Jeff Rohrer is the first former or current NFL player in a same-sex marriage
Retired Dallas Cowboys linebacker Jeff Rohrer, 59, wed celebrity aesthetician Joshua Ross, 36, Sunday evening in Los Angeles, making him the first former or current NFL player in a same-sex marriage, PEOPLE confirms.
“It’s a very, very, very special love affair,” Rohrer — who came out as gay last Wednesday — tells PEOPLE.
The grooms — who wore midnight blue Ferragamo tuxedoes — exchanged vows in front of about 150 close friends and family at the Wattles Mansion Gardens, planned and designed by Jacquelyn Mavrookas, founder of EVJ Wedding Co.
Upon arriving at the wedding, guests enjoyed champagne before taking their seats, where they were given two stones: a rose quartz (symbolizing love) and an amethyst (symbolizing friendship).
During the ceremony, the couple asked the guests, “to put all their hopes and dreams and wishes for the grooms into the quartz, and send all of their thoughts and everything that makes them think about their friendship with the grooms into the amethyst,” SkinLab founder Ross says of the crystals. After the ceremony, guests returned the quartz to the couple; the amethyst was a keepsake.
After the newlyweds walked down the aisle, they celebrated with a light reception. Champagne, wine and cocktails flowed as guests noshed on oysters, crab legs, shrimp, grilled lamb lollipops and market vegetable kebabs, as well as a cake by Sweet Lady Jane.
Directly following the festivities, the grooms jetted off for their two-week European honeymoon, during which they’ll visit Paris and Barcelona before touring the Mediterranean.
Rohrer and Ross enjoyed a full weekend of revelry before they tied the knot, including pre-wedding massages and facials at the L’Art de Vivre Spa at Sofitel in Beverly Hills.
Friday night, they hosted 50 friends and family for an intimate dinner at Palihouse in West Hollywood. Then on Saturday, the couple honored their Lone Star State roots with a Texas-style hoedown at Sunset Ranch.
“I’m from Texas, and Jeff played for the Dallas Cowboys and lived there for nine years, so we both have a huge kind of affinity for Texas,” says Ross of the bash, complete with barbecue, live music, dancing and horseback rides to the Hollywood sign.
This is the first marriage for Ross and the second for Rohrer, who shares two children — daughter Isabella, 15, and son Dondillon, 14 — with his ex-wife Heather, whom he divorced a decade ago.
“I feel so honored that I’m the one he chose,” says Ross, cofounder of SkinLab. “After all this time, for him to like take this big leap — it definitely gives me all the feels. I’m becoming a step-father to two teenage children, so that’s always very exciting. Life has changed for the better. A lot of my friends would think is that this is a lot of baggage. What I would say is that it’s a family.”
Rohrer, now an Emmy-winning TV commercial producer, lived in the closet for nearly six decades before coming out. But everything changed when he met Ross three years ago at a Tex-Mex restaurant in West Hollywood, soon after which they began dating — and slowly coming out to close loved ones.
Now married and living as an out gay man, Rohrer is excited to start his future with his new husband — one in which he’s no longer hiding his love.
“We’re the one for each other. It’s unexpected, but it’s undeniable. And people can see it when they’re around us,” Rohrer says. “We’re in a good place now, and I’m thankful to not have to live in the shadows.”