We have been together for nearly nine years – our anniversary is May 14, 2010! We met in high school and have known each other since freshman year, but we didn’t get together until about a week before graduating and then both went away to college. Trying the whole long-distance relationship thing for five years before finally moving to Los Angeles together.
Proposal planning was, in a word, rogue. Kirstin had already proposed to Margie, so this was a pretty low stakes situation. Margie just had to have fun with it. Margie enjoys surprising Kirstin, so keeping it a secret was effortless. The plan had to evolve on the ground and stay organic.
The primary challenge Margie faced was finding a Portland-based photographer that Kirstin didn’t already follow. The stars aligned, and Margie happened across Krista Mupo (the actual sweetest soul on this planet). They put their heads together and came up with an adorable plan complete with a picnic and donuts! But alas, as most wedding business trips go, there were several schedule changes and on the fly adventures that made most plans go up in smoke. Finally, Margie decided she would just hijack Kirstin, and an adorable version of hijacking is what happened.
The destination was a last-minute addition to our itinerary. We had seen it online and thought it was gorgeous, but ultimately not what we wanted for our wedding. Margie and Krista discussed the most accessible and beautiful locations to capture at golden hour, and Cathedral Park won. The best happy accident of all time and totally worth it.
Margie’s ring is from an Etsy shop called Capucinne. Kirstin actually purchased a different ring one day in late 2016. Funnily enough, that same night, we happened to have a conversation about the kinds of rings we liked and wanted. Kirstin thought Margie was on to her but ultimately learned that the ring she had JUST ordered wasn’t what Margie wanted. Kirstin emailed the ring company that same night after Margie went to sleep, begged them to cancel the order, and explained the whole story. Luckily, they did and allowed Kirstin to place a new order for the new ring the next day. In the end, it all worked out!
Kirstin’s ring is from an intensely talented jeweler, Melanie Casey. Margie searched long and hard (almost two years!!) for the perfect ring, and after nearly settling for something beautiful but not perfect, the incredible ‘In The Sky’ ring appeared. It is simultaneously delicate and secretly punk, employing an ingenious array of tiny diamonds scattered asymmetrically around a spectacular princess cut diamond, eliciting the feel of a shooting star. Margie saved her pennies and waited on a list for months. When she finally got her hands on the ring, it was WAY more challenging than anticipated not to give the ring to Kirstin and forego the proposal plan.
As we said, there wasn’t much of a plan when it came down to it. Margie and photographer, Krista, knew their window of opportunity was closing, and they had to act pretty fast. They agreed Margie would be belligerently assertive and suddenly decide where to go at what time, and possibly make the bold move of deviating from Kirstin’s well-crafted itinerary. To Margie’s surprise, it actually worked, and they managed to get to Cathedral Park just in time for the most incredible sunset. The park is an area under the St. John’s Bridge where the legs of the bridge line up in such a way that it looks like a massive cathedral. We lined ourselves up to get a gorgeous photo, and Margie caught sight of Krista ready to shoot, so in the middle of what would have been a legitimately cute selfie, Margie got down on one knee and asked, “Can I keep you?” (the words Kirstin used to propose two years prior.)
The engagement is a hard-won milestone and a genuinely natural progression in our relationship. It’s us stepping up for each other in a big way. Something we didn’t get to do in the early years of our relationship when things were still pretty secretive. While the engagement/marriage thing is relatively heteronormative, there’s an incredible little rush of security and excitement to be wearing a ring, and pretty much everyone knows that you’re someone’s chosen person. Visibility is vital to really stick it to the naysayers who thought it was a phase.
The wedding planning is going well! We’re just about a year out now, so things will start ramping up here soon. We have the challenge of planning events in two different cities on the opposite side of the country. Ceremony in Portland, OR, and reception party in Miami, FL, so it’ll be interesting!
It’s important that we see representation in our key vendors’ work. Not just of ourselves, but of all different people and walks of life. For instance, for our photographer, we knew we wanted to book someone who had photographed queer people before and who showed a wide variety of body types in their work.
For inspiration, there has been LOTS of Instagram and some Pinterest. We’re both very creative and visual people so we can piecemeal our separate visions together into something cohesive. Luckily, our tastes complement each other well, so building the wedding has been an enjoyable creative challenge so far.
Our wedding ceremony will be on April 11, 2020, at Government Cove in Columbia River Gorge, Oregon.
Photography by Krist Mupo Photography