Erik Braverman and Jonathan Cottrell met on vacation at a beach club in Puerto Vallarta. “The two of us were just hanging out at the swim-up bar, sipping piña coladas, when we started talking and hit it off,” Jonathan remembers. “We simply gravitated toward each other.”
Originally from France, Jonathan was excited to show Erik Paris on a trip they planned a few years later. “I thought our dream trip was ruined when it was cancelled due to COVID—but little did I know, the next best thing was waiting for me in Las Vegas,” he says. “Inside the Eiffel Tower at the Paris Hotel, Erik got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. To this day Erik says he proposed at the Eiffel Tower—he conveniently leaves out the Vegas detail.”
Their wedding venue was equally unique. Erik is a marketing executive for the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team, and the duo had the run of Dodger Stadium for their big day. (The team’s graphic designer, Antonio Gandara, even designed their sports ticket-inspired invitation suite.) “Dodger Stadium is not just any sports venue, it’s an iconic landmark that symbolizes the heart and soul of Los Angeles,” Jonathan says. “Getting married there is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that is both unique and unforgettable.”
While the couple loved being able to say “I do” outdoors, there was another reason they loved the idea. “By choosing a traditionally masculine and heterosexual venue like a sports stadium for our marriage, we were able to challenge stereotypes and break down barriers,” Jonathan shares. “Our special day highlighted the importance of inclusivity and showed that love knows no boundaries.”
Their vision was equally intimate and over-the-top—a wedding for 75 inside a venue that holds more than 50,000—and they selected a fitting color palette of Dodger blue and rainbow. “We wanted our wedding to be a celebration of our love that was both grand in scale and personal in nature,” reflect the grooms.
Keep scrolling to see all the incredible details of their January 21, 2022, big day, planned by Troy Williams of Simply Troy Lifestyle + Events and photographed by Anée Atelier.
Jonathan got a fresh haircut for the wedding, and did his own hair and makeup. “I’m a beauty school dropout, but I stayed long enough to feel confident to do this,” he says. He and Erik donned similar tuxedos by Alba: blue with black lapels, black bow ties, and a black tuxedo line down the side of the pants. He dashed on a spritz of Tahitian vanilla fragrance, an ode to his mother, who grew up in Tahiti.
“We decided to get ready together, along with our wedding party,” Jonathan says. “We utilized one of the large stadium suites as our combined dressing room.” Erik’s tuxedo jacket matched his groom’s, but he opted for black pants to differentiate.
As one of many nods to baseball throughout their big day, the grooms had custom bobbleheads made as favors for their guests.
The ceremony was held on the pitcher’s mound, and old-school stadium seats were arranged in a diamond formation, paying homage to the baseball diamond itself. “We made our grand entrance from centerfield all the way down to the pitcher’s mound,” Jonathan recounts.
The grooms walked down the “aisle” together alongside Jonathan’s sister and Erik’s niece. “Erik’s sister, Tammy, who was intended to walk with us, tested positive for COVID on the day of the wedding, so his niece stepped in,” Jonathan shares. But, it turned out to be another plus side of their 50,000-capacity venue: “Tammy was able to watch from a safe distance in the stadium stands.”
Our special day showed that love knows no boundaries.
“We wrote our own vows; they included promises to always share the popcorn,” Jonathan says. And, there couldn’t have been a grander first kiss. “When we kissed at the end of the ceremony, cold sparklers went off and the DodgerVision scoreboards went to a ‘LOVE WINS’ motion graphic while ‘I Love LA’ played, as is tradition after every Dodger home victory.”
Post-ceremony, the grooms took portraits around the stadium—both in the stands and on the field—with their photographers, Anée Atelier. “Then, we went next door to the police academy’s beautiful rock garden, and did a photoshoot there,” Jonathan says. “That part was so special, and we are so grateful for our amazing photographers who captured those moments.”
For the reception, a diamond formation was created again, this time with extra-long tables in the outfield. “All the guests were facing the center, where we sat at a small table. The flowers were arranged to form a giant rainbow gradient when viewed from above.”
While the grooms did have human best men—Jonathan’s brother and one of Erik’s best friends, the first person he had come out to— they also had a canine attendant: The couple’s Siberian Husky, Nanuq, served as ring bearer. “Nanuq had a custom tuxedo himself, from Olivia’s Doggy Designs,” Jonathan says. “He was looking very smart and was up for the task.”
Their lemon-flavored cake paid homage to Jonathan’s background and that fateful proposal at “the Eiffel Tower.” Guests were served slices of the most fitting and beautiful six-layer rainbow cake.
The party moved back to the infield, which served as a dance floor complete with smoke machines, confetti, and more cold sparklers. They grooms danced to Elton John’s “Your Song” before being joined by family and friends. “It was amazing dancing and watching our family dance up a storm on the pitcher’s mound and infield—on this special place where there have been so many historic Dodger victories,” Jonathan remembers. Maybe none more important than their own.