The first mainstream male country music singer to come out as gay marries in 'country chic' wedding on a Tennessee farm: Details


Music star Ty Herndon — who in 2014 announced that he’s gay, becoming the first mainstream male country music singer to come out publicly — married Alex Schwartz, an artist and craftsman who restores mid-century furniture and makes stained glass art, at Owen Farm in Chapmansboro, Tennessee, on Aug. 26, 2023.

Three hundred family members and friends — including several famous faces — gathered together to celebrate Ty (right) and Alex, who met at a mutual friend’s dinner party in 2022 and announced their engagement in February 2023 after just six months of dating.

“Alex and I made it official here in Tennessee last night! Thanks to family and friends for making it unbelievably special!” Ty, 61, captioned a series of wedding photos on Instagram on Aug. 27. The next day, he shared more images along with the message, “So many wonderful friends who joined us to celebrate our special day! We’re just starting to go thru all the pictures! Y’all are the best!”

Keep reading for all the details on their wedding day and to learn more about their romance…

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The wedding location and decor

Ty Herndon told People magazine — which published wedding photos and details of his big day — that he and his fellow groom, Alex Schwartz, visited multiple venues before being wowed by Owen Farm, a property outside of Nashville that’s on the banks of the Cumberland River.

“We knew we wanted something that captured our personalities and we fell in love with this place as soon as we saw it. We used the wedding scene in the movie of ‘The Proposal’ as a bit of a reference,” Ty told People.

Making things even more special? Owen Farm is next to property that belonged to the late Don Williams, who was Ty’s late father’s favorite country music artist. “The Owen family was kind enough to offer us [Don’s] tour bus to bring the wedding party to the location of the ceremony on the grounds, which created an extra special moment for me personally but also for our guests,” Ty told People.

The look of the day, Ty explained, was about “the formality of black and white juxtaposed against the casual backdrop of the farm. We like to call it country chic and everyone loved having a little bit of both experiences,” he added.

“We just wanted a space and a place that could accommodate our eclectic group of friends and family to celebrate love, life, and our future together. That was the main thing that was important to us — and that everyone have a lot of fun,” he further shared.

Keep reading for details on the special guests, the food, the cake and more…

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The guests, wedding party and performers

Among the 300 guests at Ty Herndon and Alex Schwartz’s wedding were Broadway star Kristin Chenoweth (who called the nuptials “amazing” on Instagram) and her fiancé, guitarist Josh Bryant; Ty’s longtime pal actress Sally Struthers; actress-singer Alicia Witt; singer-songwriter Jamie O’Neal; songwriter-procter Desmond Child and more.

Ty’s friend Bonnie Hadden, who runs his fan club, directed the wedding and Melissa Greene, who’s a former member of the Christian band Avalon, officiated the ceremony. The country singer’s groomsmen included former Avalon member Michael Passons, Ty’s manager and former GLAAD Vice President Zeke Stokes and Ty’s longtime producer and guitarist Erik Halbig, People magazine reported.

The wedding and reception also featured musical performances by Anita Cochran, Matt Bloyd, Jamie Floyd + Jimmy Thow and Shelly Fairchild, People reported.

MORE: Stars who came out

The food and wedding cake

Ty Herndon and new husband Alex Schwartz wanted their guests to enjoy a “southern feast” at their wedding reception, so they hired Al’s Diner and Deli in Nashville to cater a plated dinner that featured a menu with chicken, pork, macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes, green beans and salad with iced tea, People magazine reported.

The grooms’ three-tiered wedding cake by Ivey Cake in Nashville featured almond butter creme and blueberry lemon flavors. But it wasn’t the only dessert: The couple also had an ice cream bar and a chocolate station for guests to enjoy.

Honoring family

Ty Herndon and new husband Alex Schwartz found a way to honor family members who couldn’t be there on their big day. “My father has been deceased for a long time so we had a beautiful photo of him on a table alongside one of Alex’s baby brother who passed away,” Ty told People magazine.

“On that table our mothers lit a unity candle on behalf of both our families signifying the joining of the Herndons and the Schwartzes. It created a very special moment to help us remember those who couldn’t be with us to celebrate this day,” he added.  

Keep reading for more on their romance…

So in love

Ty Herndon opened up to People magazine about what he loves most about his new husband: “I love his goofiness, his heart, his loyalty, the way he looks at me, the way he holds me, and the way I feel safe with him,” he shared. “And I pray to God that I am all those things to him. He has taught me how to love better and how to be a better human.”

“My mother said to me when we got engaged, ‘Son, you’ve waited your whole life for this,'” Ty continued, adding, “We hope that by sharing this day and our love with others we can let everyone know that miracles are possible, love is love, and equality and justice ultimately win every time.”

Keep reading for more on how their romance developed and when they got engaged…

A whirlwind romance

On Feb. 9, 2023, Ty Herndon took to social media to announce that he and Alex Schwartz were engaged and to publicly share more about the man he loves including how long they’d been together and what Alex does for a living.

“Well y’all, I have a little news to share — actually some big news. The last six months God has showed up and showed out. Never in a million years would I have imagined meeting someone who would bring so much love and light into my heart,” he began an Instagram post announcing their plans to wed.

“Alex and I met six months ago and had our first date. Since then, we have been building our relationship and getting to know one another without a big public announcement. It was important to each of us that we be able to do this privately, and it has been an amazing journey,” he continued.

“After all this time, I have met the person I know I’m gonna spend the rest of my life with. Alex is a brilliant artist and craftsman who restores mid-century furniture and makes stained glass art. He will also be starting work on his MBA soon. He’s a smartie, y’all — and I can’t wait for all of you to get to know him,” he added.

“Today, we are excited to let you know that we are planning a wedding! That’s right — we’re getting hitched later this year! Here’s to life, love, and wellness! We’ll see y’all soon,” Ty concluded his joyful post.

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