Toby Willis (left) & Will Taylor at home | Photography by Jean-Laurent Gaudy
Their engagement photos aren’t a grand, planned affair. Instead of overly-posed nuzzling and gimmicky scenes, they opted for casual socked-feet under a table at their home, and a rain boot-clad stroll through the woods. After being together for more than eight years, Will Taylor and Toby Willis were happy to spend a casual afternoon with someone who just happened to be taking pictures. “It was sort of an everyday-thing you might do with your partner,” Taylor said of the day photographer Jean-Laurent Gaudy came over to their apartment and just hung out with them. “He wanted it to be natural.”
Of course, having such a scenic space to “be natural” in helps. Will Taylor is the founder of Bright Bazaar, an interior design blog he started in 2009 that emphasizes the use of color in the design process. So the kitchen and living area of his apartment that he and his fiancé are shown in are impeccably decorated (as evidenced in videos) with just the right amount of pigment—and his 400,000 monthly readers and 2.6 million Pinterest followers, the audience that inspired him to write a book by the same name as his blog, are sure to agree.
The book, Bright Bazaar: Embracing Color for Make-You-Smile Style, was published this spring, and takes a page from his blog when it comes to advice. The opening section helps you build your “color confidence” and bring you out your beige haze. Taylor augments the popular “Color Cocktails” section of the blog, by elaborating on the architecture and color combinations he’s seen on his travels that inspire each palette suggestion. He concludes with ideas for specific rooms of the house including living rooms, kitchens, bathrooms, bedrooms and outside living spaces. Using color as a focus instead of specific pieces or trends gives the book a bit of timelessness and something Taylor hopes will prove to be a true investment.
Don’t expect a rigid adherence to tradition during the occasion, however. Will likes the fact that gay weddings have less of an expectation when it comes to custom. “We felt like it was just an open book to create the celebration we wanted,” he said. While they’re keeping the exchanging of rings and overall outline of the ceremony, instead of bridesmaids they’ll have “best girls,” and they still haven’t decided if they’re going to have a cake or share a first dance yet. One tradition that his fiancé made sure they kept was how surprised Will was when he was proposed to by Toby.
The pair was spending some time in Paris in December 2012 and Will off-handedly mentioned all of the things women go through and the decisions they make when they get married. Toby told him they had to buy a house together first and settle down before they could even think of marriage. Taylor agreed and was effectively thrown off the scent until later that night, on top of the Centre Pompidou, when Toby proposed that the two get married. “The whole thing was quite funny,” Taylor chuckles as he recalls obliviously taking pictures and selfies moments before it happened.
The couple has only had about a month of collective planning for their big day. But Taylor, who only got back 10 days ago from a six-week book tour across the United States, said that after eight and a half years together, things are just sliding into place with few disagreements.