Dev and Jason’s Paris engagement photo session is without a doubt one of the most romantic and fun that we’ve featured since we launched in 2010. The use of light in the photos is exquisite (City of Light!), but we’re also so moved by Dev’s story of struggle in his home country of Trinidad, where his family worked so hard against the very essence of who he is, trying to cure him of being gay. We’re so glad he found love with Jason. Oh, and they got engaged just one week after meeting. Wow! Read their love story and watch their video below the photos. Cheers, gentlemen!
OUR LOVE STORY
Dev is 32, a Trinidadian-born Executive Coach and piano composer/performer. He is a Chartered Account who spent many years at PwC in Trinidad before moving to NYC four years ago. Dev is an aspiring recording artist. When he is not playing piano and composing new material, he works with executives, supporting them in producing breakthrough results in their careers and organizations.
I am 39. Born and raised on a farm in rural Illinois. I was the first person in my family to go to college, and I went on to earn a Masters in Media Studies from MIT. I spent several years working in digital advertising. I am now Vice President of Mobile Strategy and Innovation for the Miami HEAT, the NBA team. I flew to Miami to interview on a Wednesday in March, spent 8 hours interviewing on Thursday, was offered the job on Sunday and started working on Monday. I stayed in Miami and Dev moved us from NYC. We know how to play full-out!
Dev and I met on August 5, 2014, in a seminar on how to be better communicators. He was at the front of the room, sharing his journey to America. He shared with the seminar how he was raised in a fundamentalist religious home, and underwent 15 years of conversion therapy. He spoke of how he would work all day as an auditor and then come home to be prayed over and deprived of food and sleep to break his homosexuality. The church members and his fellow Trinidadians threatened his life for being gay. He fled to America as an asylum seeker when he was 28, living with various friends and extended family members to survive until he could get his working papers.
As I listened to him tell his story, I was moved to tears by his strength of character. This man was unlike anyone I had ever met before or after. He had the spirit of a child in the face of so much suffering. His energy, his love for all who meet him, and his playful spirit warmed my heart. I saw in him the opportunity of a lifetime: the opportunity to build a life with a remarkable man of gravitas and humility. Incredibly, he asked for my phone number before I asked for his. We went on three dates in the next seven days. One week after we met, I told him to close his eyes and hold out his hands. I placed a wedding band in his hand and said, “Open your eyes and hands, and ask me anything you want.” He asked me to marry him. I said yes.
Dev and I are the torch-bearers of love and possibility in our social network. People tell us that they had given up on love and that we gave them hope to be vulnerable, to go out and try, and to keep believing that love is there. We get asked to come to weddings for good luck. When we return from the trip to Paris, I will be officiating my first wedding. The bride asked me to officiate because she says that what I created with Dev is the model of what she wants in her marriage.
Dev and I are not only hopelessly in love, we are also adventurous, fast-moving, hard-working, and dare I say, glamorous! We love wearing suits, most often completed with our signature bow-ties. We live life to the fullest and we are a yes to everything. We love dinner and drinks and a coupe of Champagne!
Videography and cinematography: Adagion Studio
Photography: Kiss me in Paris
Venue: Hôtel Barrière Le Fouquet’s Paris
Design, Coordination and Linens: Sumptuous Events Paris
Stylist: Les Ateliers Du Male
Nails and Makeup: Lorandy
McLaren Car: Fast and Precious
Floral Production: La Plume Fleur
Wedding cake: Cafe Carette
Stationary: Studio French Blue
Piano Venue: Les Salons de L’Hotel Des Arts and Metiers