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Sierra & Sydney – Opposites are Sometimes a Perfect Match

Sierra & Sydney – Opposites are Sometimes a Perfect Match

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“My favorite aspect of our relationship is that we arrived at the same place from completely opposite directions. She grew up in a very religious while I grew up without religion at all. I came out in middle school while she came out right before we started dating at 26. Her longest relationship was 2 months while mine was 8 years. She observed the world around her and realized exactly what she wanted while I dove in head first, made a mess, and figured the things I didn’t want. We both ended up with wants and needs that match perfectly. On a gorgeous sunset walk this January, she surprised me by getting down on one knee and she said “You’re everything I never knew I needed.” I think it beautifully metaphorized that journey from wildly different paths, but at the same time, she did know. We both know.”

Talk about how you fell in love.

Sydney: Sierra and I first met early in 2018 at a mutual friend’s 80’s prom-themed 60th birthday. Sierra was still trying to play straight with the date she brought, and I was married at that time. The whole group had a great time, but I recall Sierra and I really enjoying each other’s humor.

The next time we met was at the same person’s 61st birthday party game night. Sierra was single and struggling to accept her sexuality, and I was very recently divorced. The plan was to take the birthday girl and her friends out dancing that night, but they all bailed when the clock struck bedtime. I invited Sierra still to go out dancing with myself and some friends. We had such a great time, and we became inseparable friends.

Sierra helped me through some very rough situations. I supported her through her coming out journey, and several times we stayed up all night talking and laughing. Sierra loves to say we started dating without realizing it, and I’m inclined to agree. 

After about three months of growing close, we were headed to her apartment for a game night with friends. Before we got out of the car, I nervously asked her to wait one second. I took a deep breath and told her that I really enjoyed our time together. That I want to hold her hand, and that I think we should date. Sierra, in all her anxiety and awkwardness, said, “Same.” That was two years ago now, and since then, we’ve built a beautiful relationship based on open communication, teamwork, and lots of laughter.

And, the proposal. Tell us the details.

Sierra: We had discussed six months into dating that the person proposing would be me whenever the time was right. I set myself up for a secret proposal by telling Sydney that, as a personal rule, I wouldn’t propose before we had been together two years. Already I knew that wasn’t the case, and I already knew we were going to get married someday.

I ordered the ring about four months before our second anniversary, and I called Sydney’s parents the day I got it to let them know I was proposing. We all cried together on the phone for a minute, then started talking about what sort of proposal would fit us. We wanted it to be accessible because Sydney’s dad is in a wheelchair, and we wanted to be able to social distance in a way that didn’t seem strange. 

The secret-keeping went really well! Sydney is pretty oblivious and easily distracted, so it wasn’t a problem until the car ride to the proposal location. Her family got there before we did for a planned “walk” with her family, and she was getting upset that we were late. 

Why did you choose the Boise Greenbelt to propose?

Sierra: We love to walk the Boise greenbelt, and it was accessible for Sydney’s dad to be there. Since we already live together and have a consistent routine, it was hard for me to try to scout pretty places for the proposal. Sydney’s mom and sister went on a photo adventure the week before and sent me pictures of all the best locations around the time of day we were planning the proposal. 

I hadn’t been with them, so Sydney’s mom made up a fake story about seeing a mink in the river once at the chosen spot. Knowing that Sydney would wander over to see if she could find one. Then she offered to take our picture since it was so pretty out, and that’s when I turned to Sydney and got on one knee. 

…and all about the Tourmalinated Quartz ring.

We both try our best to choose to do social good actively. So our first box to be checked was a jeweler with those same values. We were also looking for a minimalist and alternative aesthetic. Something simple but different. Working through that list led us straight to Midwinter Co! They use mostly recycled precious metals and have so many different stones to choose from that aren’t diamonds. We ended up with matching Tourmalinated Quartz stones in the same setting, but with one hexagon cut and the other is a pear shape. There’s not a lot of significance in the ring’s aesthetic – they’re just super cool. Sydney likes to say that our rings have freckles, just like her. 

What does your engagement mean to you both? Has anything changed?

For us, the engagement is more symbolic. We’ve been overly communicative about our commitment to each other, starting fairly early on in our relationship. It hasn’t necessarily changed anything, but it does feel lovely, romantic, and fun. 

How is wedding planning going? What do you hope for your wedding to be like?

We both have a little trouble with perfectionism, and neither of us had really explored our feelings about traditional wedding ceremonies, so it started out reasonably stressful. 

“We’ll have to invite so and so.”  

“Are you walking down the aisle?”

“What friends do we have at our wedding party?”

And on and on and on… we both ended up a little exhausted. The wedding we were trying to put together felt performative instead of special and personal and “us.” 

At that point, we decided to sit down and write out our own wedding “mission” statement. We wrote down all the words and phrases that came to mind when we envisioned our wedding day and everything surrounding it. We were forced to explore and develop our own opinions on wedding traditions, expectations, and purpose. This is what came of it: 

“We gather to love and commit to each other. We invite our families to share this experience with us and join as one family in a fun, comfortable, and memorable space. And also to party.” 

Now, our wedding planning is going great! We’ve decided on a much smaller guest list, a healthier budget, and a wedding venue we’re over the moon about. If anything comes up we’re unsure about, we look back at our statement (which is taped up on our wall at the moment) and discuss which decision will best fit our vision.

How are you going about choosing your key vendors?

Our photographer was a given from the start. Sydney knew about Thistle & Pine Creative before we even met, and she adores their work. Sydney slipped me their business card as soon as the possibility of getting engaged was on the table.

For the rest of the usual wedding vendor selections, we are seriously discussing doing a lot of the tasks ourselves because it involves activities we enjoy doing together. Like gardening and growing our own flowers. Baking and creating our own wedding cake. And landscaping and designing our very own, very special wedding venue.

Photography by Thistle & Pine Creative

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