Together for 10 years before marriage, Rich and Charlie knew tying the knot would take their relationship to a new level.
“I was going to propose at a fancy restaurant in Venice,” says Rich Kuntz, also known to many in the LGBTQ community as Gidget Galore, “but the gondola ride was just too good to pass up.”
When he proposed to his partner of 10 years, Charlie Becker, as the gondolier was singing through the Venetian canals, “it was about as romantic as it gets,” says Becker.
The pair met at Parliament House, introduced by their friend, Mickey Stone. Mickey also officiated their wedding ceremony, complete with a poem comprised solely of Madonna lyrics. Charlie was visiting from up north, where he was living at the time. The day after they met, the three went to the Epcot Food & Wine Festival. “Between the wine and the Expose concert, we fell in love,” says Kuntz. Six months later, Charlie moved to Orlando.
Charlie sent Rich a stuffed turtle named Edgar to keep him company while the couple dated long distance. Once Charlie moved in, he loved how Rich would start singing first thing in the morning. “I’m not a morning person, but I found that charming,” says Becker.
“Marriage never seemed like an option,” they say. But once it was legalized, it seemed much more within reach. “We knew we would get married someday,” they recall. Being in the entertainment and spectacle industry, Rich was certainly excited about planning a bash.
On July 24, 2015, during their vacation to Italy, Charlie said yes on that gondola in Venice. “[Rich] planned the whole thing: bought the ring, asked my parents, everything. I had no idea. I was the only one in Orlando, it seems, who didn’t know it was coming,” says Charlie.
They decided on a rustic barn-style wedding in November 2017. “We were pretty in sync during the planning,” says Charlie. “This is kind of what Rich does, so he shouldered the bulk of the work.” They did most of the planning and execution themselves, down to the flowers, which they bought wholesale and arranged themselves, stocking the bar, buying the linens. Their friend Marcy catered and made the wedding cake. They didn’t have a planner, but their friend Doug White oversaw the event on the day of the wedding. Rich credits Dax and Derek from Live Fusion Entertainment for setting the mood for the wedding.
“The day is kind of a blur at this point,” says Charlie, “but it was so great to have all our family and friends there.” The couple’s dog, Kaiser, barked through most of the ceremony. Rich was thrilled that the day looked and went just how he’d planned. “We wanted a fun gathering for our family and closest friends, and that’s what we got!” he says.
Since they’d been together for so long before getting hitched, they didn’t anticipate their relationship changing that much. When asked what being married has been like since the wedding, they say, “we’d lived together for 10 years, so we were pretty much as married as you can get before the wedding. But we’ll let you know after we file our taxes this year.”
ENGAGEMENT DATE: July 24, 2015
WEDDING DATE: November 22, 2017
VENUE: Winter Park Farmer’s Market
FLOWERS: Autumn-colored circus roses, red rover mums, and other fall foliage. Purchased at Carlstedt’s Wholesale Florist and self-arranged.
COLORS: Orange, brown, and sky blue
WEDDING SONG and ARTIST: “Fields of Gold” by Eva Cassidy
DJ or BAND NAME: Dax and Derek from Live Fusion Entertainment
CATERING & CAKE: Marcy Singhaus
OFFICIANT: Mickey Stone
CAKE FLAVORS: Maple pound cake, chocolate with raspberry, and carrot.
PHOTOGRAPHER: Loc Robertson Photography
EVENT RENTAL: Kirby Rentals