The wedding of a lifetime! Jesse Greika and his partner, Anthony Rollar, were one of the 33 couples married by Queen Latifah at the 2014 Grammys at the Staples Center in L.A. on Sunday, Jan. 26. In an exclusive interview with Us Weekly, Greika, 38, opens up about how he was chosen to take part in the now-historic ceremony and what it meant to him to be a part of it.
"I saw a post on Facebook. A casting firm was seeking couples who were either recently married, engaged or getting married to participate in a wedding ceremony," Greika, a San Diego makeup artist and drag performer, told Us. "They wanted to know our stories. I wrote a letter talking about how we've been together for ten years, we're very involved in our community and we would love to be part of a ceremony. We said we couldn't afford a ceremony and that was the main reason I wrote the letter."
Greika and Rollar, a 41-year-old leather craftsman, were engaged and planning to get married this year on April 6, but couldn't afford a large wedding. "Then we saw this opportunity and we said if this was going to be on TV, it would be a way to share it with friends and family across the country," Greika explained.
CBS called the couple on Christmas Day to share the good news that they had been selected to participate in the ceremony, and were told it was going to be a part of a secret performance at the Grammys. "Just last week they told us that Queen Latifah would be marrying us during the Macklemore performance to 'Same Love,'" Greika said. "It wasn't until we got to rehearsal that we saw Madonna and found out she would be singing."
Greika and Rollar — along with 32 other couples — tied the knot in an aisle of the Staples Center while Madonna, Mary Lambert, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis performed a mash-up of "Same Love" and "Open Your Heart."
"We are legally married," Greika confirmed to Us. "It is a dream right now. It wasn't just meeting the celebrities that was great. It was all of their reactions. Everyone was so warm and telling us congratulations. There were people crying — Paul McCartney was crying, Beyonce had a a tear in her eye when we were walking by her and Jay Z. They shook our hands and said congratulations. So did Katy Perry and Taylor Swift. Backstage, Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson came by and congratulated us. Julia Roberts, too. It was star after star, pretty incredible. A great experience. And the other couples were wonderful, too."
Greika didn't, however, get a chance to chat with the legendary Material Girl. "Madonna didn't talk to us directly. She was there just during rehearsals and was moved by everybody and very happy for all of us, though," he explained. "Queen Latifah was hysterical. She had us laughing through the rehearsal, which took forever going back and forth, over and over again. She was making jokes and beautiful. When she came back to sign our licenses, she gave us hugs. The song itself was Macklemore's pep talk. It was so cool. It was a very tight schedule. We were very fortunate to have the brief meetings we did have with the celebrities."
The newlywed confessed to Us that he did have butterflies while walking down the aisle.
"I'm still pinching myself," he said. "Madonna sang at my wedding! Who can say Queen Latifah married them, Madonna sang and Macklemore, Paul McCartney and Jay Z were there? Who would have ever thought? It was history in the making, and I'm so happy to be part of it. We've been fighting for equality for a long time and it was beautiful. It was definitely a step in the right direction."
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