Jullia and I connected through Tinder, as many couples do these days. We both agreed we’d minimize the mobile small talk and set up an in-person date within the week. Although we were both excited to meet each other, we had different intentions. Jullia, who had been out and proud for many years, had recently gone through a breakup with her girlfriend and was honestly looking for a rebound. On the other hand, I was still in the closet, hoping to confirm if these surfacing feelings for women were genuine.
We settled on a rooftop bar (now our local watering hole) for our first date called “The Well.” We spent hours there chatting, sharing small plates, and realizing neither wanted the night to end.
We ended up hopping to a few other locations nearby, where we continued conversations and indulged in a few more drinks. Over many hours, we took turns sharing our intentions and settled on the understanding that we would keep things casual. Well, casual came and went after spending day after day with each other, and we became exclusive within weeks. Fast forward a few more months, we adopted a dog (aptly named Wells after our first date spot) and signed on the dotted line for an apartment lease.
It was at this moment that everything made sense for both of us. We became and have remained each other’s best friends. In this tiny 600-square-foot apartment, we shared our dreams, celebrated our successes, held each other through loss, and became the best version of ourselves. Shortly after, Covid-19 hit, and we were forced into lockdown. While this may have dismantled some relationships, it only made ours stronger. Our new date became long walks with our pup around beautiful neighborhoods, manifesting what our future would be (marriage, homeowners, family planning, etc.)
A little over a year later, on September 5, 2020, Jullia planned a beautiful and sentimental proposal in a sunflower field where I said, “Yes!” We settled on a long engagement for planning purposes and set our wedding date on May 14, 2022. As if planning wasn’t enough, we also bought a house during this time. I started grad school while still holding a full-time job, Jullia began a job with a new company, and we adopted another pup, Arlo. Even though the busyness of everyday life, we never lost sight of our wedding planning duties, and it somehow brought us even close together. We always stuck to one thing: keeping our wedding simple and celebrating with only the most immediate family and friends was important. We ended up having a guest count of 80, which felt like the perfect number, and instead of a bridal party, we each chose one maid of honor.
The day itself was truly a dream. Maybe it was the killer timeline our wedding coordinator created, but we never felt rushed or stressed throughout the day. Instead, we could genuinely lean into each other and savor each moment as it came to us. It is challenging to choose a favorite part, but I loved that every aspect of our wedding had intention behind it (the music, the cake topper, our photographer, our DJ, etc.) I think the most noticeable thing to our guests is that we wrote personalized letters to everyone in attendance. This took us hours and hours in the months leading up to our big day, but we always made it fun by popping a bottle of wine and writing the letters together. It was a small gesture from us to everyone in the room, which gave us endless love and support.
A month later, we went on an incredible honeymoon to Barcelona and Florence and have since settled back into everyday life. However, I think it may be time to revisit our favorite long walks to manifest what else our future will hold.
Photography by Jantz Sporer
Cake Dolce Bakery
Cake Topper Alalei Crafts
Dress Boutique True Society by Belle Vogue
Florist Daylight Flora
Hair Too Babe Salon & Refinery Room
Guestbook Website Allison McEldowney
Makeup Madee Stewart
Printer Prints of Love
Rentals Ultrapom Event Rental
Rings James Ellen & Brilliant Earth
Signage Niki Press Designs
Venue La Villa
Wedding Coordinator Hooch & Honey