BY DAVID RYALS
Marriage has been a lifelong dream for Ward Supernois and Larry Iddins Jr. They never believed it could happen in their lifetimes, but they finally tied the knot this year on Aug. 12 inside the Newburg Church at Greenmead Historical Park in Livonia.
"From the time I was a child all the way into my adulthood I have never dreamed of the moment I would find my special someone to spend my life with and get married," said Ward. "I seriously never believed I would be able to legally marry in my lifetime. I still find myself expecting to wake up from my dream."
The couple's relationship began after meeting at the Java Hutt in Ferndale. They ordered Chai tea lattes, found a table and talked for hours until closing time on April 25, 2009.
They discovered they have many common interests like a love of dogs, old cars and antiques. "We just don't agree on horror films. Ward's an avid fan though," said Larry.
They dated for a year before Ward proposed to Larry on a weekend antiquing trip in Bay City. Shortly after, they moved in together and started planning a Holy Union in 2012.
"Sadly, that never happened," said Ward. He was dismissed from his job as a result of corporate downsizing at a local bank where he worked for 22 years. Since then, he has been working with Ford Motor Company.
In 2015, it was Larry who proposed to Ward this time on June 26 when same-sex marriage became legal nationwide.
"I had just come home from work and Larry proposed to me in our living room," said Ward.
Larry's family went above and beyond to make sure it was a spectacular event. Their families have been embracing of their love, though sadly Ward's immediate family is deceased. His mother did get to meet Larry before she passed away in 2012. "My family has come a long way from their fundamental Baptist roots. They have stepped in to fill that void (for Ward)," said Larry, who grew up in St. Clair Shores as the son of a Free Will Baptist minister.
He currently attends the Metropolitan Community Church of Detroit and is active in the music program there. He is a classically-trained vocalist for six years at Macomb Community College and Western Michigan University.
At one point during the couple's wedding vows, which they wrote themselves, Larry sang part of a song to Ward called "The Second Time Around" by Frank Sinatra.
Beyond helping with invitations, decorating and putting together wedding favor boxes, his mother and sisters chose to wear dazzling fashions indicative of Larry and Ward's love of thrifting.
"My little sister wore a grey dress with an antique opera-length strand of black pearls we found at an antique store in Marine City. My mother was so excited about her new dress and shoes that she played dress up for about two months prior. As for the shoes, think ruby slippers but in all peacock greens, blues, and purples. They were stunning," said Larry.
"She also had Givenchy accessories to round out the look. My middle sister wore a beautiful beaded red grape-colored dress with an antique family necklace from Ward's family."
Larry calls the wedding an aesthetic a mix of "Downtown Abbey" and "The Great Gatsby" with intricate candelabras, sparkling chandeliers and a harpist to complete the ceremony. Before starting a career in health care, Larry was an FTD-certified master floral designer.
"So I decided to take my weeks vacation prior to our wedding in order to do all of my own florals. I created permanent botanicals for the church and half of the tables at the hall. The body flowers – corsages and boutineers – and the rest of the tables at the reception were fresh flowers," he said.
The cake was the jewel of the reception. For quite some time, the couple had been brainstorming about how they wanted their cake to look.
"I had an idea of taking the patterns from the Depression-era glass we collect and use them on the cake. That way it was personal to us," said Ward, adding that "Larry loved the idea. He collects the pattern Rose Point by Cambridge glass and I collect the pattern Cleo by Cambridge glass. When we met with Monica from Sorella's and explained to her our ideas for the wedding cake she got excited about it and suggested marrying the patterns together on the top tier. It turned out wonderfully and tasted delicious."
The entire event was captured beautifully by Natalie Mae Photography. "She is a true artist with her camera. She is personable as well as professional. We felt could trust her ability and creativity," said Ward.
The couple moved into the house Ward inherited from his parents in Livonia.
"I married the man I love and bonus, I no longer feel like a second class citizen in this aspect," said Larry.
For almost ten years, the couple has loved each other, supporting each other through good times and bad.
"It was important to me to legally get married because it's a special bond between two people that love each other," said Ward. "We are newlyweds and my husband and I are loving every minute of it."