How We Met
Albert and I met on Tinder in late 2015! We talked constantly for those first few months and I felt like we were really connecting! However, due to his busy schedule and my schooling, our first date wasn’t until Feb 21 of the next year! Our first date was in Gainesville, FL which is about an hour away from where I lived at the time and 3 hours away from him. He just happened to be in town doing an engagement shoot (he’s a wedding photographer) and suggested that we meet up at this amazing Thai place nearby called Bangkok Square. I was so nervous that I spent almost 2 hours getting ready and then I got there 45 mins beforehand just to make sure I wouldn’t be late! Dinner went so well he was a real gentleman and so kind and relaxed!
We stayed almost 2 hours at the restaurant stuffing our faces and talking! I was nervous that things didn’t go well, but he wanted to continue spending time together even though it was almost 8 at that time. We drove over to University Drive where the only places in Gainesville tend to be open later into the evening. We walked around the University of Florida campus and the surrounding areas for about 3 hours and we just wandered wherever we wanted. Neither of us knew where we were but we were having such a wonderful time that we didn’t care how lost we were. I took him to see the DNA bridge nearby and how nice it looks lite up at night. We got on the bridge and it was beautiful the way you can see all the traffic below and the lights of the city and then he just took me into his arms and gave me a wonderful and passionate kiss. We were walking back towards Mochi’s to grab late night ice cream and these ladies rolled down their window and were so super excited for us and hooting and hollering!
You don’t see very many gay couples in that part of the south, even if Gainesville is pretty liberal. It was an interesting moment I can tell you that and foreshadowed months of interesting happenings to us! After we grabbed ice cream it was almost midnight so we drove back to my car. He didn’t want the night to end so we ended up sitting in his car watching Youtube and different shows that we both really enjoyed just so that we didn’t have that amazing evening end. I didn’t realize it but he had to drive back that evening to do his Army Duties for that month! I felt so bad but also so amazing that he wanted to spend so much time with me! Then the dates started happening and meeting more and here we are now!
how they asked
Feb 19, 2017, Albert and I took our anniversary trip to Seoul, South Korea! It’s someplace that I’ve always wanted to visit but have never had the chance to go. On the second day of our vacation, Albert took me to Myeongdong Shopping District where I could shop to my heart’s desire and take in everything! I knew that he wanted to meet up with another photographer friend that lives in the area later in the day. So when we were done there we headed back to our apartment we rented out for the trip and took a breather before heading out to visit the Unhyeongung Royal Residence. He knows I love history so we wanted to pack as much of it as we could into the trip, so he asked his friend to meet us nearby after we finished looking around. Pop in to see the place and then go get some food was the game plan! It was around 30 degrees and super cold and windy and all I have on is this little measly sweater. Here I am thinking we won’t be outside long and if we are I’ll be in the sun so no big deal. So here we are running late as always to meet up with his friends. I’m rushing through subway stations and weaving between crowds of people to meet them on time as I absolutely hate to be late. We finally get to Unhyeongung and it’s gorgeous! The architecture and history behind the Royal Residence are fascinating! We wander around for a bit wondering where his friends are. He puts me in front of this archway and starts shooting pictures and drags me to another area to start shooting pictures.
Finally, he drags me into this small courtyard I hadn’t been into but was trying to break away from him to see the whole time! He took a few photos and then placed me under yet another archway. Now I’m sitting here trying to enjoy this beautiful place but he keeps dragging me from photo spot to photo spot. Except for this time, he places and positions me and fakes taking a picture and then goes to position me and this time he gets down on one knee. He was so nervous and cute! I was so surprised and excited and nervous I didn’t know what to say or do. All I could focus on was him and how happy he looked in that moment and the words that came out of his mouth were so sweet and kind and thoughtful! Then he asked me if I would marry him!! Silly me just stood there as he fumbled for the ring and then dropped it in the gravel! I just thought he knew the answer was yes and I didn’t realize I hadn’t verbally replied even though I had been saying it over and over in my head that I wanted to be his husband! He finds the ring and hold it up and says ” Will you marry me, honey?”
I look at him in this odd way like why are you asking me this a second time. With all the emotions that are going on, I finally managed to get a “yes I will” out. He stands up slides the ring on and I finally just tackle him with a hug and a long passionate kiss. The whole time I didn’t realize that there were two other people there!
They were actually his photographer friends capturing the whole moment! We spent another hour or so at Unhyeongung taking photos and then went to the nearby Bukchon Hanok Village for more photos! Everyone was gathering around to watch us and take their own photos of us. Some people thought we were famous and wanted shots to remember us by. Others had never seen a gay couple before and were obviously curious about what was happening. The last shot was at a nearby intersection for a crosswalk shot.
I remember it well because I was freezing to death and at one point a Seoul Police Officer came over to us, even though we were practicing poses and kissing, and saw that I was freezing and gave me warmer patches to help. The warmers were already hot so he gave me his he was using! Being in such a conservative place it really made me feel warm and fuzzy that someone would go out of there way to do that for an openly gay couple in a conservative place! Afterward, our photographer Dylan shoved us into a convenient store in order to get me warmed up from the now 25-degree temperatures and bought us these wonderful little teas.