Ian Prosser and Joseph Duncan have often mused, “Who would have thought,” after a serendipitous encounter nine years ago. As two lives at opposite ends of the spectrum – Ian is an internationally acclaimed leader in the floral industry and Joseph, a software consultant in healthcare – they still became the best of friends.
“YOU GOT THIS PAPA.”
When Ian decided to propose, he secretly planned every detail. It was to happen with a lone bagpiper playing from the Edinburg Castle ramparts as the fireworks finale began at the end of The Royal Edinburg Military Tattoo on an August evening in 2020.
Their trip to Scotland had been planned months in advance, but a little thing called Covid-19 brought the best laid plans to ruin. Undaunted, Ian made other plans for a domestic holiday to pop the question. Charleston, SC was selected, and once again, Ian was busy planning the perfect moment.
When the engagement day arrived, Ian was getting nervous as the day wore on, whereas Joseph remained blithefully unaware as to what was about to happen. In a spontaneous moment, Ian asked a gentleman to take their picture in front of the iconic pineapple fountain in the Waterfront Park. Joseph wanted to get the picture taken quickly, but Ian started reciting a well-rehearsed speech. Even during the speech, Joseph was completely unaware of what was transpiring until Ian dropped to one knee and held up a ring.
The wedding planning process began right after the proposal. Both Ian and Joseph assumed planning a wedding would be an easy process since Ian is in the event business; but they soon realized it was quite different being on the client side of the desk. Ian’s daughter, Zoë, stepped into the role of planner. Knowing all wedding industry eyes would be on his wedding, Ian made sure no detail was left to chance.
The wedding day could not have been more perfect – truly a glorious and love-filled day. Ian and Joseph had a leisurely morning, followed by lunch with the groomsmen. Their house was bustling with activity after lunch as the grooms-to-be and the groomsmen got ready. With the photographers and videographers poised to capture every moment, it was time for Ian and Joseph to see each other for a “first look” and exchange gifts. Emotions were running deep and a few tears were shed as they read the letters each had written to the other before both grooms produced identical David Yurman gift boxes.
It’s not as common for same-sex couples to have a fairy tale wedding, but that is just what Ian and Joseph experienced. From the moment the vintage Bentley picked them up, the magic began. Ian and Joseph planned a formal Scottish church ceremony – complete with pipe organ, piano, trumpets, violin, and the church’s Chancel Choir. Joseph was escorted by his eldest son, and his younger son was his best man. Ian was escorted by two of his grandsons, and his eldest grandson was his best man. The ceremony was very emotional at times, especially as the violinist played Ian’s late mother’s favorite hymn prior to their vows. Ian’s granddaughter, Juliette, was the flower girl. When she realized he was choking up, she quietly said to him, “You got this Papa.”
The reception that followed was nothing less than stunning. The theme for the evening was a sultry and sophisticated Palm Beach look with a masculine color palette of black, greys, plum, smokey amethyst and a touch of magenta. A waterfall of orchids cascading from the grand piano greeted guests as they entered the country club’s foyer. A fresh floral “painting”, inspired by the table linen, also hung behind the custom bar during cocktail hour. In place of a card table, guests were escorted to their table by the couple’s children, and the couple’s son-in-law was the Maître d.
The ballroom was breathtaking with towering tropical table arrangements and table boas filled with tropical fruit, flowers, and foliage running down the center of each feasting table. A second custom bar, with coordinating custom stage front, dance floor wrap and three lounge areas completed the look. The couple’s custom duogram was incorporated everywhere possible, from the designer chocolates to the custom embroidered bistro aprons for the wait staff.
After everyone was seated, the happy couple was introduced and performed their choreographed dance to “At Last.” Ian and Joseph did not want typical banquet food for dinner, so they selected various Charleston dishes they enjoyed during their engagement holiday. In between dinner courses, the couple’s two oldest grandsons gave the most heartfelt speeches. They both spoke of their love for the newlyweds, their Papa (Ian) coming out at this stage in his life, and a big welcome to Jofus (Joseph’s name among the grandchildren) into the family that left most everyone in tears.
When dinner was over, the grooms led the way to the dance floor to “Get This Party Started,” and Juliette had a particularly special moment when she got up on stage to “help” the band sing “Sweet Caroline.” The evening concluded with confetti canon explosions, a bag piper, and a host of family and friends cheering the newlyweds on as the Bentley whisked them away.
Floral & Event Design: Botanica International Design & Décor Tampa, FL;
Linens: Nuage Designs, Miami, FL