Photos by Gruber Photographers | Courtesy Nick Denton
It's not many weddings that end with 250 guests enjoying a front-row seat on a trip through the solar system, but for New Media baron Nick Denton, 47, and actor Derrence Washington, 31, there are no final frontiers.
Who else would even consider booking the American Museum of Natural History for their wedding, let alone ushering those guests into the museum's Hayden Planetarium for a 40-minute trip through the stars? But for Denton and Washington—whose nuptials were punctuated with readings from Frank "Dune" Herbert and Carl Sagan—sending guests home with a reminder of the vastness of the universe (and the magnitude of love) was all part of the plan.
The two men, who have been an item since 2012 (for a longer version, read the NYTimes.com Vows story) when they met at a party thrown by Denton, provided guests with some of the most emotional vows since Mr Darcy proposed to Elizabeth Bennett. Except these were real, not fictional. For those who thought they knew Denton, the founder of Gawker, Jezebel, and Gizmodo, among other remorselessly skeptical websites, the tears may have come as a surprise.
Delivering his vow, Denton, speaking as much to the audience as to Washington, explained how as a child he'd focussed on being successful as a consolation for what he thought would never be his: love and marriage. “You saved my life and then you changed my life,” Washington said in response, before breaking into song and playfully quoting from Jay-Z's "Ain't No Nigga". Washington, who has peformed in plays as diverse as Richard III (in the title role) and British import The Future, was easily in command of his audience (if not his tears).
Later, Mr, Denton, senior, who had flown in from his native Yorkshire, England, spoke of his pride at being at his "gay son's" wedding. Like his son, he, too, may not have expected to witness the day. In the words of the officiant, Benjamin Seaman (in daylight hours, the couple's therapist), from that evening on, no-one present would be able to describe themselves as a GWV, or gay wedding virgin, again.