“As a trans guy, I felt a certain pressure to opt for a more traditionally masculine look for my wedding,” says Cherry. “Once I started shopping, I felt more drawn to more feminine clothes and wanted to follow that sentiment. In my mind, the dress I landed on is masculine, historically referring to monasticism, while challenging current understandings of what it means to be masculine. We see men in dresses more often in the media now, and generally, they’re straight cis men. It’s beautiful in its own way. I found a particularity in my choosing to wear a dress as a trans man. I was not falling into the gendered expectations of my gender assignment at birth – rather, I was taking the culmination of all my gendered experiences and creating a vision that made me feel comfortable, beautiful, beautiful and sexy. The couple wanted their wedding party to feel free to express themselves as well. “We don’t give any parameters other than ‘look fabulous,’ and they don’t don’t have to all disappointed,” says Cherry. “There were beaded headpieces, strappy dresses, vintage Gaultiers, Bottega ankle boots, mesh, slicked back hair, just sheer fabulous.”
The ceremony took place at a friend’s home in Tybee Island, Georgia, and the couple arrived at the bluff by boat (and commissioned by another family friend) for guests to wave and run along the water’s edge . “My dad couldn’t make it to the wedding because of his compromised health because he was diagnosed with ALS six years ago,” Silver says as they walk down the aisle with their mom, an inspiring moment the first of many streams of tears. . “She’s my best friend, and it just made sense to be able to do this with her support.” Cherry followed with both of her parents to the sound of “La Vie En Rose” played by their harpist. “Cherry’s tails of hair that fluttered as he got closer to me felt like an extension of his mind,” Silver says.
Ronika McClain, who introduced them, presided over the ceremony and the couple recited their own vows written on scrap paper. “We also asked our dear friend Spike Thompson to bless our rings and our union in his own words and the words of James Baldwin,” says Cherry. “Standing by a river I had swum in since childhood made me feel at home.” As they kissed for the first time as a married couple, “In The Stone” by Earth, Wind & Fire played, and a little choreography came naturally. “During the ceremony, all the fears that I had pushed away – it was a moment in time where I was able to really be present and talk about my love with Cherry with confidence,” Silver says. “We had practiced ‘the dive’ at the beach a few months ago, and not since, but somehow performed it that day effortlessly.”
For the reception, friends Sadie Mae Burns and Anthony Ha cooked dinner for everyone and served Lowcountry-style raw sea bass, prime rib, wedge salads and summer vegetables. “My Tito Marc held us in prayer before we had our delicious meal,” says Silver. “And my Tita Tess made traditional Filipino desserts like Puto, a rice cake with different flavors, and my favorite cassava cake.” Cherry filled guests’ glasses with a double magnum of Les Foulards Rouge “L’Octobre”, and toasts were raised by her father, Silver’s mother and their best friends. The couple danced to Carol Douglass’ “Doctor’s Orders,” before music by Alexander Bebe Lopez brought everyone onto the dance floor. “I think the dancing was my favorite part of the night,” says Cherry. “My dad, Kevin, arranged for a hot dog truck to come around 10 p.m., that was the icing on the cake!”
The next day, friends set up camp on the back shore of Tybee Island beach. “Everyone was asking me if I felt different,” Cherry says. “I did, and I still do.” Silver seconded that move: “Everything since the wedding has felt like an improvement in life.”