By Jennifer Raiser  www.sfgate.com

“Giorgio Armani dresses us for life,” said Jay Phillips, explaining why he and husband Steven Hare held their recent nuptial celebration at the Armani Hotel in Milan. “So we decided to live inside his world with our dearest friends for one perfect weekend.”

Wedding guests follow the dress code of black tie, with black gowns for the women. At midnight, they took a short walk to have cake at a modern art museum. Photo: Cooper Carras / SF
Wedding guests follow the dress code of black tie, with black gowns for the women. At midnight, they took a short walk to have cake at a modern art museum. Photo: Cooper Carras / SF

For two San Franciscans, hosting a destination wedding in Italy was “ridiculous, fabulous, and the most amazing thing we could have imagined. And we have good imaginations.”

While their legal status had been secured in New York the weekend before, the couple planned this as a weekend wedding reception, “with everything but the priest,” joked Hare, who owns an industrial chemical company. Their anxiety about celebrating a same-sex union in Italy was dispelled the moment they arrived, when a receiving line of department heads was waiting with a welcome toast of Prosecco.

The couple, who met by chance when friends introduced them at a bar, left nothing to chance when they hired interior designer and event planner Mark Daniel to manage logistics.

“We needed someone to work through the details with a visual eye and a gracious heart,” said Phillips, a national sales manager for a luxury hair care line. “It had to feel happy, not forced.”

Daniel even took a preliminary scouting trip to the recently opened hotel because he “wanted Jay and Steven to have enough comfort to relax with their guests, and share a few unexpected surprises to experience the thrill.” More info and photos

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