“As a trans man, I felt some pressure to go for a more traditionally masculine look for my wedding,” says Cherry. “Once I started shopping, I just felt more drawn to more feminine garments, and I wanted to follow that feeling. In my mind, the dress I landed on is a masculine one, historically referencing monasticism, while challenging current understandings of what it means to be masculine. We see men in dresses in media more often now, and usually, they are straight cis men. That is beautiful in its own way. I found specialness in my choice to wear a dress as a trans man. I wasn’t falling into the gendered expectations of my at-birth gender assignment—rather, I was taking the culmination of all my gendered experiences and creating a vision that made me feel comfortable, handsome, beautiful, and sexy.” The couple wanted their wedding party to feel free to express themselves as well. “We give no parameters except ‘look fabulous,’ and they didn’t disappoint at all,” says Cherry. “There were pearl headdresses, slip gowns, vintage Gaultier, Bottega puddle boots, mesh, slicked-back gelled hair—just pure fabulosity.”
The ceremony was held at a friend’s house on Tybee Island, GA, and the couple arrived at the bluff by boat (and captained by another family friend) to guests waving and running along the water’s edge. “My dad was not able to make it to the wedding because of his compromised health, as was diagnosed with ALS six years ago,” says Silver of walking down the aisle with their mom, a moment that inspired the first of many floods of tears. “She is my best friend, and it made all the sense in the world to be able to do this with her support.” Cherry followed with both of his parents to the sounds of “La Vie En Rose” played by their harpist. “Cherry’s hair tails flowing as he got closer to me felt like an extension of his spirit,” says Silver.
Ronika McClain, who introduced them, officiated the ceremony, and the couple recited their own vows written on scratch paper. “We also had our dear friend Spike Thompson bless our rings, and our union, with her own words and the words of James Baldwin,” says Cherry. “Standing on the bluff of a river I had been swimming 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 of the fears I had pushed themselves aside—it was a moment in time I was able to be truly present and speak on my love with Cherry with confidence,” says Silver. “We had practiced ‘the dip’ at the beach a couple of months back, and not since, but somehow executed it that day effortlessly.”
For the reception, friends Sadie Mae Burns and Anthony Ha cooked dinner for everyone and served up a Lowcountry-style raw bar, 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 made by his dad, Silver’s mom, and their best friends. The couple danced to “Doctor’s Orders” by Carol Douglass, before music by Alexander Bebe Lopez brought everyone to the dance floor. “I think dancing was my favorite part of the night,” says Cherry. “My dad, Kevin, has arranged for a hot dog truck to arrive around 10 p.m., that was the icing on the cake!”
The next day, friends set up camp on the back river side of Tybee Island Beach. “Everyone kept asking me if I felt different,” says Cherry. “I did, and I still do.” Silver seconds that motion: “Everything since the wedding has felt like a life upgrade.”