Yvette and I met four years ago at the Women’s Center of our University.
I was navigating the transition of moving across the country and learning how to feel comfortable as a Jewish woman in a Catholic University. Yvette was navigating her own studies as a Mexican woman at a predominantly Caucasian University. We both felt lost and alone. H
However, we shared a passion for working with other women from all walks of life, which is how we found ourselves at the Women’s Center. We gravitated towards each other instantly. At the time, we both identified as bisexual and were unsure of what our feelings towards each other meant.
We did know we had fallen deeply in love with each other, and were willing to explore the connection and see where our journey would lead us. Fast forward four years later. We have experienced grief, loss, job transitions, and personal self-discovery.
We are not the women we were at the Women’s Center. We have grown individually, and as a couple. But one thing has remained the same – Yvette is my person to wake up to, and she makes me laugh until I burst every day.
I have always known that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her.
We had discussed the proposal together for about six months leading up to it. I asked Yvette’s father two months before the proposal to have Yvette’s hand in marriage. It was an emotional conversation! He said yes and was the happiest that I had ever seen him.
I ordered the ring online, custom made, and expected it to be delivered while Yvette was at work. It came early, and Yvette was home when the mailman came to the door to ask for my signature. I played it off and said it was a gift from my sister. I “pretended to open it” while Yvette was in the shower and then brought out an obscure book and said that was the gift! Yvette believed it!
I hid the ring in her closet and checked on it every time Yvette left the house.
I proposed a few months later!
My twin sister flew out from New York and I asked Yvette to spend forever with me. My sister photographed the proposal from a bush around the corner. I proposed on a blanket at Sunset Cliffs, San Diego.
It was cold with rain droplets splashing on us. We were both extremely nervous. But we knew our truth, our love for each other and our commitment to both ourselves and our families, one that we have integrated into our relationship.
Yvette has three younger siblings (19, 13, and 12), and they were all ecstatic. We have beautiful memories sharing the news with our families and showing them the ring. It was one of the happiest moments for us both.
Wedding planning was going great before COVID-19. We booked our venue, catering company, DJ, wedding coordinator, accommodations, save the dates, and photographer. Right now, our plans are on pause as we fight this virus as a nation and community. The safety of our community and vendors is most important to us. It feels weird to pour our hearts into the planning process right now. We are trusting that things unfold as they are meant to, and we are prepared to make accommodations along the way.
Originally, I had dreamed of a fairy tale desert wedding with lavender and blush tones and beautiful florals. We still think that it will be a fairy tale. But in a different way. We are not able to put as much into planning due to the virus, and our perspective has changed. We care less about the décor and visual presentation of the wedding, but more about the marriage itself and sharing that moment with our close friends and families. Sophie, my twin sister, will be officiating, and we plan to incorporate both Jewish and Mexican traditions into the ceremony.
We are choosing vendors that work with the LGBTQ+ community or identify in the community. Representation is important to us and we want to support businesses that represent women, LGBTQ+ people, people of color, and people of all abilities. We have found a team that we truly connect with and are so excited to work with them!
Our engagement symbolizes commitment, trust, honesty, and respect. While nothing has drastically changed, it feels beautiful to know we are a team forever. We’ve been through so much as a couple – grief, loss, job transitions, family obstacles, and always become stronger after. Our engagement symbolizes that we are ready to take on life together and will be at each other’s side through all the hardships we face.
Our engagement also symbolizes family.
Yvette has a large family and shares a strong bond with them. In Mexican culture, family is sacred. I have integrated into Yvette’s family and has been welcomed by such a loving and unique group of people. Yvette has also integrated into my family. My family is based on the East Coast, so we see them less, but our connection remains strong and special.
We are both so lucky to have such supportive families.
Photography by Gianna Christina Photo