Desiree + Carlos

Carlos and I had mutual friends and hung around each other for years before ever speaking a word to one another.
Carlos and I had mutual friends and hung around each other for years before ever speaking a word to one another. I’m very talkative and outgoing and at the time, he was much more introverted and reserved. Ironically he was in a metal band that was popular in our hometown, so without knowing his personality, I always misunderstood him as snobbish and wrote him off. One night I showed up to a party wearing a newsboy cap (inspired from an outfit Marisa wore on the week’s episode of The OC). The only place to sit was on a couch next to Carlos, so I went and minded my usual business of not speaking to him until I heard, “I like your hat. It reminds of this girl on The OC.” I was shocked just to hear words come out of his mouth, much less to hear we had shared interests and that was pretty much the start of it all. 
We dated on and off for a few years and then parted ways until we randomly reconnected at a concert one night. Four years later, while eating Shake Shack in a park in New York, he asked me to marry him. Strangers took pictures and I’m holding a french fry in complete shock.
I had never really fantasized about my wedding day, but when planning started, nothing was connecting for me. Most of what’s out there and expected of you didn’t feel like us as a couple, or as individuals, and I didn’t want to lose the meaning of the day to production and small details. It took a while to figure out what my wedding would look like; I wanted to elope, then I wanted to go to Mexico, but eventually we decided just to host an intimate celebration that felt more like a dinner party in LA, where we had recently relocated to.
We chose a boutique hotel and had 45 of our closest friends and family join us. It usually never rains in LA, but it did the weekend of our wedding. That morning our outdoor ceremony set-up was completely shifted, half of the hotel’s sound system short circuited, but I felt completely at ease. Maybe I just had a great coordinator, but I really loved knowing that we had to impress no one and it really was just about us regardless of what happened.
I walked down to a string quartet version of Beyoncé’s “Halo,” and modeled a part of our ceremony around an old reconciliatory email from Carlos during an ‘off’ period where he compared our love to famous couples that overcame challenges. 
After the ceremony and cocktail hour, we served dinner family style on long farm tables and just enjoyed everyone’s company and emotional speeches. I learned that a wedding is not supposed to be about “perfection,” it’s supposed to be about the celebration of two imperfect people who love each other. Despite any snags, the day ended up being more beautiful than we imagined and now anytime it rains in LA, it’s a sweet reminder of our wedding day. 
Pics by Gregory Ross