Lauren and Laura

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How We Met

We met in college. We were in the same business fraternity in college at Loyola University Chicago. Upon meeting each other we had a magnetic connection. We quickly became best friends and started spending all of our free time together. Whenever Laura would go on dates with guys, I was always weirdly jealous and didn’t want to hear the details.

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There was back and forth on this until about 9 months after we met, we realized we were much more than friends when she came to visit me back home in Colorado over summer. Immediately upon seeing her at the airport, I knew something had changed. The air between us was different and every time we touched there was a buzz of excitement. Neither of us had ever dated someone of the same sex, so we didn’t quite know how to describe or voice the feelings. She kissed me and the rest is history 😊

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How They Asked

We were planning a cruise out of San Juan at the end of February 2020 to escape the brutal Chicago winter. I noticed Laura had been acting strangely. She was hiding her phone from me whenever we were in the car or sitting on the couch. She seemed preoccupied, I couldn’t place why. I knew Laura had not told her parents about us, and when I pressed her on this issue her responses seemed more distant than usual. When packing for the trip, she was extremely opinionated and worried about my outfit option for the day we had to explore San Juan, which perplexed me. She was in charge of booking the hotel in San Juan and chose the most expensive, beautiful hotel in the area (Side note: if you’re ever in San Juan, we highly recommend El Hotel Convento).

We arrived in San Juan and spent the day walking around the area looking at the beautiful buildings and scenery, taking everything in. Laura ended up with blisters because of how much we walked. She seemed extremely distraught, I knew blisters weren’t fun but I couldn’t understand why she was so desperate to get any and every treatment to make them go away. On the first evening in San Juan, she let me know that she had planned a tour of an old castle for us in the morning at 8:30 am. I felt like that was a bit early, but said nothing as I am an early bird anyway. We got up, got dressed, and had a small breakfast at the hotel.

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She was very concerned with how much I was eating and asked if I wanted anything else to eat. Upon leaving the hotel, we walked towards Calle del Hospital, a street we had visited yesterday. This was by far my favorite street in San Juan. It is packed with stray cats lounging on the sidewalk, in gardens, and prowling the street looking for affection. I checked in with Laura to make sure this was the right way to go, in my mind the castle was the other way. I started going on a rant about two characters from the Bachelor, Luke P, and Madison.

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I went through each parallel of them, why they were similar, and why they weren’t. It seemed like Laura wasn’t really listening, which upset me even more and made me feel like I needed to continue talking about it. Laura tried time and time again to redirect the conversation to our relationship. Finally, she was successful and able to go through the script she had prepared (sorry, Laura 😊). She began by talking about when we met and how it changed her life for the better. She started to care more about doing well in school, her family, and life in general.

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She mentioned how she didn’t really know what path she was on before she met me but knew it was not as amazing as the path we’ve been on with each other the past five and a half years. Once we arrived at Calle del Hospital, we noticed a couple taking pictures at the bottom of the street. Laura was on her phone again, so I went over to pet a street cat. This was an activity I was banned from because of germs, but since Laura wasn’t looking, I figured it was a good time to test it out 😊 Laura came back to me and asked to take a picture of me in the doorway I was standing in. I agreed and we took the picture. After Laura and I walked down the street a bit and she talked more about how much she loves me.

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Once we were about halfway down the street, Laura said “so, do you want to marry me?”

“Of course, you know I do,” I smiled, used to being asked this question jokingly.

“No, really,” she smiled, “Will you marry me?”

Laura got down on one knee and pulled out a ring box. Inside was a beautiful, diamond ring with a silver band. I exclaimed yes! I would marry her!

“Is that a yes?” Laura asked.

“Yes!” I said again.

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We laugh about this now, Laura was so nervous she didn’t hear the first yes. I heard the click of photographers and asked if that was for us, she confirmed. She had hired a local photographer to take our photos, which is who she had been texting with the past couple of days. She put his name in her phone as “Troy”, one of our friends, so that I wouldn’t be suspicious. Our photographer, Edwin, was extremely friendly and was actually crying tears of joy about the proposal. I was also crying, so we all cried together a bit and smiled.

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One of the first things I asked Laura as if she had told her parents, she said yes, she told them she we were dating and that she would propose to me earlier in the month. I was shocked she was able to keep it from me. She said it was very difficult, but she knew I would be onto her if she told me about it.

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The remainder of the day was a blur. We walked around with Edwin for a couple of hours taking pictures, smiling, and enjoying the fact that he knew every single local we walked by. If you’re ever in San Juan and need a photographer, use Edwin! His Instagram is edwinstellaphoto.

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I am still elated by this surprise and will be forever grateful to Laura and our friends and family involved in planning it. It’s a memory neither of us will ever forget, and I can’t wait to spend our lives together.

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Special Thanks

Edwin Stella
 | Photographer