Newly-engaged couple Jonathan Bennett and Jaymes Vaughan made history when they appeared on the new cover of The Knot magazine's Summer 2021 issue. It's the first time the leading wedding publication has featured a LGBTQ+ couple on its cover, and the two did not disappoint as they dished about how they met, the importance of their wedding to the larger LGBTQ+ community, and how they responded to one bigoted resort owner who refused to allow them to marry at his hotel.
Bennett (Mean Girls and Hallmark's The Christmas House) revealed he fell in love at first sight when he was interviewed by Vaughan on Celebrity Page.
"I had never heard of him before, but when I saw him setting up to do the interview, I thought he was the most beautiful man I'd ever seen," Bennett told The Knot, moments later asking Vaughan's producer "am I about to meet my future husband?"
She agreed, of course, and it didn't take Vaughan much longer to share the spark. The two exchanged numbers and had their first date later that same day.
Bennett may have been the first to see wedding plans on the horizon for the two, but it was the former Chippendale Vaughan who sealed the deal by writing and performing a special song as a marriage proposal. Bennett said he "began to ugly cry" when Vaughan sang the proposal.
The pair envisioned a beautiful wedding that broke away from tradition, Bennett revealed, "outside, near the ocean, up on this beautiful platform alongside a tropical jungle. Simple and classic with a masculine vibe. And roses."
They had always planned to get married in Mexico at the Palace Resorts, but the owner refused saying marriage between two men violated his morals.
"That was a sucker punch to the gut," Bennett admitted, but the pair refused to be denied and instead used the experience as motivation to create an even more visible and inclusive wedding.
"We decided in that moment that our wedding was bigger than us," Bennett said. "It's our wedding, but it isn't just about us. It's about the LGBTQ+ community. We're really making a point to make this wedding very loud on purpose."
"We knew we could go to the UNICO Hotel, because on social and in their marketing, they have shown us that we're welcome there," Vaughan added. "When we first started talking about having our wedding there, they were excited for us, which is what everyone's wedding is supposed to be."
The pair revealed they brought that same sense of communal purpose with the design of their rings.
"There really isn't a precedent for two guys," Vaughan explained. "I knew we were both going to want to wear rings to say we're engaged. But it felt silly to have a ring that we didn't wear later, so I teamed up with Kay Jewelers and designed one. When you wear the ring diamond-side out, the world sees we're engaged. When we get married, it flips and the diamonds face us, because my world is more beautiful with you in it forever.
"NAILED IT!" Bennett exclaimed in agreement.
Vaughan also revealed they chose Kay Jewelers in part because they have stores across the country, and "now the community knows that this safe space has been created."