Nearlyweds Alina (she/her) and Paola (she/her) like to say that they have a flair for the dramatic. After meeting through college theater, the pair spent a while becoming friends before realizing that they were meant to be together. The bisexual women currently live in Brooklyn, New York, but their love story has spanned across many states since they first started dating six years ago. After Paola proposed to Alina on a Hawaii beach over the Christmas holidays, Alina organized an engagement photoshoot in Montana, for her to return the proposal to Paola.

We caught up with Alina to learn about her and Paola’s college romance and how they proposed.

How did you meet?

Paola and I met at Amherst College while doing a production of “Into the Woods.” Our friendship really blossomed when we were serendipitously neighbors my senior year. We became best friends, and she became the co-parent to my miniature pinscher, Mugsie. Neither of us realized our romantic feelings for each other until the night before I was supposed to graduate and move across the country. After many sappy letters and mixtapes sent back and forth, trying to figure out what to do, Paola moved in with me after she graduated a year later. We have been blissfully happy ever since.

Who proposed and how?

We talked about how we both wanted the experience of proposing and of being proposed to. While we were visiting my family in Hawaii for Christmas in 2021, and we, unfortunately, got Covid and had to isolate ourselves from my family, which was obviously upsetting. On Christmas morning, Paola told me to put on a nice dress because we were going to take some socially distanced photos on the empty beach at Makaha Beach. She surprised me by getting down on one knee and proposing, making it a wonderful Christmas after all! The ring I got for her was already on the way, and I was shocked that she beat me to the proposal. Once her ring arrived in January, I organized an engagement photoshoot to propose back in Missoula, Montana, where we lived at the time.

What do you love most about each other?

I love how good we are at communicating and how well we complement each other. We are excited to celebrate our love with everyone we love! The Equally Wed heart is a trademark of Palladino Publishing, LLC.

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Photographer: Ashley Rhian Photography
Location: Missoula, Montana
Rings: Catbird; Alexis Russell

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