ENGAGEMENT STORY: COREY AND CRISTIAN
Most couples chuckle when asked: "how did you two meet?" Often the chuckle is to do with the fact that they met on social media. But, in the case of Corey and Cristian, we were the ones who chuckled. That's because these two met at Carnegie Mellon University where Corey was rushing Cristian's fraternity. We are always tickled by a good old-fashioned love story that begins IRL!
"I think we were gonna meet regardless," Cristian pointed out. Not only did Corey and Cristian have a fraternity in common, they each also have a best friend named Rachel and Rachael! "The Rach(a)els" happened to be best friends with each other. And, as BFFs do with their best gay friends, they endeavor to set them up. Cristian also admitted that: "[He] already knew who Corey was and was starry-eyed."
The early days of their getting to know each other involved grabbing coffee with "the Rach(a)els." But, as Cristian described their first date, he admitted that Corey "tricked [him] into it!" Corey asked Cristian to join him for a "quick dinner" at Lulu's Noodles in Pittsburgh. "We had a lovely dinner," Cristian described. When the check came, they each put in their card, but Corey offered to bring the waiter the bill to keep up the ruse of the “quick dinner.” He came back and reported to Cristian that "they didn't take Visa" with a twinkle in his eye and smirk on his face. "That's when I understood we were on a date," said Cristian. Corey described it as "super suave!" The two laughed.
And, not too long after the first date Cristian issued a sort of an ultimatum: "I told him that unless he was interested in a long term relationship, I didn't want anything to happen between us!" He explained that a random hook up between fraternity brothers would just make things awkward. "I really raised the stakes and... [laughing] I guess it was worth it!" "I think we had a chance to talk right up front about what our intentions were and kind of commit to it and we've been together since," Cristian said. That was seven and half years ago.
After graduating, the two moved together to New York. As Cristian pointed out: "It was a given that we would live together." "From that first conversation, we knew we were committed so there was no real timeline for getting engaged or married," Corey said. "And, it wasn't legal then." But, there had to have been something in the stars given they signed their lease on the day same-sex marriage was made legal in New York!
On a trip to Sweden, Cristian made note of a comment Corey made about how magical it was to him when an engagement was a surprise. "I filed that away. Some people don't like the surprise element, but if I am gonna propose. I can't give it away easily." And, given Corey was also thinking about proposing in Cristian "it was like a ticking time bomb about who was going to propose first!" Ultimately proposals would have to wait while the couple focused on moving to Los Angeles.
Once settled on the west coast, Cristian took to planning the engagement. Ten months before the actual day, he started looking for rings and informing their families of his intent. He decided that their 7th anniversary would serve as the day he'd pop the question.
To kick off their weekend, Cristian gave Corey his anniversary present: "a big scientific telescope, a bottle of whiskey and a surprise Airbnb in Joshua Tree." Cristian described how: "in my mind, Corey would be looking through the telescope and turn around to find me on one knee." As you can imagine, this didn't quite go as planned!
"We are both super nerds and when you present me with something like a telescope, I get very intense!" said Corey. Corey kept moving around the yard looking for a place where the wind wouldn't shake the telescope. Cristian was following with a Bluetooth speaker that would "score" the proposal, but they kept getting too far out of range. "It was all so not romantic," Cristian laughed, "running around the desert trying to get a shot of Mars!" Finally, "Corey wore himself out!"
They took to their terrace where the moment to propose finally arrived. Corey said: "let's just cuddle and look at the stars." The speaker was finally able to play John Legend's "Under the Stars." And, Cristian began reflecting on all of the experiences they'd shared together. "Then he nonchalantly threw in something along the lines of 'do you want to do this forever?’" Corey explained. "I said: yeah, sure, forever! To which Cristian said: 'no seriously, forever,' and that is when I looked back at him and found him on his knee with a ring.
"I don't think I immediately said yes, though I know I said yes in my mind!" When Corey calmed down a little bit, Cristian presented him with a second ring for Corey to propose in return. "He grabbed the ring and ran into the darkness of the desert," Cristian said laughing. Also laughing, Corey said: "I had to go prepare because I was apparently too overwhelmed. I think that was the first time I’d really been surprised!"
Well, it might have been the first time, but there was yet another surprise to come. Cristian told Corey that they had a second Airbnb teed up in Palm Springs the next day. Corey, having tricked Cristian into their first date, would have the tables turned as Cristain had arranged for 20 of their friends to be in Palm Springs to celebrate their engagement! The rest of the weekend was spent having a blast with their nearest and dearest.
The couple have set March 10th next year as their wedding date. “We don’t want to do anything traditional. Just a big party for our closest friends and family,” said Corey.
When asked what it feels like to be engaged, Cristian answered: “Every time I say fiancé, I giggle!” One thing we know is for certain for this couple, laughter will be the hallmark of their life together.