How did you meet?
E & W: We met on the app Bumble, but actually under their “BFF” setting. Erin had just moved to San Diego and Wendy had just gotten out of a long-term relationship, so we were both looking to meet new friends. We were both actually seeing other people at the time!
We met up for a casual donut and coffee hangout and ended up staying and talking for over four hours. After a few weeks of finding excuses to hang out almost daily, we both realized that this friendship was clearly something more.
Officially, we’ve been together for about two and a half years. It’s up for debate as to what our first “date” actually was, but if we’re being honest, we knew we were more than friends from probably the third time we hung out.
When we were first getting to know each other, after every time that we hung out, Wendy would tell Erin “thanks for hanging out with me.” It became a habit and Erin caught on to it. Later on, Erin decided to visit Wendy at work, sit in her car for her lunch break, and left a note on her car saying, “thanks for hanging out with me!”. Of course, Wendy, being the hopeless romantic that she is, kept it, and it still sits in our living room.
Tell us about your engagement
E: We had always discussed that I would let Wendy be the first to propose, but once I got it in my head that I knew I wanted to marry her, I couldn’t wait. The first day we seriously talked about marriage in a concrete manner, I started looking at rings. I planned for the ring to come in for her birthday and planned a picnic at our favorite spot for the moment. To my dismay, the ring ended up getting lost in the mail. After a day of panicking and running around to every post office trying to see if they had it, I had to figure out a Plan B. I ended up getting a simple band from a local shop and proposed with that (she still wears it to this day). I was shaking so bad I could barely get down on one knee. Don’t ask me what I said, I completely blacked out. But I know she said yes and then we got to spend a blissful weekend in a cabin in the mountains soaking it in together.
W: Erin and I had talked about getting married, but we also talked about me proposing first. Well, to my surprise, Erin proposed first! I knew that she was the one I wanted to spend the rest of my life with, so of course I said yes. Over and over again. After this, I couldn’t stand another day to see her hand without a ring. I spent countless hours trying to find the perfect ring, and one day her mom offered to give me her old engagement ring. When we came over for the holidays, her mom secretly handed me the ring. I took it to a jewelry shop to personalize it a bit for Erin. I was planning on waiting to propose to Erin, but I just couldn’t wait. I asked her to marry me as soon as I got home from picking up the ring in what has always been our safe place: our apartment.
What is your favorite quality about each other?
W: My absolute favorite quality about Erin is how hard she loves. This comes as second nature, and I admire her for that.
Erin really puts herself out there for her loved ones and expects nothing in return. She has demonstrated this in our relationship over and over again. Erin and I have always been open about the circumstances and outside factors surrounding our relationship. We knew that things would be difficult before we started dating, and before we got engaged, but her love is unwavering. She loves me with all that she has, and I love her just the same, and that alone is more than enough for me.
E: Wendy is honestly the coolest person I know in every way I could hope to mean it. She is multidimensional in a way that not everyone gets to see. She is stubborn to no end but stays so tender. She is a reminder that it’s okay to be soft in a world that often feels so checked out. She makes everyone laugh in the most unexpected ways and is such a bright light to anyone who gets to know her. She is selective about who she really lets in, which is something I’ve always envied about her, but to truly know her is a gift.
When did you know this person, was your person?
W: When we first started hanging out, I would try really hard to impress Erin. I thought she was really cool, and every time I was with her I felt feelings that I have never experienced before. One day I took her to Sunset Cliffs, brought us a blanket to sit on, a speaker to play music, and some beer. Totally casual, that’s what friends do, right?
At this point we were dating, but not saying that we were.
While I was laying on the blanket, Erin was really excited about the ocean.
Her smile consumed me. She would run up to the water and would run back up to me to give me the ocean. I couldn’t take my eyes off her, and I just remember during this moment knowing that I was completely in love with her. I was all in, and no one could do anything to change that.
E: I think for me, it was a series of small moments. Early on in our relationship, I found myself laughing and dancing and being goofy in ways I hadn’t been in years. I felt like she brought back that part of me and now we are never not laughing together.
Also, for a lot of our relationship, deciding to break up would have been much simpler than continuing to be together. We always said that if the other wanted out at any point, it would be understood. But we always chose each other. Regardless of any other circumstances, it has always been the two of us choosing each other over and over. I see her choose me every day and there is never a doubt in my mind that I’ll always choose her back.
Can you talk a little bit about one of the poems you two read together during the engagement session?
E & W: The poem is “Touched by an Angel” by Maya Angelou. The last stanza says, “In the flush of love’s light, we dare be brave. And suddenly we see that love costs all we are and will ever be. Yet it is only love which sets us free.”
Erin’s original plan was to read the poem to Wendy when she proposed.
The poem is originally written in English, but Erin had planned to propose entirely in Spanish [Wendy’s first language], so she worked for days trying to translate it properly. Unfortunately, every single piece of it went out of her head during the proposal, and she ended up saying none of it!
What are you looking most forward to on your wedding day?
I think what we are most looking forward to is having a day devoted to the uninhibited declaration of our love for one another. At the beginning, our relationship had to be largely a secret. Even though we’ve never apologized for being together, with unaccepting family members it can feel like you’re constantly having to censor yourself. We want this to be a day where all of the outside factors don’t matter and where we can stand, surrounded by the people who have loved and supported us most, and share our love.
Photographer Marissa Solini Photography