Alex and Donovan

How We Met

Donovan and I met through mutual friends at the time in the summer of 2011. He was going through a rough a breakup and felt alone. At the time we both needed someone who understood us and accepted us both flaws and all. Donovan took me away from a place of uncertainty in my life and brought me into a world of love and affection. In the process of us becoming closer, we bonded over music and things we wanted out of our life. There is nothing more attractive than a person who values their life and never let’s go of their childhood dreams of adventure.

We made it official on October 11, 2011 when I asked him to be my boyfriend over the phone while he was in his dorm room. We both had dreams of exploring the world and together we made it our mission to make it happen, one continent at a time. Through many similarities, we found something that made our life journey inseparable, travel and photography. Together we became the wanderlust boys. An eager couple who wants to make a difference in the world through both photography and traveling with the one we can’t live without.

How He Asked

Every year Donovan & I take an annual international trip (Infinity Tour) with our friends who happen to be another same-sex couple. In the midst of preparing for this trip, we were also preparing to move. This was a big step for Donovan & I, but this is something that we always wanted. Weeks leading up to the move – we began questioning whether this was the right decision for us. Although we made many trips to California, we were not having any luck securing jobs. Without finding jobs we were not able to find apartments that were within our price range considering that we were unsure how much we were both going to be making. Even though we didn’t move on the date we had originally set, we were determined to make this happen. At this point, we had decided to give social media break to focus on the move. As the weeks progressed we felt more and more discouraged. It had gotten to the point where we were ashamed to go out in public because we were worried about bumping into people who knew about the move.

Donovan & I isolated ourselves from everyone besides our inmate family. Between the move not happening like we planned AND not having jobs – Donovan & I neglected to mention to our families that we had an international trip coming up at the end of September. Fearful of the constructive criticisms we would receive, we held off telling them. Donovan informed his parents two weeks prior to the trip. Alex informed his mom the week of AND told his dad two days before. It was safe to say that our families thought that we were crazy. I can recall having multiple conversations with Donovan asking if we could cancel the trip? At this point, neither one of us had a job and were living off of money that we saved up for the move. It had gotten to the point where I was not looking forward to the trip.

Donovan reassured me that we were going to be fine. This was an adventure of a lifetime that at one point we were looking forward to. *A couple weeks later* Donovan, our two friends and I were at LAX awaiting our flight to France. I was filled with emotions as this was my first time ever going to Paris. We endured the 10 hr flight like champs and landed safely in the city of love on Monday 9.25.2017 at approximately 4:30 PM. Little did I know that within the next 24 hours my life was going to change. Upon arriving at our hotel and settling in, we wasted no time and decided that we wanted to explore the city. Captivated by the beautiful scenery, I was beginning to understand why this was the city of love.

After exploring for quite some time it was time to sit down and have drink … or two. It was at dinner that Donovan had informed me that the next morning we had a photo shoot lined up. I was confused as to what was going on. My only concern was making sure that I did not mess these pictures up. For the rest of the night that’s all, I could think about. Disregarding the time difference I had sent a close friend of mine a message informing her of the shoot. Her reassurance helped as my curiosity was getting the best of me. Although we had only spent 4 hours that night, I woke up this particular morning refreshed. As we got dressed Donovan flattered me with compliments. As we waited for our Uber I couldn’t help but think how lucky I was to be in Paris with the love of my life.

I refused to allow my insecurities get the best of me. While we were on our way to meet the photographer, I couldn’t help but notice that Donovan was becoming a tad bit nervous. At this point, I STILL had no idea what was going on. All I knew was that we were taking pictures. If anyone knows us, they know how normal this is, and how over the top Donovan was. Finally arriving at Trocadero we bolted across traffic to meet up with our photographer, Sasha. After a brief introduction, the photo shoot started. Before the first picture was even snapped a gentleman came from behind the photographer with a saxophone, he began playing I Will Always Love You by Whitney Huston.

An array of emotions consumed my mind as my ears listened to what quite frankly was the most beautiful thing I had ever heard. I glanced over at Donovan as he was smiling from ear to ear, he stroked my cheek as he noticed that I had begun tearing up. Following the performance, we continued with the photo shoot. From there we moved to several different locations until we ended up at Tuileries Garden. From the moment I stepped out of the Uber, I was captivated. The scenery looked like something out of a movie. As Sasha took a couple of pictures of us I could not help but not a man and woman making their way towards us with instruments.

Proposal Ideas Paris, France

They were a Violin/ Guitarist. As they begin stepping up I thought this was their job and were looking for us to tip them after they played us a couple of tunes. Little did I know that they were here for us., they begin playing Halo by Beyonce followed by Dangerous in Love. Also by Beyonce. I knew that this was no coincidence. I was filled with different emotions as I instantly recognized the song. While they began playing I could not help but smile. Sasha had decided to take a couple of pictures incorporating our friends and leading Donovan out of the frame. After a couple of pictures were taken Donovan was asked to return to the frame. Before the next picture was even taken, Donovan asked me to turn around. Our friends had opened their suit jackets and had shirts on that said “Our Friends Are Tying the Knot” by the time I could even register what was happening, I turned around to see the love of my life down on one knee.

Alex and Donovan's Engagement in Paris, France

Before he could even fully finish his sentence, I said YES! I continued saying yes interrupting him every chance I got. On 9.26.2017 I said yes. Yes, to marrying the love of my life. I am still shocked and in disbelief that Donovan was able to pull this off without me knowing a single thing. I could not have asked for a better person to spend the rest of my life with. #TheWanderlustBoysAreGettingMarried

The look on my now FIANCÉ’s face when he saw the ring for the first time proposing in Paris, France was a memory I will never forget. To be able to communicate completely online was a little scary but through Emma and Ty, I was reassured and always in constant contact with the process of my both of my engagement rings. The professionalism and detailing of the ring (Wanderlust Boys) engravings were just top of the line. Many people search far and wide for rings like mine and I am greatly appreciative of the fact that I didn’t have to look far.

Special Thanks

Sasha Lannier
Photographer
Caroline Pearsall
Musician (Violinist)
Cristina
Balloons
Custom Made
Ring Designer