Their dreams of a Disneyland proposal were shattered by the pandemic, but it didn’t stop these two from planning a meaningful double proposal.
Tell us about your unique meeting spot.
We met in 2011 in a cinema toilet, waiting to see the Glee Live 3D movie – deﬁnitely a random place to meet! Abbey told Jess she liked her warbler tie, and we followed each other on Twitter.
We didn’t speak again until a year later… when we decided to take an eleven-hour round trip to London to see one of our favorite artists, and we’ve been inseparable best friends ever since. We’ve been in a relationship since April 2019 after months (and probably years) of pining when Jess took a leap and told Abbey about her feelings (via a cute postcard!)
Tell us about the planning process for the proposal.
There was never any question about whether we would get married. During our country’s lockdown during COVID-19, we decided to look at wedding rings and picked them together. Jess bought Abbey’s ring in secret, thinking she would buy it, so she had it for whenever she eventually proposed. She lasted all of two days before she told Abbey! Abbey then bought Jess’ ring, and we proposed to each other the day after they arrived.
The proposal wasn’t a surprise, tell us more about that experience.
We told many of our friends we were getting engaged before our proposal because we were so excited! It made the experience so special and such an exciting time in the months leading up to the actual day.
We love dressing up, so a lot of discussions were had on what to wear. Abbey ended up buying the famous strawberry dress handmade by Lirika Matoshi, and Jess wasn’t too far oﬀ. She purchased the black version for our engagement shoot. We’re often referred to as the pastel and dark versions of each other, so it’s very ﬁtting.
We wrote our ‘speech’ in cards to each other the night before our proposal in separate rooms in our ﬂat and frequently had to go into each other’s rooms to cry and comfort each other! We loved writing them out because now we have it to keep forever.
What lead you to the destination of the proposal?
We had both decided separately (before we were even together!) that we’d propose to each other in Disneyland Paris in our favorite land, Frontier Land. It’s one of our favorite places where we’re the happiest.
Due to COVID-19, we initially bought the rings with the idea of proposing when it was safer in the coming year, and we could take our trip. However, we realized we didn’t need a fancy place or a special setting to tell each other how much we love each other, so we decided to get engaged in our ﬂat. Our friendship and the ﬁrst few months of our relationship have been long distance (Jess lived in London and Abbey still lived in Leeds), so this is our ﬁrst ﬂat together and holds many special memories. So we got engaged sat on our living room sofa, with a ‘zen experience’ video from Disneyland Paris playing in the background. Perfection!
We’re hoping to go to Disneyland Paris when the world is safer and celebrate our engagement together. Maybe we’ll even re-propose.
Tell us about those engaggement rings.
We found our rings on Etsy from a wonderful shop called MileGem. We were looking for something diﬀerent than a traditional engagement ring. Jess loves moonstone and sparkles, and Abbey loves opal and lord of the rings. Abbey’s band reminds her of Arwen’s headdress. And Jess’ band has beautiful gems interwoven (with tiny opals to remind her of Abbey). We were worried the rings wouldn’t ﬁt or could get lost as they were being sent from America, but the process was smooth. We’d really recommend looking online.
What does your engagement mean to you both? Has anything changed?
For us, it feels natural. We’ve known each other for ten years, and we couldn’t imagine spending life with anyone else. We both came out to our families at the start of our relationships. The support and celebration from our families and friends have been incredible and so special. We don’t think anything has really changed that much since we got engaged in March 2021. Other than that, we’ll ﬁnd ourselves staring at our rings and getting emotional all over again.
How is wedding planning going? What do you hope for your wedding to be?
Wedding planning is going well! We’re loving dreaming up our big day. We’re ditching many traditional elements like a sit-down wedding breakfast, church, etc., in favor of making it something personal and totally us. Our biggest hope for our wedding is that everyone feels relaxed and comfortable (including us!), and there aren’t any pressures to act or be a certain way during our day. We hope it’s a day spent with our best friends and family, celebrating, laughing and of COURSE dancing. We already have a killer wedding playlist sorted in place of a DJ, as the music is very important to us!
How are you going about choosing your key vendors?
We found our lovely photographer Desiree A North through a competition she was running on Instagram. Jess entered it before we were even engaged! We won a complimentary photo shoot with Desiree and loved her energy, kindness and vision. We can’t wait to see our wedding photos already.
It’s very important that our vendors are outwardly embracing and celebrating couples within the LGBTQIA+ community and wider marginalized groups in everything they do. From their featured photos, the language they use in contact forms, language on their websites, etc. Unfortunately, so far, we’re ﬁnding a lot of the wedding industry caters towards heterosexual couples. Which in all honesty, can be deﬂating and hard to navigate through.
Photography by Desiree A. North Photography