Nico Santos & Zeke Smith celebrate Palm Springs Pride with a “big, gay wedding”

Zeke Smith and Nico Santos
Zeke Smith and Nico Santos (Photo: Getty Images for GLAAD)

Two-time Survivor alum Zeke Smith, 35, and his partner, actor Nico Santos, 44, got wed in a Palm Springs ceremony on Saturday. Congrats, guys! 🥂

The two men met at the GLAAD Media Awards in 2018. It was therefore fitting that Smith used a co-hosting gig at the 2022 GLAAD event to get down on one knee and propose to Santos.

The wedding took place at the Parker Hotel and fellow actor Mark McKinney officiated. People carried exclusive photos (although some of the guests also posted to Instagram).

Smith said that they already felt married but that holding a ceremony was important.

“For us, we’ve been together for almost six years. We own a home together, have a joint bank account. 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.”

Both remember that same-sex marriage was not a reality across the US even ten years ago.

“Weddings and getting married, I never thought this would be part of my life,” added Santos.

People reports Smith and Santos worked with a wedding planner to incorporate a taste of their respective backgrounds into their big day.

Filipino design aesthetics inspired a range of natural woven accents, while leather, fringe and Western movie-themed posters nodded to Smith’s Oklahoma roots.

Palm Springs Pride

When they booked the venue and date, they didn’t know it was the same weekend as Pride in Palm Springs. They decided that was perfect as so many of their guests would be LGBTQ+ anyway.

“It’s a big gay wedding,” said Santos. “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 couple spoke about how they realized very quickly they had something special after meeting.

“Early on when we were just sort of getting to know each other, Zeke took me on a magical date in New York City. 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,” Santos said. “Then after that time in New York, we happened to be away from each other for about 10 days.”

Smith added, “We just longed and pined for each other then and I think that’s when we really knew that there was something really special here.”

The men are having a mini-honeymoon in Joshua Tree National Park. They plan to have a bigger honeymoon, traveling through Italy, next year.

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