Survivor contestant Zeke Smith and Superstore star Nico Santos have officially tied the knot after six years of dating.
Their swanky Palm Springs ceremony was held just one year after Smith surprised Santos with an emotional on-stage proposal at the GLAAD Awards – the place where the couple first met.
The couple admitted that, since they had known they were queer, they had believed that marriage would never be “part of (their) timeline.”
But when that dream became a reality, the pair went all out on a “big gay wedding” which just so happened to fall on Pride Weekend in Palm Springs – a sign that their big day was meant to be.
“For us, we’ve been together for almost six years. We own a home together, have a joint bank account,” Smith told People ahead of the wedding, held at the Parker Hotel on Saturday (4 November).
“We’re each other’s emergency contacts. By all sorts of usual metrics we are married.
“But actually having the ceremony, making it legal, it’s about becoming a family. We’re in it forever. Through thick and thin and easy and hard. We’re going to be the person that’s there for the other one.”
Smith, who has appeared twice as a Survivor contestant, added: “Weddings and getting married, I never thought this would be part of my life. (Marriage) wasn’t a reality for us until less than 10 years ago. It wasn’t something really, once we understood ourselves to be queer, we thought was part of our timeline.
“But now that we’ve done all this planning and the meaning and the significance of the day is dawning upon us, I’m just really excited.”
When the couple realised, after booking their wedding venue, that their big day would fall on Pride weekend, they decided to go all in on their, as they call it, “silly bougie wedding.”
Santos, who plays Mateo in Superstore, added: “A lot of our guests are queer as well, so we thought let’s just stick to the date and have it during Pride weekend. So it’ll be extra gay.”
The wedding was officiated by Santos’ Superstore co-star Mark McKinney, who plays Glenn in the comedy series, while RuPaul’s Drag Race season one winner Ongina helped put together a “small roster of amazing queens” to perform midway through the reception to keep the energy high.
Santos and Smith first met almost six years ago at the GLADD Media Awards, when they were introduced by their plus ones, who knew each other.
From that day forward, the two were joined at the hip.
“Early on when we were just sort of getting to know each other, Zeke took me on a magical date in New York City,” said Santos.
“We saw SpongeBob: The Musical on Broadway. We had this amazing dinner, and then we just walked in Times Square and had a really fun touristy romantic moment.
“Then after that time in New York, we happened to be away from each other for about 10 days.”
Smith chimed in: “We just longed and pinned for each other then and I think that’s when we really knew that there was something really special here.”
Smith proposed to Santos in 2022, telling the audience all about how Santos had “swept (him) off (his) feet” all those years ago when they met.
Turning to his partner and getting down on one knee, Smith said: “Nico, your love has taught me how to love. You are my other half, and I want to spend the rest of my life with you.”
Santos, who seemed overwhelmed with emotions, took a moment before saying ‘yes’.
Looking to the future, Santos and Smith are planning a stunning Italian honeymoon for 2024, before they come home and hopefully adopt a bernedoodle, which they’ve already decided they’ll name Nathan Lane.
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