Watermark’s Wedding Bells: Brian Longstreth and Yutthaphum ‘Sam’ Thotsawat

Not long after Yutthaphum Thotsawat – known to most as Sam – moved to Tampa Bay from Thailand for culinary school in 2016, he connected with Brian Longstreth through a dating app. They added each other on Facebook but didn’t chat much, and it wasn’t long before Thotsawat grew tired of the apps and deleted them.

They didn’t meet in person until he attended a drag queen bingo night at Punky’s Bar and Grill in St. Petersburg. Longstreth was bartending and the two got to talking. What Thotsawat didn’t know was that Longstreth also owned Punky’s at the time. “I didn’t know how popular he was, his reputation, how famous he was in St. Pete,” Thotsawat remembers.

All he knew, at first, was how friendly Longstreth was. The two began spending time together.

“We just started doing things together and getting to know each other,” Longstreth recalls.

They didn’t have their first “official” date until about six months after they met, attending Cirque du Soleil in Tampa.

“It just grew from there,” Longstreth says. When he planned a trip to Ecuador for New Year’s Eve 2018, Thotsawat decided to join him. They had already talked about getting engaged when they noticed a street vendor with a box of rings.

“All the rings were a dollar,” Longstreth says. “We were picking through it and found two that matched, which was rare – and also fit, which was even more rare. We thought, ‘That’s kind of a sign.’ So we splurged for the $1 rings.”

A couple of months later they ordered official engagement rings.

“We lost one and one broke, but we still had these $1 rings that actually held up amazingly well,” Longstreth says. “It was kind of a sign that we should stick with these for the actual marriage.”

The couple learned early on that they love the same things. They both like sports, frequenting Tampa Bay Rays and Rowdies games. They’ve also traveled extensively, visiting places like Ecuador, New York, Cuba and Chicago.

“We’re very similar in what we like to do,” Thotsawat explains.

“Except Sam likes cold weather and I can’t stand cold weather,” Longstreth muses. “We all make sacrifices. New York and Chicago were mine.”

When it came to wedding planning, they decided to keep it “really simple,” he notes. “It’s kind of a tradition in my family that when I was a notary, I married both my brothers to their wives in a beach ceremony.”

One of Longstreth’s sisters-in-law decided to return the favor by becoming a notary, allowing her to perform their wedding ceremony.

They were married at TradeWinds Island Resorts in St. Pete Beach and celebrated with a dinner at Rum Runners Bar & Grille. They were joined by Longstreth’s family and a small group of friends.

“I’m a big fan of keeping things simple,” he explains.

Though they wed in October, they didn’t move in together until November. That’s because Thotsawat was living with and caring for family members in Kenneth City.

In December, Longstreth turned management of his Casa del Merman at GayStPete House over to Bill and Jeremy Kody. “So, we traded places. They were in the little house in the alley and now they’re in the big house,” he says.

Since Thotsawat’s student visa expired, they’re awaiting news of his green card so the couple can start traveling together again. Not only is it a passion they share, but Longstreth’s new business endeavor, Casa del Merman at GayMontanita House, is in Ecuador.

In the meantime, they’ve adopted another stray dog together and “have been kind of setting up house and sharing our different taste in things and going through life,” Longstreth says.

Thotsawat adds, “It’s been heaven!”

Engagement Date: Officially on Facebook Jan. 23, 2019

Wedding Date: Oct. 3, 2021

Wedding Venue: Tradewinds Island Resort

Wedding Dinner: Rum Runners Bar & Grille

Wedding Theme/Colors: “Tropical flowers, tacky shirts and flip-flops”

Officiant: Julie Longstreth

Photos via Brian Longstreth:

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