Wedding Bells at Watermark: Matthew Riha and Brian Smith

By : Samantha Rosenthal
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Both originally from the Windy City, Matthew and Brian have known each other for 15 years. In 2009, they moved to Winter Park, met a new group of friends and finally decided to officially tie the knot.

“I think that both Brian and I have been very lucky to live in a space where we spent most of our lives and we’ve always felt accepted—by our family members, by our friends, by our co-workers and by our employers,” Matthew says.

Matthew, a branch manager for Robert Half, and Brian, the owner and executive producer of 82 South, had a commitment ceremony in 2008 for family and friends. Seven years later, they made it official when marriage equality arrived in Florida.

“We wanted to share this moment with our Florida friends and family who we had an opportunity to gain a friendship with,” Brian says. “As far as the ceremony went, we really just wanted to throw a party to celebrate. We did have an area where people sat down and we shared our vows.”

They called their March 7 ceremony “Wedding 2.0”; they wanted it to be more intimate and also a social event for their closest family and friends. Both of their parents and siblings were there, along with 100 of their closest family and friends. They put together a compilation of photos and stories that show their similarities and differences since childhood.

“That took us through our journey of our 15 years of knowing each other, and it was kind of fun to share that with everyone before the wedding,” Brian says.

Both Brian and Matthew agreed that saying their vows in front of people that were closest to them was their favorite part of Wedding 2.0 because it involved more than the two grooms.

“My favorite thing about Brian is he’s incredibly creative, and he is literally my anchor,” Matthew says. “I’m an outspoken and very demanding. I am always looking for ways to make things better, and Brian kind of helps to anchor that and guide me in directions and keep me under control.”

The couple are wine fans, which is why they picked Quantum Leap Winery as the venue for their wedding. Matthew said the rustic feeling and being “surrounded by wine barrels and very intimate lighting” was the perfect way to share their love for each other.

With the two being wine lovers, it’s no surprise they will spend their honeymoon this summer in Napa Valley. They travel to there every year for vacation, but plan to stay for an extended time—with a special reason to raise a glass.

YEARS TOGETHER:

15 years

WEDDING DATE:

March 7,2015

WEDDING VENUE:

Quantum Leap Winery

WEDDING PLANNER:

Matthew and John put together their entire wedding.

WEDDING CATERER:

John Michael Events

WEDDING THEME/COLORS:

They called it “Wedding 2.0,” and had a rustic theme. They asked guests to wear navy, gray or khaki.

INTERESTING FACT:

They are both board members for Orlando’s Come Out With Pride.

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