Allie and Becca

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How We Met

I (Allie) am originally from Milan, Italy but have been living in NYC for quite some time. In April 2019, Becca moved from San Francisco to NYC and befriended my same circle of friends. It took about a month for us to cross paths at our local gay bar, despite also living only a few blocks away from each other. Even though there was an instant attraction, we remained only friends. Seriously, we always say the hardest part of our relationship was when we were trying not to be together.. and it’s such a true statement.

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In the months that followed, we both went through challenging times and lost touch– until we were accidentally wearing coordinated outfits at our friend’s NYE party. On January 3rd, 2020 we decided to grab a coffee. What was supposed to be a friendly catch-up ended in the most magical kiss. That was also the last time we ever stopped talking to each other.

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I was supposed to move out of my apartment towards the end of February 2020, so I put all things in storage, packed a suitcase (with one weeks worth of winter clothes), and temporarily stayed with Becca while I searched for another place to live. A week later, the market crashed due to COVID-19, and my kitty Thiago and I had unknowingly found the home where we would shelter in place. A few days turned into 4 months of accidentally quarantining together! So when Becca’s lease ended in July, we made a conscious decision to purposely move in together. We figured, if we could not only survive, but thrive, in a 300 sq ft studio apartment during a global pandemic and only want to spend more time together, we’ve got something truly special.

Thinking back it’s kind of funny, for almost a year I didn’t realize I had already found the love of my life– we just needed the right timing.

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How They Asked

I want to preface this by saying, I had no idea! Becca’s parents had just moved to Palm Springs, CA, so we planned to visit them in May 2021, post vax, to help them settle in. The details of how all the magic happened while being there is something you’re just going to have to hear from Becca, so I’ll let her tell it–

(Becca): I CAN’T BELIEVE SHE HAD NO IDEA! I had been planning this for about 3 months– and from the no-brainer decision of “I want to marry this girl immediately,” to the final ring decision (after sorting through millions of options), she never knew! We are together 24/7. I had secret meetings with the ring company in my car guised as therapy calls (don’t worry, I still also took my real therapy calls), snooped on her Pinterest boards, and coordinated ring delivery details, and she still didn’t figure it out.

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I’m horrible at keeping secrets, let alone hiding things from her (something I truly love about us), so when the ring order got delayed thanks to COVID, I had to change all plans to pop the question in Palm Springs. However, things happen for a reason, and looking back, I’m so happy it happened this way:

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First and foremost, I made sure to check off all the proper Italian “groom” related protocols from the list and asked her mom and dad, privately, to get their blessings. With that accomplished, it was time to find the perfect place. Allie is the planner of the relationship and had been compiling a list of Palm Springs “best of the best” ever since we booked our flight. Cross-referencing her list with aesthetics, lighting, timing, etc, I found the perfect space at the open-air restaurant of a chic boutique hotel.

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The next order of business was ensuring the engagement pictures didn’t turn out like my grandmother took them (no offense, Bubbie!) I hired a wonderful photographer who helped me pull everything off. She pretended to be a professional photographer enlisted by the hotel to take random photos and asked if she could take a few of us by a (perfectly arranged) backdrop. Then the signal came: she turned Allie away from me, giving me enough time to grab the ring from my dad, and fixed her hair. The words “one last shot..” cued my knee speech. Allie thought I was tying my shoe when I got down on one knee. Then the shock and surprise set in– you know, the good kind.

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This is when I was really grateful to have a photographer capturing the candid moments! It was truly the most perfect moment followed by gorgeous engagement photos on the hotel’s beautiful property. Now, I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with her and start our next chapter to the altar and beyond.

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Special Thanks

Melissa Bandli
 | Photographer