Real Engagement

California Engagement: Steve & Doug

Derek Chad Photography B
Steve & Doug chose San Diego’s Balboa Park as the setting for their engagement photo shoot, which is also where they will be getting married later this month in front of 120 guests and their two children, Emma and Thomas.
The grooms met 15 years ago, when Steve reluctantly traveled on a work assignment to Iowa, which happened to be where Doug lived at the time. They met at a local hangout, and Doug offered to take Steve on a tour of the city, and then lunch, and then dinner… And the rest, as they say, is history.

After six months in a long distance relationship, they knew they wanted to start a life together, so Doug moved to California to be near Steve. The grooms actually became domestic partners over 10 years ago, and when the Supreme Court invalidated Prop 8 in 2013, their California engagement became a reality when they just looked at each other and said “Yes,” without either officially asking the other.

In the following weeks, Doug and Steve kept joking with each other by randomly getting down on one knee at different times of the day and ‘popping’ the question.

Their 4-year old twins will have big roles in their wedding. Emma will be maid of honor, and Thomas will be their best man. What do they hope the twins will most remember about their wedding? “That their family and friends love them and us so much that they traveled from all over the country to come spend some time celebrating us and our love together as a family,” the grooms said.  ”And how special and amazing they are to us and how truly blessed and lucky we dads are to have them in our lives and by our sides as we get married,” they added.

The grooms chose Balboa Park as their venue because it’s a place where they spend a lot of time together. It’s home to the famous San Diego Zoo, it’s where the San Diego Gay Pride Festival is held each year, and Doug and Steve have participated in a lot of charity walk/runs there. “Now our kids love going and playing there as well,” they said.


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Photographer:  Derek Chad Photography

Submitted via Two Bright Lights

Denise Oliveira is a Brooklyn-based writer. She has a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University in New York City and is the founder of Prequels, where she interviews engaged couples to create wedding invitations and favors that incorporate their love story.

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