As their wedding rings rolled away across the grass, bridegrooms Jayson Brunsdon and Aaron Elias Brunsdon gasped in horror, then laughed. Overwhelmed at his fathers’ long-awaited marriage, the fashion couple’s 3-year-old son, Roman, dropped their silver Tiffany bands, prompting a comical search by family and friends.
“It was almost like an Easter egg hunt, very funny,” says Aaron, 44, who tied the knot with the acclaimed Australian designer, 53, on Easter Sunday, April 1, exactly 19 years to the day since they were introduced by their mutual friend, the late model and television personality Charlotte Dawson. “It’s been a long, long wait until we could marry legally—we never thought it would be so long—but on the day it was just wonderful, so beautiful.”
Falling in love at first sight, the self-professed “soulmates” have weathered more ups and downs than the average hemline—growing Jayson’s eponymous fashion business together, then seeing it go bankrupt and battling back to solvency before the designer and former Project Runway judge was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2009.
Their journey to fatherhood—using eggs donated by Aaron’s cousin and a Thai surrogate mother—was no more seamless. Only months before Roman’s birth, the couple’s Bangkok IVF clinic was closed on Thai government orders following the headline-grabbing case of Down Syndrome baby Gammy.
“The following three weeks in limbo were hellish. None of us knew anything, we were very panic-stricken and freaked out,” Jayson said at the time. “We thought it might not happen, but we never lost faith and stayed positive.”
Similarly, the Sydney-based partners in life and business, and longtime marriage equality campaigners, never lost hope that their stylish dream wedding would one day be possible in Australia.
“Aaron and Jayson would like to thank each of you for being with them today, and for supporting them through the 19 years it has taken to make this day a reality!” marriage celebrant Nicola J. Coyle told the couple’s 130 guests, including singer Marcia Hines, celebrity hairdresser Joh Bailey and designers Leona Edmiston, Arthur Galan and Peter Morrissey.
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