s picks, so no one would show up wearing the same thing. 

On the day-of, the two walked down the custom black aisle in the backyard of the historic home. “Gay marriage wasn’t legal when we started dating, so there was a moment, when we exchanged our vows, that our minister reminded us to be the voice and pillar of our community, and that really made me thankful to be able to marry the love of my life,” Ian says. Once officially married, the cocktail hour started with delicious and refreshing margaritas. 

Everyone then enjoyed the various dinner stations, while the “best women” gave heartfelt speeches. Emerald Empire Band had guests on their feet for the rest of the night after that. “You know those weddings where people are sitting while the wedding party is trying to pull people up to dance?” Ian asks. “This wasn’t that wedding. I didn’t see one person use a chair after dinner.”

The newlyweds had their first dance to Rihanna’s “Love on the Brain,” and once the party finally came to an end, they were whisked away in a white 1948 convertible Oldsmobile to their suite at Hotel Bennett.

Since Ian and Michael only got married in February, their honeymoon has taken place in their home over the past three months, due to COVID-19. Once it’s declared safe enough to travel, they’re planning on taking a trip to Greece.