Wedding Guide Austin 2018
Ain't Love Grand

45-year love story sparks spectacular sunset wedding on Lake Travis

45-year love story sparks spectacular sunset wedding on Lake Travis

Andy Starbird Dennis Rot
Andry Starbird and Dennis Roth met in New York City more than 40 years ago. Photo by Cory Ryan
Andy Starbird Dennis Rot
Photo by Cory Ryan
Andy Starbird Dennis Rot
The flowers were created by Central Market. Photo by Cory Ryan
Andy Starbird Dennis Rot
Though it is now closed, the aptly named Blue Note Bakery created this blue-themed, multi-tiered cake. Photo by Cory Ryan
Andy Starbird Dennis Rot
There wasn't a dry eye in the audience during the couple's vows. Photo by Cory Ryan
Andy Starbird Dennis Rot
The Oasis proved the picture perfect location for Starbird and Roth's big day. Photo by Cory Ryan
Andy Starbird Dennis Rot
The couple share a kiss on the patio of the Oasis. Photo by Cory Ryan
Andy Starbird Dennis Roth
Matchmaker Band provided the tunes. Photo by Cory Ryan
Andy Starbird Dennis Roth
The couple share the ceremonial first bite of cake. Photo by Cory Ryan
Andy Starbird Dennis Rot
Andy Starbird Dennis Rot
Andy Starbird Dennis Rot
Andy Starbird Dennis Rot
Andy Starbird Dennis Rot
Andy Starbird Dennis Rot
Andy Starbird Dennis Rot
Andy Starbird Dennis Roth
Andy Starbird Dennis Roth

Andy Starbird and Dennis Roth’s romance began when they were living in New York City. A mutual friend invited each of them to a Labor Day party with the intention of setting them up. Neither one was particularly enthusiastic about attending the gathering, but both reluctantly went.

Starbird says, “I walked in the room, saw him, and thought to myself, 'I’m going to spend the rest of my life with this person.'”

They talked for hours into the early morning, and shortly after the party, they moved in together. The couple resided in New York City for about 35 years before deciding to retire in Austin.

“We considered ourselves married from about a year after we met,” says Roth. “But we always said we would do it if it was legally recognized.” When same-sex marriage was legalized in the U.S. in 2015, Starbird and Roth decided to wait a year to wed on their 45th anniversary.

Starbird and Roth were married on September 7, 2016, in an intimate ceremony with 50 guests at The Oasis on Lake Travis. Noting that a number of the guests (and even band members) got emotional, Starbird says, “I think it was just very nice for us to finally be recognized as a couple and no longer feel like we were less than first-class citizens.”

After the ceremony, guests enjoyed a cocktail hour while the couple took photos. Their photographer, Cory Ryan, suggested they take one of them kissing underneath the Oasis sign out on the main road.

Starbird recalls, “I leaned in to kiss him, and we heard screeching tires from across the road. I said, ‘Look at that ... we’re stopping traffic!’”

The reception took place on the third floor, known as the Top of the Oasis. Dinner included choices of roast beef, sun-dried tomato and goat cheese stuffed chicken, and pepita-crusted snapper.

Matchmaker Band, an award-winning Motown, funk, and soul ensemble, provided the music. Fittingly, Starbird and Roth had their first dance to “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face.”

Considered the historians of their families, Starbird and Roth designed a special wedding guestbook for their friends and family to sign with photos beginning when they first met through their relationship up to that moment.

When they were searching for pictures to include in the book, they came across an old photo from around 1920 of two men embracing each other. Neither Starbird or Roth knew who the men were besides the fact that they were somehow part of the family. They used the photo as the book’s cover to honor everyone who wasn’t able to be there to celebrate with them.

On the back of the photo was a handwritten inscription: “Ain’t love grand.”

Ceremony venue: The Oasis on Lake Travis
Reception venue: The Oasis on Lake Travis
Florist: Central Market         
Catering: The Oasis on Lake Travis
Cake: Blue Note Bakery
Photographer: Cory Ryan Photography
Band: Matchmaker Band