How long have you been together, and how did you meet?
We have been together for a little over three years! We met on the app Hinge. We had our first date at the park, where Karissa would propose a few years later. After our first date, we fell instantly and have been together ever since!
Tell us about the planning process for the proposal.
We discussed getting engaged and that Karissa wanted to propose. She started to plan it months beforehand with her friend who owns a professional picnic business (shoutout trendingsocials.ct). It was kept a complete secret from Kelly! Karissa and Alie met up to plan the picnic and the decorations. Karissa also planned a surprise party with all of our closest friends and family at a local brewery afterward. Kelly was so surprised by it all! She cried the whole day.
What led you to the destination of the proposal? Have you been there before?
Yes! We had our first date at Elizabeth Park in West Hartford, CT. We spent six hours there during our first date, playing cards, getting to know each other, and walking around the rose gardens. When Karissa began thinking about proposing, she immediately knew she had to do it there. We have spent a lot of time there since our first date, and it is such a special place for us. Once we were engaged, we began to think about our engagement photos and where we wanted those. Ogunquit, Maine, has been a place Karissa has been going to since she was a kid, and Kelly started joining the family vacations. This was our fourth summer going to Ogunquit together, and we knew the Marginal Way would be the perfect place for our photos.
Tell us about the engagement ring experience. Where are the rings from?
We both went to the Gold & Diamond Exchange in Ellington, CT. It is a family-owned, small business that was recommended to us by a friend. Karissa went to design Kelly’s pear-shaped, lab-grown diamond ring first. We both had a fantastic experience designing the rings. The jeweler and employees there were super inclusive and lgbtq+ friendly. When Karissa first mentioned wanting to get an engagement ring, they were immediately excited to work with her. We both could choose the style, design, stone, and details of the rings. They also have a quick turnaround time, and they will take care of any issues or problems with the rings. Kelly chose a gold band with 13 small diamonds around the perimeter for Karissa.
What does your engagement mean to you both? Has anything changed?
Our engagement is a symbol of our commitment to each other. It means for us that we have decided to do this life together, forever. No matter where life takes us or who we become, we will always be partners and work hard on our relationship. Since our engagement, we bought a house! We continue to work on ourselves and our partnership and are so excited for our future together while also loving this stage we are in now.
How is wedding planning going? What do you hope for your wedding to be?
We are taking wedding planning very slow. We are thinking of August 2025. We want our wedding to be very casual and fun. A big party with the closest people in our lives. We want a very non-traditional wedding to be done exactly our way. We are trying to be budget-friendly and save money for our new house and vacations.
How are you going about choosing your key vendors?
Our first key check-off is a bonfire pit; if it doesn’t have it, we are not looking! We want to pick our own flowers and create our bouquets. Either a buffet or pizza as the food. Not a sit-down, table-setting kind of dinner. We are looking at venues with lodging on-site to accommodate our family and friends. This is leading us to inns, airbnbs, and campgrounds! We would love an outdoor wedding, with string lights and lawn games. A fun and intimate expression of our love. We also are looking for woman-owned companies that are LGBTQI+ friendly and display gay couples on their websites.
When and where will your wedding be?
We are thinking of August 2025. We are looking at New England venues such as Maine or Vermont for our big day.
Photography Mainely Jamie Photography