Wedding Bells: Eddie Cooper and John Ryan

By : Samantha Rosenthal
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“It was the most perfect night ever,” Eddie says about their wedding. “Everybody had so much fun, and they laughed and they cried. Literally, every single person came up and said it was the best wedding they’ve ever been to.”

Eddie Cooper, who is a realtor for Mainframe Real Estate and the general manager of The Eo Inn, and John Ryan, who is a stage manager at Universal Orlando and a playwright, have been together for more than 10 years. They met during Christmastime at the then-Peacock Room during a monthly local performance night. John was performing at the event a spoof from Cabaret where he was dressed as one of Santa’s elves. Eddie was at the event to support the host Miss Sammy, who he is good friends with.

They ended up talking that evening, and the rest was history.

“I think we progressed a lot faster than any one of us anticipated. It just seemed like the right thing, even though neither one of us was looking for a serious relationship at that moment. We ended up moving in together within six months, which seemed like a crazy idea at the time,” John says.

John says that their relationship grew slowly and organically to the point where they basically felt married already after being together for so many years, despite being able to be legally married not being an option just yet.

“We literally both laughed when I got on one knee because we both already knew we were going to get married, so it wasn’t necessarily a surprise,” Eddie says about his proposal in December 2011.

When they finally decided to start planning their wedding, which was after same-sex marriage became legal in all 50 states, they made sure they were going to do it right and make it the big production and memorable evening they both wanted.

“I wrote the ceremony as if it was a musical telling the story of our lives together,” John says. “Our officiant was a local actress, so she was able to deliver that with the flair we were expecting. Our friends sang songs and sort of commented on our own story and relationship.”

Eddie was in charge of the other elements of the wedding that brought everything together, but, overall, the couple planned their entire wedding out together. When the day came, neither was nervous but very excited to share the special day with their loved ones.

They closed the wedding ceremony with a sing-a-long, where they passed out sheet music to “The Best of Times” by Jerry Herman from the musical La Cage Aux Folles. John says it was one of his favorite moments of the wedding where there was just “love and happiness bouncing all around the walls of The Abbey.”

YEARS TOGETHER: More than 10 years

ENGAGEMENT DATE: December 8, 2011

WEDDING DATE: April 15, 2017

WEDDING VENUE: The Abbey

WEDDING CATERER: Cocktails Catering

WEDDING PLANNER: The couple

WEDDING COLORS: Purple, gold, silver and black

OUR SONG: “Make You Feel My Love” originally by Bob Dylan and recently covered by Adele

INTERESTING FACT: The couple decided to make their wedding a performance piece full of songs. They had some of Orlando’s top singers and musicians perform. Local leading lady Peg O’Keef was their officiant.

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