An Urban Pop-Up Wedding at Franklin Park Conservatory in Columbus, Ohio
Despite being denied a city permit to marry at McFerson Commons Park, Brandon Buchanan (27 and works in health care) and Joseph Pedro (32 and a general contractor) were determined to wed under the iconic Columbus arch. With strict instructions to arrive rain or shine for a standing-room-only ceremony, 200 guests gathered around Brandon and Joseph for a "flash mob" wedding that lasted just 20 minutes. "We arrived on separate sides of the arch with our mothers," Joseph says of them meeting each other underneath the structure to say "I do." "The arch itself functioned as our altar," Brandon says. "It was beautiful." Brandon and Joseph donned bespoke dress shirts stitched with their initials on each sleeve. The reception kicked off with traditional Arabic music followed by a surprise drag queen performance. "Brandon loves Beyoncé, so we brought in a local star, Boyance, to pay homage to the Queen Bey," Joseph says. Later, the couple cut into a chocolate and lemon cake filled with fresh apricots and raspberries, and guests took home Garett's popcorn, a Chicago staple from Brandon's hometown.