A Dazzling Disco Wedding at The James Museum in Saint Petersburg, Florida

Cruises and music: These two seemingly disparate things just so happen to be the perfect ingredients for love. For David Bevis (33, a real estate advi

Cruises and music: These two seemingly disparate things just so happen to be the perfect ingredients for love. For David Bevis (33, a real estate advisor) and Brian Gay (31, a real estate agent), fate brought them together on the open seas. The couple’s meet-cute embarked seven years prior to their March 25, 2023, wedding, while both were auditioning as main-stage performers for Disney Cruise Lines. (Spoiler alert: They got the parts.) “We met in our musical theater acting days. Little did we know, fate would put us together as roommates during the rehearsal period in Toronto,” Brian says. The pair spent plenty of time together, enough that by the end of the two-month rehearsal period, they were officially together. “We set out for the six-month contract at sea, where you either grow to love each other—or the opposite. Fortunately, our love continued to grow. We spent every day together, exploring different ports and performing in the evenings,” Brian recalls. Once they disembarked from their own love boat, the adventure continued. The couple went backpacking around Europe for a month, eventually returning to their home base of New York City to start life together. They’ve been inseparable ever since.

In 2021, David proposed to Brian, who reciprocated with a proposal of his own the following year. Given that musical theater played such an integral role in their love story, it should be no surprise that a festive, over-the-top wedding was in store. “David and I entered our planning process with a specific vision of what we wanted our entire wedding weekend to look like. We decided to forgo many of the ‘traditional’ rituals and make the day our own,” Brian says.They didn’t want to lift a finger during the wedding and enlisted a full-service professional to help cultivate their vision. “We went with John Campbell, a queer planner based in the Tampa Bay area.” The couple recalls how they immediately “felt the connection was a match made in heaven as soon as we spoke. We wanted someone familiar with the LGBTQIA+ community and who felt like family,” Brian says. They’re not the only ones to be impressed: The planner is also a notable rising star in the wedding industry and is a 2024 The Knot Ones to Watch honoree. Campbell helped the couple create a wedding that felt formal but not pretentious at the James Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida, David’s hometown and a booming cultural city.

The ceremony and reception venue had the perfect striking architecture for David and Brian’s dream wedding. “With the guidance of our planner, we leaned into the qualities the museum possessed rather than try- ing to hide them. This was true in the colors, textures, patterns and lighting,” says Brian. They chose a “desert disco oasis” theme to highlight the venue’s look and their love for disco. They accomplished the unique aes- thetic through the design and music.

Since Brian is a big fan of flowers, blooms were a focal point. “For the ceremony, we wanted a full landscape of flowers filling the stage, rather than a traditional arch.” He specifically requested forsythia, and Campbell suggested creating multiple large-scale installations of it. Earthy rocks completed the look, creating a “rustic natural feel that mimicked a bright yellow desert sun.”

“For the reception, we wanted an explosion of color playing off the many tones you can find in a sunset and the museum’s art,” says David. The color palette progressed as guests moved through the venue. The museum lobby showcased tannin and mushroom neutrals drawn from the canyon-hued walls, while the ceremony featured goldenrod yellow to highlight the architecture and draw guests’ eyes toward the grooms. A space of warm desert-inspired oranges and yellows welcomed everyone to cocktail hour.

As guests enjoyed sips and light bites, they could explore and appreciate the museum’s gorgeous art and artifacts. “It was a huge selling point for us, because the art was such a big inspiration in the overall de- sign and vision for the evening,” Brian says.

After cocktail hour, guests experienced a gradual color change that reached its climax at the reception through a burst of rainbow tones. Color-blocked spaces throughout the reception area created a sensation-driven experience as guests entered each vignette. With the couple’s passion for dancing and music, it was crucial that the dance floor be a focus of the reception area. The invitation inspired the dance floor, creating continuity in the wedding design: Its fun geometric pattern appeared on the dance floor wrap and custom hand-held bamboo fans. But the dance floor wasn’t the only highlight. The DJ booth was also a prominent feature in the decor to reinforce the disco vibes. They installed an incredible collection of disco balls above the mirrored DJ booth that “caught the lights all evening and gave the room such a fun and playful vibe,” Brian says. One of the couple’s friends even memorably stormed the DJ booth to sing “Haus of Love,” by RuPaul, during the reception since “it has become a staple in our friend group over the years.”

