Plenty Of Groom: Chris and Tom, from Denmark to Germany
They are the gents behind instagram account @plentyofgroom and this handsome pair celebrated their love not once, but twice, with a wedding celebration in both Denmark and Germany.
Tell us about how you met? We met through a total coincidence. My roommate wanted to check out the nearby American Air Force base in Germany because she heard they had a Taco Bell (an American Mexican fast food restaurant), so she asked me if I knew any Americans who could get us onto the base. I downloaded Grindr to look for an American soldier. Tom was the only one who was fun to talk to and liked the idea of meeting up and he was happy for me to bring a friend along. We met in a parking lot off base where he picked us up. It ended up being such a wonderful, extraordinary, and unexpected day. I wasn’t looking for love – I just wanted to do my roommate a favour who wanted to see the Air Force base. But that first meeting left me crushing for Tom. After we left, I couldn’t get rid of the grin on my face. Tom had also told a friend that we had met and felt the same way.
After that day we stayed in touch... and that was just the start.
Give us a little insight into the family dynamics around your relationship? Tom met my family during a ski trip, we all stayed together in a hotel, so it was all go from the start. Not a casual dinner to meet – but a full 2-week vacation. It was great! My family is very easy going (well now – my struggle was more when I had my first boyfriend, but when Tom came around everything was resolved).
Tom took me to the States with him to go to a wedding, and to celebrate his mum’s retirement party. I joined him on that trip but we were still not officially a couple, so I was introduced as his “German friend”, but throughout the trip, we talked about how we really felt and I asked him the old-fashioned question “Would you like to go steady?”
For Tom’s parents, it seemed like quite the surprise that he was gay, but they’ve been wonderful and accepting from the start. But conversations needed to be had to clarify things because they didn’t know anything about being gay. I will never forget a beautiful thing his mum said to us over Skype one day. She said (after hearing of our engagement and wedding plans) “Hey guys, if there is anything you need to tell me, please do, because I don’t know anything about this, this is new. Just tell me everything you want me to know.”
It showed how she felt; totally unaware of what our gay life is like, BUT so willing to learn more about it, and that’s all we could ask for. She’s great!
We are now fully accepted by everyone. We’re very fortunate and grateful.
Give us a rundown of the proposal… Tom had this idea to propose to me during Easter; he made the ring himself – it was carved out of pine wood. On the weekend of Easter his fingers were still bleeding from finishing the ring, but it was oblivious to why he had injured fingers.
He put the ring inside a plastic egg and tied it with a piece of cloth to a champagne bottle in the fridge. He made several attempts during our Easter party to get me to go to the fridge and open the bottle, but I didn't pick up any of his clues. I said things like “The folks have already started drinking red wine now. Champagne won’t fit the meal.” It was a disaster for Tom, but he wouldn’t let it show – and I was oblivious to his plans.
The Easter party (with my entire family there) came to an end, and after a long night of playing cards with my Pa, we went to bed.
The next morning, the second I woke up Tom popped the question and asked in German “Willst du mich heiraten?”
I was so surprised and couldn’t believe it. It was like I was in yet another dream and everything felt surreal. I said “Ja.” And he told me that the ring is hidden somewhere and that we now finally have a reason to pop that bottle. After looking for the ring in the house for a while I thought “enough searching, time for champagne” and then I saw that there was something attached to the bottle, and I realised “Oh my! that was his plan yesterday, and I did not pick up his clues!” The wooden ring was so unique and special, and I love it. Tom had carved me Christmas presents before, so this was something tied to our history and the work and effort he put into this piece was worth more than any diamond to me.
Chris and Tom’s story continues below >
When was the wedding? The wedding happened 6 weeks later on May 14th, 2018. It was small and intimate with only 10 people attending.
We planned a 2nd wedding celebration with more guests for July 28th, 2018.
How long did you give yourself to plan your wedding? We basically started right after the engagement. We wanted to get married in Copenhagen, Denmark and asked for the earliest date. They told us a date 2 weeks before the wedding. Then we started making reservations and inviting our closest family members.
What was the main influence behind your wedding day? There were 2 weddings, 1 in Copenhagen, Denmark, and the 2nd, larger celebration was in Schiffweiler, Germany.
Our Danish wedding: “The sea and bikes.” We described this wedding as honest, intimate, appreciative of everyone who made it there. We biked to the town hall and biked everywhere during our week in Copenhagen. The 11-course menu for the night was all local & high cuisine with lots of fish and seafood.
Our German wedding: “Homemade and personal.” The celebration took place in our backyard (my family’s house, also where the engagement took place and where I grew up). We built the tents and pavilions, created a simple altar for the ceremony and for the menu, we thought about which courses could reflect stages of our lives / our relationship.
What was the one thing of major importance that you just had to include in your wedding?When thinking about what to wear, I had so many different options, but then I thought about what really mattered to me and then my outfit was set... When my grandfather passed away, he gave me his bow tie collection. I had a funky bow tie in mind that was so odd that you would never be able to find it in a store. I wanted to honour my grandfather on my wedding day by wearing it. My mother brought me a white cotton handkerchief from my other grandfather (who had also passed away) which I carried in my pocket, and I made good use of it because I kept tearing up throughout the day.
Where did you find the bulk of your inspiration? Overall, Instagram was a big inspiration – and google images. A lot of the time we saw other couples and knew “Okay, so this is an option – but this is not it for us.” It was so good having other grooms to look at online to get an idea of how others did. It’s hard to picture something when you have never attended a gay wedding before.
How did you choose your suppliers? In Copenhagen, we had a lovely wedding planning agency, mainly for booking the official wedding date at the town hall, but they also provided us with good recommendations, like a florist etc. Tom found this beautiful jeweller that handcrafts in Denmark and the restaurant we brought our wedding guests to at night was a restaurant we had been to two years before on our first trip to Denmark together.
Did you find it difficult to translate more common traditions into a ‘same-sex’ wedding? Being a couple from different cultures made it a little harder. In Germany, we have one witness (groomsman), while in the states a whole array might be common. We ended up choosing 1 sibling each to do us the honour. Other than that – we found it very liberating not have to meet all these expectations of traditional weddings. We didn’t need to inform ourselves of “what is expected” because we knew that a gay wedding was novel to everyone involved and it made us come up with exactly what we felt was right. We loved staging our day to our liking.
What was the most difficult thing about planning your wedding? Honestly, the Copenhagen was effortless. We had an entire week in Copenhagen to plan and every day we had another fun project; booking the restaurant, booking the boat tour, going to the town hall to sign in, choosing the rings, choosing a restaurant, choosing a photographer.
For the German wedding, we found it funny and complicated to seat people. I’m sure everyone would have got along well no matter who they sat next to, but I wanted it to be a perfect match.
What is the main suggestion that you give to other couples planning their wedding? Don’t be intimidated of pleasing everyone. When someone shows up to a same-sex wedding, they are already implicitly saying “Hey! I’m your fan, and I’m cool with you and rooting for you!” That is a huge relief when you think about it.
While planning, we stressed about all the people that would come…and then we said, “hey, every single person is a loving friend or family member – there’s no going wrong here.” And it was true.
Any advice for other same-sex couples planning their day and finding it difficult to navigate the journey? Online websites were a big help to us, but we realised that some weddings are a lot more complicated than ours were. Our style was to keep it authentic and we didn’t need so many suppliers. Our advice: We had basically a week to plan our first wedding and it was a perfect day. We had 6 weeks to plan a big wedding party, did everything ourselves and everything was perfect too. In the end, it is not about more is more. As long as you’re having a good time and invite the right people, and don’t run out of wine, you’ll be fine.