A couple in Utah is experiencing newlywed bliss and viral internet fame after a video of one of the groom’s flash mob wedding surprises made waves on social media.
Brock Dalgleish and Riley Barrington have been together since the day that they met in June 2018 at a pool party, sharing their first date one day later and moving in together just two months after that. “It was so fast, which is so unlike me,” Dalgleish tells Yahoo Life. But it worked.
The two quickly became serious as Barrington introduced Dalgleish to his daughter, Ebony, with ex-wife, Jenna. Dalgleish says that he and the little girl “fell in love” and the three adults have co-parented and maintained a strong friendship ever since. The men’s relationship was solidified in 2019 when they got engaged in Peru. Despite the steady progression of their first year together, however, their wedding year would come with stresses and setbacks as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
“The wedding and the engagement has been very difficult because of COVID,” Dalgleish explains. “We’ve had like, three huge adjustments with our wedding and we had several moments where we could have called it off. But we were like, ‘No, this is the one good thing that we need this year.’”
With a wedding date of September 18, the grooms were prepared to go through with their festivities taking necessary health measures — until they were hit with bad news the week of their nuptials.
“My best man got COVID about two days before the wedding. And then we were all together, him, my family, all of us,” Dalgleish says. “I tested positive for COVID…so we had to call it off.”
Dalgleish says that it was “devastating” to cancel the big day just when every detail had come together. Luckily, the couple was able to re-schedule the event for a new date. What Dalgleish wasn’t so sure about coming together, however, was the flash mob with which he had planned to surprise Barrington.
“I originally had about 80 people in this flash mob. So it was pretty big,” the longtime performer says. “Honestly, we didn’t know who was going to come because we couldn’t re-send out invites….so it was very much thrown together hoping that people would come.”
However, on Sunday — National Coming Out Day— the wedding took place, including the flash mob that Dalgleish had envisioned.
“I actually had several surprises throughout the wedding and that was only one of three,” he says of the group dance to Lady Gaga’s Stupid Love. “I started planning it a few months ago, but I sent out choreography via a Facebook group and people started practicing virtually on their own. And then we had one rehearsal together just two days prior to the wedding.”
The final product is what thousands of people have seen across multiple social media platforms.
“I tried to involve him…but he was just so in shock, he said, that he didn’t follow any of my cues,” Dalgleish says of his husband’s response. “He just said that it was pure joy, pure stun and shock. And we pulled off the surprise.”
The rest of the attendees, Dalgleish explains, watched from their seats with masks on — a rule for the guests who weren’t dancing.
While the couple couldn’t go on a proper honeymoon because of the pandemic, they spent the night in a hotel where they re-lived their big day through photos and videos. It was then that Dalgleish posted the video of the performance to his Instagram page, not expecting that days later it would be shared by Oprah Magazine and liked by Jennifer Aniston
Regardless of the recognition that the performance has garnered since, Dalgleish is most hopeful that the video will inspire other young gay men to see what their lives could be like.
“In my vows I talked about me as a 17-year-old boy never dreaming of a life like this and I just wanna be that hope that it can happen,” he says. “On National Coming Out Day too….and I just want our family to be a symbol of hope for them, as it is for me,”
Dalgleish adds, “I want people to follow our journey as we grow our family through surrogacy and having more kids, and show that it is possible for people like us.”
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