Breckenridge couple waited 14 years to legally marry
Joe Piccinetti and Matt Carriglitto exchanged vows for the second time on Oct. 24, 2015. Having been together for 14 years, the two decided to replicate their Oct. 20, 2001 wedding after the Supreme Court ruled in favor of gay marriage last June.
The day was a large celebration, with friends and family leaving wishes for the happy couple, and a preacher binding their hands together with a tartan cloth, a Celtic tradition, as they both already had rings.
“I feel lucky to be with the person I want to be with up here. It’s like winning the lottery,” Piccinetti said.
After celebrating in the heart of Breckenridge, they all crowded into the Quandary Grille, where they first celebrated after the June 26, 2015 Supreme Court ruling.
“That day itself was one of the most emotional days of my life,” Carriglitto said. “I cried and cried.”
Although gay marriage became legal in Colorado months before, in 2014, the two waited for the Supreme Court ruling.
“I had told (Joe), I don’t want to get married until it’s legal everywhere,” Carriglitto added.
As the ruling approached, the TV was on all day, until finally, Friday morning, Carriglitto heard the news through a friend.
“Someone on a group text said congratulations and I said, ‘I guess I gotta marry him,’” Carriglitto laughed. “She said, ‘did you just propose on a group text?’”
“It was nonstop texts,” Piccinetti recalled. “People we barely knew in town were walking up and telling us congratulations. It says so much about people here.”
Looking back, Piccinetti proposed first, on Loveland Pass after the two first moved to Summit County.
“I wanted to spend 24/7 with him. That’s it,” Piccinetti said.
The two met in 1999, in Amsterdam — a small club in Denver — at 4 a.m. Carriglitto was residing in Madison, Wisconsin, and it was the last day of his business trip, before he had to return to close on a house.
“I missed my flight and got home at 4 a.m.,” Carriglitto recalled. “Then we did the long distance thing for six months.”
Before the days of cell phones, one night Piccinetti realized something had to change after he racked up a $600 phone bill. He moved out to Madison for several months, before the two found a place in Denver.
Then, in 2007, the two moved up to Summit County, where Piccinetti found work as a court clerk, and Carriglitto continued telecommuting as a CPA for a firm in Denver. They hosted their rehearsal dinner at their first home in Summit County, a Blue River property located partway up the mountain.
“What really stuck out to me — he said ‘it’s always been his dream to live in Colorado,’” Piccinetti said. “It was meant to be that we would come to Summit County and settle down.”
At their first ceremony, years before gay marriage was legal, Piccinetti and Carriglitto got a fake marriage license, with hundreds of signatures from family and friends.
“It was cool — nobody really did it back then,” Carriglitto said.
Leading up to their official wedding, they barely had time to get their marriage license at the courthouse, between organizing the ceremony, work and visiting family in town.
“If we don’t get a marriage license before we get married, it’s the same as the last one,” Carriglitto laughed.
They managed to sign the document at 3 p.m. the Friday before the wedding.
“After being together for so long, it was extremely emotional, as if we’d just met,” Piccinetti recalled.
As a nod to the Supreme Court ruling, Piccinetti and Carriglitto included the final paragraph of Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy’s statement in their wedding invitations:
“No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. …Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.”
“I was just thinking about how times have changed,” Carriglitto said. “Yes — we made it.”
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