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Nuptials for the New Normal

Josue Hernandez and Jason Trippier tied the knot as friends joined them via Zoom.

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Josue Hernandez and Jason Trippier

Chalk it up to Murphy’s Law: if anything can go wrong, it will.

But Murphy couldn’t stop two people in love from following their hearts. That’s the story behind Jason Trippier and Josue Hernandez Gonzalez’s whirlwind wedding plans.

The two met through OkCupid and decided to take their online flirtation to the next level by meeting for a glass of wine at Brasil, a favorite Montrose hangout on Dunlavy.

“Jason only wanted a glass of wine, because he didn’t want to commit to a meal without knowing me. But I was hungry after my CrossFit class, so I ordered food. I didn’t realize what I ordered had onions on top. I went ahead and ate it in front of him. That was one of the things he didn’t expect me to do,” Josue admits.

“Of course, I saw the onions and thought there wouldn’t be a first kiss—and there wasn’t,” Jason recalls. “But after that, we continued to go on dates and have been together ever since June 8, 2016.”

June 8 continues to be a lucky date for the couple, as it has marked several significant events in their relationship. On June 8, 2017, they celebrated their first anniversary. Their engagement party took place June 8, 2019, and they were married on June 8, 2020.

But just like the onion that took Jason by surprise on their first date, last month’s wedding plans took more than a few unexpected turns. The couple wanted to celebrate their nuptials in Provincetown, Massachusetts, where they had enjoyed previous vacations.

“We wanted the wedding to be small and intimate. We were focused on the immediate family and best friends,” Jason says. “We rented a house on the beach, we had a caterer established, and we were going to have a New England clambake. We had purchased our flights to Boston and were going to buy our passes for the ferry to P-town. We were selecting flowers. The invitations had already been sent out, and everyone RSVP’d.”

Enter COVID-19.

“Around mid-March, we had to put things on a temporary hold and figure out what was going to happen. We didn’t cancel anything immediately because we wanted to see the impact COVID-19 was going to have,” Jason explains. “We ended up canceling P-town on April 30 because we figured it was unsafe to ask people to travel. None of the venues were open, and you couldn’t have events with more than 10 people. It wasn’t the time to have a wedding.”

The couple entertained the idea of waiting a year, but as time drifted on they liked that idea less and less.

Josue says, “We thought about what would happen if we got COVID-19. In that situation, they wouldn’t let us visit [one another] in the hospital. Because of the uncertainty, we wanted to make sure we had that protection. We thought we could still get married this year using technology, and we could embark on this adventure.”

The couple decided to have a local wedding on their lucky day—June 8—and try to keep the details as close as possible to their original plans. But it was a race against the clock to get everything organized. First on their to-do list was the marriage license.

“One of the biggest hurdles was that Harris County was only issuing marriage licenses by appointment, and they were booked through July 13. We looked at Montgomery County, but they were only giving them to county residents,” Jason explains. “So, we looked at Galveston County and drove there in May to get our marriage license. We wanted to make sure we had it, because there is a 72-hour waiting period before you could use the license.”

Jason continues, “We had some hesitation, especially when traveling to Galveston County, because we didn’t know how we’d be received there. Would there be any discrimination for two men asking for a marriage license? But they were professional and congratulatory. We didn’t have any problems, and everybody bent over backwards to help us.”

Then the rush to finalize the details began.

“We rented a house on Bolivar Peninsula so that we could be married near the beach. We found Rev. Faith Thomas, who performs LGBTQ weddings, and she was willing to travel to the Island. Then we found a florist who was so gracious to help us on such short notice,” Jason explains.

Josue mentions they were able to get a cake made within three days, which was especially miraculous because he is lactose intolerant and the baker faced supply shortages due to COVID-19. They also received help from a professional cellist friend who doubled as a Zoom administrator for the livestreamed ceremony.

Jason says, “Connie helped us with everyone who called into Zoom. She also invited a pianist to her apartment, so we had classical music for the ceremony.” By special request, the duo played “Lover” by Taylor Swift.

The couple was able to welcome online guests from across four states and two countries. The newlyweds say that one of the positives of the last-minute solution was that they were able to share their special moment with friends who would not have traveled to Provincetown.

When it becomes safe to gather again, the couple would still like to enjoy a celebration with friends. “We are planning to go to Provincetown on our one-year anniversary,” Jason says. “We hope to celebrate in person next year with the group we had invited this year.”

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Sam Byrd

Sam Byrd is a freelance contributor to Outsmart who loves to take in all of Houston’s sights, sounds, food and fun. He also loves helping others to discover Houston’s rich culture. Speaking of Houston, he's never heard a Whitney Houston song he didn't like.

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