Overcoming a long-distance relationship between Brazil and the US, on trip to finally see one another they both proposed to one another, at the same picnic. They eloped in Colorado.
How long have you been together, and how did you meet?
We have been together for just over four years, having met during our work together for a major travel company. Gabriel worked in Brazil and Dylan for Latin America based out of Miami. A series of meetings in Mexico City and Brazil created the perfect opportunity to get to know each other and our first date – a movie together after some meetings in Brazil.
We then explored Rio de Janeiro together that weekend, enjoying one another’s company while exploring the city’s highlights.
Aside from your wedding, what is your favorite memory together?
One of our favorite memories together was Gabriel’s first Christmas in the United States. It was also the first time Gabriel met Dylan’s family. Gabriel tried some of the most famous American snowy and christmas-y traditions, like ice-skating, sledding in the snow, eating smores made on a fire pit in the backyard, and re-watching old Christmas movies. From there, we started creating traditions of our own we kept for the past four years, like a year-end book collage of photos of special moments of the year.
Tell us about the proposal.
Despite being a continent apart, we were fortunate to have the chance to spend lots of time together over our relationship, with Dylan visiting Brazil and Gabriel visiting the United States. Unfortunately, however, the borders closed at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, and we could not travel to see each other for five months – the longest we’d been apart during our relationship.
When the borders reopened to Brazil, Dylan traveled down the following week to spend a month in Brazil with Gabriel. During one of our evenings, we had a picnic in our Airbnb (all the parks were closed for the pandemic).
During this picnic, we ended up proposing to each other – at the same time. We exchanged engagement rings, and video chatted with our friends and family that week to share our news.
Talk us through the decision to elope.
Throughout our relationship, we’ve fought hard to overcome distance, borders, a pandemic, and bureaucracy that made it difficult to be together. When Gabriel was finally able to immigrate to the United States, it was important to us to get married as soon as possible. A few weeks after he came to the U.S., we eloped in Colorado in a small ceremony with Dylan’s mom and stepfather in attendance and Gabriel’s family/Dylan’s siblings in attendance virtually via video chat.
Tell us about telling your loved ones that you’re now married.
Our immediate family could join us virtually for the ceremony via video chat. We then called and texted our friends the days after our ceremony to share photos from our day and the news with them. We were met with nothing but love, support, and excitement. We’ve been so lucky to have incredible support and advocacy throughout our relationship, and it was exciting to be able to share our news with everyone we loved.
Talk us through the actual elopement.
Our elopement was held in Rocky Mountain National Park at 3M Curve, overlooking the snowy, tree-covered mountains. There was a unique fog/iciness to the air that covered all the trees in frost and the sky with clouds. Dylan’s mom and her husband were in attendance, with Gabriel’s family attending via video chat. We had gotten ready together that day after brunch with Dylan’s mom and stepfather and then drove up to 3M Curve together. So we had a moment to pin each other’s boutonnieres on and prepare for our day.
We then had a beautiful ceremony, officiated by Jess Drawhorn, which included a reading from Dylan’s mom. We then chatted with our family across the world via video and had cake and champagne in the snow to celebrate the wedding. Afterward, we strapped on our snowshoes and hiked down into the valley a bit to exchange our vows – surrounded by the snow, trees, and silence. Gabriel placed headphones in both our ears and played music that was special to us as we both exchanged vows in a private moment together. Afterward, we climbed up some nearby rocks for more photos and to share some brewed coffee together.
What does the future hold for you both?
We have loved making our home together in South Florida. Travel has been a large part of our story – having met internationally and, of course, having traveled to one another and together many times. There is no doubt travel will continue to be part of our life as we explore new places together. We are both looking forward to growing together as we build our lives, engaging in our professional careers and development, building a family, and having no end to our adventures.