Long Beach, California, husbands-to-be John (he/him) and Julio (he/him) met on Christmas. John decided to go to a coffee shop to do some work, where he checked the dating apps and saw this handsome guy (spoiler alert, it was Julio). They started chatting and had a great conversation, but neither thought it would go anywhere, believing they were both on vacation visiting family and probably lived far away from each other. As it turned out, they actually lived very close to each other in California. They decided to meet for coffee before work in Irvine three days later. From that first coffee, they knew they had something special, and they’ve been each other’s coffee date ever since.

Here, John discusses some of the details of his and Julio’s destination double proposals:

How did the double proposals happen? Tell us everything.

The original plan for a two-week trip to Greece with ten of our friends for my birthday. However, once I realized I wanted to spend the rest of my life with Julio, I felt that this trip would be the perfect opportunity to pop the question. So I planned a trip across the world with those ten friends, who were all in on the proposal. Since one of our friends is an engagement photographer, I decided to do it during a photoshoot where we would all get couples’ photos.

I had been rehearsing everything I wanted to say on the ATV ride to one of the highest points in Santorini, Greece, overlooking the Aegean Sea. Within a few photoshoot poses, I searched for the right break in movements to get down on one knee. But before I could, I heard words from Julio: “I want this for us always.” As I tried to understand what was happening, it all became clear once he bent the knee. Every word I had rehearsed, every emotion I was feeling, was all reset and then… tears. I couldn’t believe he beat me to it! But I also only imagined, he must have been going through the same thing I was this past week.

Still in shock as he slid the ring on, my hand went into my pocket to grab the ring box and he pulled me in for a hug. I hugged him with the ring box behind his back, and then it was my turn. I bent down on one knee and told him that I, too, had a question. He thought I was joking until he saw the ring box. I had it engraved with my favorite quote from Finding Nemo: “When I look at you, I feel it. I look at you … and I’m home.” And he is just that. He is my escape and my little corner of the universe. He is my best friend, my love and my home.

What do you love most about each other?

The little moments. Coffee in the morning. Picking out Christmas trees. All of the seemingly insignificant moments where it feels like we’re the only two people in the world.

What are you most looking forward to in your marriage?

The adventures. Our first home. Traveling together. And creating more little moments, wherever they may be. The Equally Wed heart is a trademark of Palladino Publishing, LLC.

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Photographer: Thru Deez Lens
Location: Santorini, Greece
RIngs: David Yurman

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