To keep the party going all night, the couple also prioritized their catering and bar services. Instead of a conventional sit-down dinner, they had food stations and no assigned seating. The bold choice allowed loved ones to mix and mingle all night while enjoying small plates: pork belly glazed in maple and black pepper, chicken sausage bao buns with caramelized Mexican kimchi, and Asian vegetable dumplings and noodles served in mini takeout boxes. David and Bri- an also skipped a wedding cake. “After all, who wants to leave the dance floor when the music is so good?” Brian asks. When it was time for sweets, they served up a delicious assortment of handheld desserts like churros with chocolate sauce. Meanwhile, espresso martinis kept everyone energized through the evening.

The tasty food, stunning decor and epic playlist (featuring Donna Summer, Beyoncé and Betty Who) were major highlights for the couple. However, their favorite aspect of the wedding was having their nearest and dearest in one place. “We have worked very hard over the years to build meaningful relationships with our friends, family and loved ones. We are very blessed to have such amazing people in our lives, so the most anticipated moment was bringing everyone together. Naturally, many people hadn’t met one another, so seeing them together in one space with love overflowing was so special,” Brian concludes.

Grooms Kissing, Holding Green, Purple and Yellow Sign With Last Name
Colorful, Disco-Themed Invitation Suite With, Funky Liner, Boutonnieres
Bride in Black Tuxedos and Matching Yellow-and-Greenery Boutonnieres
Formal Loafers, Bolo Tie and Silk Tie, Greenery-and-Yellow Boutonniere
Grooms in Black Tuxedos, Bow Tie, Bolo Tie, Greenery-and-Yellow Boutonnieres
A modern, art-inspired ceremony altar at a museum with minimalistic decor and arrangements of yellow flowers and greenery over faux rocks for a sophisticated and alternative wedding.
Staircase Railing Wrapped in Greenery, Yellow Flowers at Museum
Linens on Ceremony Pew Benches for Reservation for Family
Woman in Shimmering Purple Gown Speaking at Modern Ceremony, Yellow Flowers
Altar at Top of Stairs, Museum Statue, Greenery and Yellow Flowers on Rocks
Parents in Black-Tie Attire, Tuxedo and Gown, Clap and Smile on Ceremony Bench
Museum Ceremony Space, Raised Altar With Yellow Flowers, Modern and Formal
“Brian is a huge flower fan, so florals played a large part in the design,” says David. At the ceremony, an explosion of forsythia framed the altar.
Groom in Bolo Tie, Triangle Orange Sunglasses and Black Tuxedo
Two grooms in coordinating black tuxedos and boutonnieres comprised of yellow flowers and greenery, and one groom with a bow tie and one with a bolo tie, pose together in their museum venue.
Grooms Holding Hands in Corridor of Modern Museum Venue
Glass Reserved Sign for The Grooms With Mini Disco Balls, Lamp and Linens
Modern Yellow-and-Orange Dim Sum Stylized Menu for Desert Wedding
Modern, Medium Centerpieces, Textured Countertops and Lamps, Purple Lighting
Glass Coffee Table Next to Dance Floor, Purple Lighting and Disco Balls
The reception was filled with cozy gem-hued seating, which surrounded the fun geometric dance floor inspired by the couple’s wedding invitations.
Long Table With Textured Linen, Low Modern Centerpiece, Lamp and Uplighting
A funky colorful disco reception with a custom, colorful dance floor, disco balls, glass coffee tables, lounge furniture and pink, purple and blue uplighting for a fun wedding reception and after party for an LGBTQ+ couple.
The happy couple settled on a “creative black tie” dress code to give their guests the chance to “turn a look.” David and Brian were elated their loved ones showed up and showed
Disco Balls in Different Sizes Suspended Above Dance Floor
Grooms Doing First Dance on Custom Colorful Dance Floor Under Disco Balls
The DJ booth was a big point of conversation for us, as we love our DJ and wanted that to be a huge feature,” says the couple. A mirrored booth, under a canopy of disco balls, was the music pro’s home base while she spun tunes all night.
Grooms in Fun Sunglasses, Fans Dancing on Custom Dance Floor, Under Disco Lighting
Reception With Disco Balls and Colorful Uplighting, Formal Guests
DJ in Bejeweled Attire, Reception Uplighting and Large Yellow Arrangements
Grooms Walking on Custom Colorful Dance Floor, Disco Balls and Uplighting