Zack Ryan: Clear and Present Marriage

Photo courtesy of Pat Klaers.
Photo courtesy of Pat Klaers.

Zack Klaers and Ryan Miller were not necessarily looking to get married when they met on Grindr. They are both young —23 and 19 respectively —and Grindr does not exactly have a reputation as a place to find long-term commitment. When the two realized exactly what they had and decided that they wanted to get married they started planning —which proved a little more difficult than usual considering that they were making plans in the middle of a pandemic. In order to simplify things, the two grooms made a decision that neither could have anticipated: a destination wedding. In Las Vegas.

Vegas is not exactly the usual scene for Zack and Ryan. The two make a pretty lowkey couple. “I usually just hang out with Ryan, my family, and my friends,” Zack shrugs when I ask what they like to do. They are both sports fans—they have been to a couple baseball games this year and are excited for the Lynx season to start up. Like I said: lowkey.

So why Las Vegas? It is hard to plan a wedding—at any time, sure, but especially during COVID. A destination wedding seemed to solve for all their COVID-related uncertainties—offering the couple the ability to get out of town and simplify every part of the planning process.

Las Vegas has been a popular wedding destination for as long as Vegas has been Vegas—but the stereotype of an impulsive Las Vegas wedding is more of a fiction than it is the truth. If you are anything like me, the phrase “Vegas Wedding” conjures visions of neon chapels and Elvis-clad chaplains—and though those are definitely options—there are plenty of more standard venues available as well.

Las Vegas is in an incredibly scenic part of the country—and that is exactly what Zack and Ryan were drawn to for their wedding. “We decided to get married in the mountains in Mt. Charleston,” says Zack, “Kind of in nature.”

Photo courtesy of Pat Klaers

Aside from the obvious scenic perks of having an outdoor wedding on Mt. Charleston, Zack and Ryan are also looking forward to having everything taken care of for them. “It was stressful when we were trying to pick out where we were going,” says Zack. Aside from choosing the company they booked the wedding through and the destination itself, the biggest thing that they had to do was get their marriage license. “Apply for your marriage license ahead of time,” Zack says.

Now that all the big items on their to-do list have been checked off, the perks of choosing a small destination wedding have started to kick in. The two are more than ready to get to Vegas and enjoy their wedding. When I asked about logistics for their actual wedding day, it immediately became clear how streamlined the event-planning company Zack and Ryan chose was going to make their wedding. “The limo is picking us up at 2:00,” Zack laughs, “That’s all I know.” The plan, as far as Zack could tell me, was to “Have fun. Just relax.”

It will be a small ceremony—the only attendees are Zack’s dad and his dad’s girlfriend. The wedding will be streamed on Facebook so friends and family who were not able to attend can still be a part of the special day. Zack and Ryan are looking forward to hosting a reception in town once it feels safe to do so, but for now, getting married in an intimate but digitally accessible setting seems like the best of both worlds.

Intimate destination weddings are a great way to go right now. All of the moving parts of wedding planning can feel especially overwhelming at a point when we are all just coming out of our COVID hibernation. Why not make all the work of your wedding the work of a professional? All the better if you can make a vacation out of it.

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