Before walking down the aisle, walking with many puppets

Despite their rapid dating, marriage has not always been a priority for one or the other. In 2017, they registered as domestic partners in Washington and at first “thought that was enough,” Gann said. But in the years that followed, the couple realized that “it is important to secure our rights” to marry, he added.

The two got engaged in the fall of 2019, while on a trip to Asia. Their trip included stops in Hong Kong, Thailand and Cambodia, where Mr. Gann had planned to propose to Mr. Shankle at the Angkor Wat temple complex at sunrise on October 26, 2019. But at first, “I chickened out,” said Gann, who ended up proposing an hour after sunrise.

Mr. Shankle could feel Mr. Gann’s nerves that day. ‘I had asked him several times if he was okay,’ Mr Shankle said, adding that he was ‘a bit surprised by the proposal – thrilled, but a bit stunned’.

On May 21, the couple tied the knot at Skyline 609, a rooftop event space in Washington with views of Capitol Hill. Michelle Weiss Kagel, a longtime friend of Mr. Gann and Minister of Universal Life, officiated at the ceremony, with the help of “Elvis”, played by their friend Jared Davis.

Mr. Davis, Mr. Gann explained, appeared as “a character in Astro Pop’s ‘Elvis’ Birthday Fight Club, an annual cartoon and slapstick-style cage match performance that we have been patrons of since its inception. 11 years ago.”

When their 122 vaccinated guests arrived, the bride and groom waited to greet each one near the elevator. “I doubt we would have seen everyone otherwise,” Gann said.

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