Avi and Christina are both professional storytellers – Avi is an actor/voice-over artist, and Christina is a screenwriter. Avi is a not-so-secret Disney adult who would spend every day at Disneyland if they could. Christina’s happy place is on the beach with a good book or on her couch, binge-watching trash TV. Together enjoy a good drink, great food, and hanging with our cats.
We’ve been together for three years and have known each other for about eight years. We first crossed paths as actors in Chicago, bumping into each other at various theatre events over the years. Avi admired Christina from afar, and Christina was pretty much in love with Avi from the start, but they kept her feelings to themselves until years later when the stars aligned. We went dancing at a club in Los Angeles, grabbed a bite to eat, went for a stroll, and ended up talking at a bus stop until the sun came up. The rest is (gay) history.
Aside from your wedding, what is your favorite memory together?
When we first started dating, we were long-distance — Avi still lived in Chicago, and Christina was in Los Angeles. The first time Christina visited Avi in Chicago was a magical, whirlwind trip we will always treasure. Avi set the tone by meeting Christina at the airport with a long stem red rose and the romance flowed for the rest of the visit. We stayed at a cute Airbnb, discovered an incredible Filipino bakery (puto is SO GOOD), watched our first rom-com together (Plus One), and painted the town red every single night. Even our Uber driver could feel the love—she was convinced we would be getting married someday. Turns out, she was right!
Tell us about the proposal.
Avi went all out! They knew they wanted the proposal to be unforgettable, so they hired a planner (shout out to Nicole from Dreams In Detail!) and spent months secretly plotting. Christina isn’t usually a fan of her birthday (cue the existential crisis), so Avi wanted to change that by giving Christina a happy birthday she’d never forget. Christina spent all day moping and watching Hallmark Christmas movies, convinced that would be the highlight of her day until Avi convinced her to throw on a dress for a simple dinner in the backyard. Avi escorted Christina outside, and she was shocked to find the entire backyard transformed into a romantic wonderland of twinkle lights, flower arches, rose petals, and champagne. Beyonce’s XO played, and a photographer popped out to capture the entire moment as Avi gave Christina their final rose (a nod to Christina’s love of reality TV) and then got down on one knee. Christina said yes. We popped some champagne and celebrated with bbq and pie (more of Christina’s favs).
Talk us through the decision to elope.
We got engaged in December 2020, and between the pandemic and wanting to enjoy being engaged for a bit, we weren’t in a rush to start planning a wedding. We visited a few venues and kept feeling like they just weren’t reflective of us and our relationship. It was important to us that our wedding feel authentic to who we are rather than fitting ourselves into a mold of how things are traditionally done.
So we were at an impasse, feeling uninspired about the whole wedding thing until the end of 2021 when we realized that a once-in-a-lifetime date was around the corner, February 22, 2022. We’re both a bit woo-woo and believe in signs and angel numbers and all that, so we immediately knew that 2-22-22 was our wedding date. But it was only three months away at this point, so an elopement felt like the most practical option. Aside from the practical reasons, we realized that an elopement would be our best option to feel present for every single moment of the day and really make it all about us. An elopement allowed us to feel free from tradition and focus on making our wedding whatever we wanted it to be. So, we went for it!
Tell us about telling your loved ones that you’re now married.
Once we decided we wanted to elope and invite no one (lol), we took a deep breath and called our families. We were nervous about how they would feel about our non-traditional choice, but we’re not a traditional couple, so they weren’t too surprised! Of course, it was bittersweet for our family because they wanted to be a part of our special day, but ultimately, they were very supportive of our decision.
Talk us through the actual elopement.
We woke up early and took in the gorgeous desert views over donuts and coffee. We really savored the quiet moment between us, a moment to connect and take a deep breath before the whirlwind of the day really began. In the afternoon, all our incredible vendors arrived, and before we knew it, it was time to say, “I do.” Our officiant came to help us with the legal paperwork, but we decided not to have anyone perform our ceremony. We wanted to do it privately, just the two of us. So after exchanging our vows, we popped some champagne (Are you noticing a trend? We love popping bottles!), and then we were off to take pictures.
We took most of our pictures in an area of Anza Borrego called Fonts Point. In true desert fashion, the weather was fierce and unpredictable, and the day ended up being very windy. But the wind only added to our sense of play and made our photo session so fun and unforgettable. As the wind swirled around us, it really felt like the entire desert was alive and with us for our special day. After pictures, we returned to our Airbnb, changed out of our fancy clothes and into matching Ivy Park sweatsuits, and ate dinner, lovingly prepared by Chef Jack Leahy. We were so stuffed after the six-course meal that we saved our cake for the next morning! All in all, the day was so joyful, exactly what we hoped for, and much more.
Photography by Eve Rox Photography
Accessories Caitlyn Minimalist
Bow Tie Lanvan
Cake & Catering Jack Leahy, Private Chef
Engagement Rings Do Amore
Florist Golden Heron
Gown Boutique JLM Couture Boutique
Gown Designer Allison Webb
Hair / Makeup Lauren Urasek
Location The Ocotillo House
Officiant Christopher Rodriguez
Planner / Stylist Opus Events Co
Prop / Furniture Hire Circa Rentals
Suit Designer Sharpe Suiting
Wedding Rings Valerie Madison