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Houston Couple Throws Versailles-Themed Disco Party for Post-Wedding Soiree – outsmartmagazine.com

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Matt Johns (l) and Nick Puccio (Photos by Mackenzie Scott Kelley)

Inspired by the infamous 1979 Versailles Party at Studio 54, Matt Johns and Nick Puccio’s postnuptial fête brought to Houston the glamour of France’s Sun King interpreted through the lens of disco. While Marie Antoinette may not have actually uttered “Let them eat cake,” it’s undebatable that—with this soirée—Matt and Nick ate!

Matt, 38, is Marketing Director for Palacios Murphy and oversees several different brands under the corporate umbrella of the firm’s hospitality group. Nick, 32, is Senior Community Lead at WeWork. “We met working,” says Matt. “I was doing a party for a client, and Nick was working the party for that client.”

“I would just say that you can’t really ignore Matt. He has a wonderful presence when he’s in the room,” admits Nick about their first meeting some six years ago. “I remember seeing him—he was wearing this incredible denim kimono that I love.”

“You were just, friendly. Bossing everyone around in the friendliest way possible,” Matt chimes in. “Nick was just smart, cute, and sweet. I feel like that’s a lot to ask for these days.”

Their first date began with a trip to David Shelton Gallery, owned by a friend of Matt’s, for a show opening by artist Kelly O’Connor, who is currently a neighbor of theirs. “We had drinks with everyone from the opening, went to Nobie’s for dinner, and then to Bar Victor,” explains Nick.

Despite obvious admiration for one another, neither Matt nor Nick can pinpoint the specific moment they knew the other was the one. “When you’re together that long, you just realize that this is happy, safe, and feels good,” Nick offers.

“I just knew I didn’t want to go back to dating people again,” Matt states as he admires Nick.

The love and support they offer each other helps keep them grounded. “Work is my love language. It’s my favorite hobby,” says Matt. “Nick really forces me to relax and enjoy life. That’s, for sure, my favorite part of Nick. He’s like my vacation.”

“Matt is the most creative person that I know, and he brings out creativity in everyone,” adds Nick. “He is extremely hardworking, compassionate, and he just has a lot of heart.”

“Cold heart,” Matt interjects.

“He wants you to think it’s cold,” Nick volleys back while Matt laughs heartily. “When he gets in the moment, he’s so warm.”

Now, one may wonder why they threw a Versailles-themed party to celebrate their wedding. “We got engaged at the Petit Trianon in Versailles because we went on a trip to Paris,” says Matt. “I was just meeting with an ad rep from The Knot, and they give you all these percentages—60% of people get engaged on a big trip, so I felt very basic when that happened.”

“But that’s my favorite place in the world, and Nick had never been. It was so fun to go there with him,” Matt explains. “Then Nick found this photo of a party that Karl Lagerfeld had thrown at Studio 54 in 1979. It was all inspired by the Sun King and the conception of Versailles. We knew we didn’t want to have a normal wedding, but we weren’t really sure what that meant, and it took a really long time to figure that out.”

The couple opted for a small, intimate morning ceremony at Rothko Chapel to honor Nick’s love for the British Royal Family and their mutual respect for Mark Rothko. “Rothko Chapel is such a special place for both of us, individually, but also together,” states Nick.

“And I love that you can’t take pictures inside at the Rothko,” interjects Matt. “It was really nice going into this super important life moment where it wasn’t going to be documented, everyone had to be present, pay attention, and participate.”

The ceremony was followed by a brunch with their immediate families and a couple of their closest friends at Hugo Ortega’s Backstreet Café. Then, that evening’s decadent party was held at Numbers. “It’s just such a special place,” Nick says of the famed night club. “I always want to pay attention to the LGBTQ history of Houston, and Numbers has played such a big part in that history.”

The grooms enjoying their Versailles-themed party at Numbers

“My favorite thing that happened was that Rudy put us on the marquee. It said, ‘Congratulations, Nick and Matt,’” declares Matt. “I was like, ‘Oh, my God, we’re on the Numbers marquee!’ That felt historic.”

Experienced at planning and throwing events, the couple opted to plan and execute their wedding on their own. “The advice that I give everyone is ‘No one knows what the day is supposed to look like in your head.’ They just show up, and they’re like, ‘Wow! Well, this is amazing,’” says Matt. “We took our own advice on that. Really, the important part of any party is who’s invited, the bar, and the music, and we nailed all of those.”

The couple offers high praise for everyone working at Rothko Chapel, Numbers, and DJ Carlos Garcia (aka CarlosKilledIt!). Their photographs were taken by their friend and artist Mackenzie Smith Kelley, known for her commercial and editorial food, lifestyle, and documentary photography.

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