An Elopement In The City of Light
Tell us your love story!
We meet the old fashion way. It was November 15th, 1997. I (Raul) decided to go and check out a club I had never been to. I walked around for a bit and there he was across the room. A young blond haired, blue eye guy named Chris. He was wearing khaki pants, a t-shirt and a flannel shirt wrapped around his waist. We didn't have the chance to officially meet because all of Chris’ friends were around and we both left the club thinking we would never see each other again.Two days later we both went back to the same club, not knowing each of us was also going to be there. This time we made sure to exchange phone number so that we would meet again.
What about the proposal?
We really did not officially propose. It was through conversation more than anything. It doesn’t sound romantic but the more we talked about it the more excited we got and, like anything we do, its always “US” so it wasn’t like any unexpected surprise. Getting married after 20 years together solidified that we just want to secure more time with each other, that we are planning for more years of commitment and devotion with each other. To me (Chris) I feel that marriage is extra special if two people are excited about being married after being together for so long. Through it all I wouldn’t trade Raul for the world!
When did you know that you were meant to be with each other?
Raul: For me, it was our first kiss. We had gone out - it was our 3rd encounter (as friends, I didn’t know how Chris felt about me yet). We were dancing but there was something different when a particular song starting playing – the song was, “Forever Young”. As the first verse of the song began our eyes had locked and like magic we kissed and that was the moment for me.
Chris: It was on our first weekend we had gone out of town together. As we were driving back home I realized we weren’t going to be together and he was going to go home alone – I was sad and upset, I worked up the courage and asked Raul to come home with me and stay with me and he said yes. For some odd reason that was the moment I knew I was in love with this person.
Going into the wedding planning, what did you definitely know?
We wanted something very private, very one-on-one. And we knew we wanted to have Paris as the backdrop. I really felt that after all these years together and through the good and bad, this would be our very final and special step of our union together. By choosing Paris as our destination, we were able to travel once again to the city were we took our first vacation together 18 years earlier.
What surprised you during planning? What was easy, what was difficult?
Fights happen due to differences of opinions and approaches. From dealing with the rings to photographers, what were we wearing, officiant, how to get around while abroad and so on. It can be difficult picking the right photographer. We wanted someone who’s work felt professional yet comfortable. We understand people can have open minds but photography (for us) has to have a very unique feel and yet not forced – same-sex weddings, after all, is somewhat of a new world for a lot of professionals. It’s hard to explain but Chris and I deal with print photography a lot as part of our professions so we were very particular in this area.
Is there anything you wish you knew while you were planning your wedding that you know now?
I can’t say yes. It’s a learning process as you go and it was a fun one. We were confronted with so many details that we would have overlooked without the help of Laura, our Officiant.
Any advice for couples planning weddings now? Anything you would have done differently or anything you’d like to add?
Do it your way and don’t listen to anyone else. Everyone has an opinion and wants to get involved (which is great and a good thing) but in the end this is your special day – I had a philosophy, it was our mutual way or the highway – I stayed stern to that. Remember to enjoy every moment of your special day!
What was your favorite part of your wedding day?
Running around throughout Paris in our tuxedos with the photographer and his team – I loved watching Chris look so happy. We were like kids running through the city of Paris. It was amazing!