We met in high school back in 2003. We both went to school on base in Ceiba, Puerto Rico. The bond we formed back then was strong and we would often meet after school to play guitar together. Since we were both athletes we would also stay for each other games as support.
Before senior year, the base closed so we both took different paths. Dani moved to different countries through the years while I stayed back in the island until 2014 when I learned she was living in Portland, OR. I decided to take a trip to visit her and three months later decided to move to Portland for good to pursue a relationship with her. We got married in 2018.
We had planned for a very small wedding, with only our parents. Because we wanted to do a rooftop wedding, we had already booked a place with a maximum of 10 people allowed. Five months before our wedding, our siblings and other family member let us know they wanted to come and share that day with us. We had to book another venue and finding one in such a short time was very stressful.
We grew up on an island, surrounded by water, palm trees and vast skies that reflect on clear oceans. We are away from home but still wanted to have that proximity to nature we cultivated as children in our homeland.
We had never been at the venue before and one day, while looking on the internet, we stumbled upon pictures of Everett Hall and decided to visit. The drive itself was pleasant and away from the city and its noises and cluster. We decided to lock it in.
We took on decorating the venue with the help of our family and friends. We couldn’t have done it without them. We also had a photo booth that we set up with a floral backdrop, props and an instant camera. All of the pictures were hung up on string light clips around the backdrop.
We found our wedding gowns right away, although it was stressful. We ended up making alterations to our dresses to fit our needs and had to go back multiple times to the store until they were finally ready a couple of weeks before the wedding.
At first, we joked about wearing suits for our wedding. Three days before we got married we stopped by Wildfang to browse, and Dani fell in love with a suit. At that moment we decided to do a wardrobe change after the ceremony. We hadn’t even realized how both of our suits complemented each other until we changed for our first dance as a married couple.
“My favorite memory is getting ready with the help of my mom. I hadn’t seen her in almost five years. Her being there helping me put my dress on meant the world to me.
Another favorite moment was the first look, seeing Franche in her wedding dress made my heart skip. At that moment, I felt so much excitement knowing we were doing this together.
My Dad’s speech during the toast was warm, heartfelt and made us all cry. Having my parents and sisters there supporting our union was priceless.”Dani
We didn’t incorporate any religious traditions, but we did the walk down the aisle with Dani’s dad and Franche’s brother. Once inside the venue, we all hugged, and Franche and Dani held hands and walked down the rest of the aisle. We wrote our vows and read them to each other during the ceremony. Also, our dear friend and business partner was a big part of the ceremony; she was our officiant.
“My favorite memory was the first look. Going up the stairs to the rooftop to wait for Dani to have our first look was nerve-wracking. I knew she was going to look stunning; she always does. But the fact that we were going to get married in a couple of hours in front of our family and friends had my anxiety doing cartwheels.
I heard the door to the rooftop opening, and I knew it was her, so I turned away from it. She walked up to me and held my hand, and then I turned to face her, and for the first time for the day I cried. They were happy tears, of course.
She looked beautiful, angelical would have been a great adjective if it wasn’t for that mischievous smile of hers that I adore.”Franche
Marriage is an adventure. It is teamwork and having each other backs through thick and thin. It is also synonymous with weekends of take-out and Netflix, or breakfast in bed, and even careless afternoons filled with laughter.
Marriage is but all the mundane seen in a new light, a more meaningful one.
Cake Back to Eden Bakery | Venue Everett Hall | Celebrant Torri Rubi | Florist A Floral Affair | H&MU Blanca Flor | Photography Mattie Krall Photography| Rings julia.com | Bridal Boutique Davids Bridal | Suit Designer ASOS, Wild Fang