Watermark’s Wedding Bells: Gavin and Patrick Cooper

By : Aaron Drake
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Gavin and Patrick Cooper agree they’ve been stuck on each other since the first time they met.

“A mutual friend thought that we would be good together and encouraged us to add each other on Facebook,” Gavin says. “So we did, but never took the time to really chat or schedule a time to meet in person. More than a year later, we had our first meeting and first date on Feb. 11, 2014. We were inseparable starting that very night.”

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Watermark’s Wedding Bells Jason Ruggerio and Nick Crush

By : Aaron Drake
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Jason Ruggerio and Nick Crush met in November 2011.

“On our first date, after dinner, I took him to a little playground off Mills and that’s where I proposed to him five years later,” Crush shares.

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Watermark’s Wedding Bells: Mark & Ricky Celaya-Renaud

By : Aaron Drake
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“I proposed to Mark – we are both Eagle Scouts and have a shared affinity for the outdoors and nature, so I planned out a camping trip to the Florida Caverns State Park,” Ricky Celaya-Renaud shares. “We did a flashlight tour of the main caverns, and at the last possible chance before leaving the cave, I gathered my courage, got down on one knee and asked him to marry me.”

“Ricky decided to sign us up for a cave tour in the woods – I’m terrified of bats, by the way – where he decided to ask me to marry him at the very end,” Mark Celaya-Renaud adds. “At that point, I would’ve done anything to get out of that cave! Luckily, I didn’t have to do anything I didn’t already want to, so not only did I get to get out of the home of winged-monsters, but I came out of it engaged to the love of my life.”Ricky, a property manager and native of St. Petersburg, currently lives with his husband Mark, a senior analyst and transplant from Granada Hills, Calif., in Tampa.

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Watermark’s Wedding Bells: Keimy and Pamela Milanes

By : Aaron Drake
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Keimy Milanes and her wife Pamela had a rather interesting agreement when it came time for wedding proposals. The pair first met at work in 2014 and became very close friends.

“Once we realized we wanted to spend forever together, the topic of proposing came up various times,” Keimy, a Wellness Manager from Miami, shares. “In those conversations we both agreed that even when one proposed to the other first, the other would still propose so that we both get our own special moment and engagement ring.”

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Watermark’s Wedding Bells: Angie Folks and Lindsay Khanna

By : Aaron Drake
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Angie Folks knew she would marry her wife, Lindsay Khanna, after a trip the couple took to St. Augustine.

“We took a long weekend trip to St. Augustine, inadvertently around Valentine’s Day,” Folks tells. “We had some bad luck with our accommodations but rolled with it and still had the best time. I think we both knew then that we had something really special. About 18 months later, we got engaged.”

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Watermark’s Wedding Bells: John Bartholomew and Robert Pica

By : Aaron Drake
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John Bartholomew first met Rob Pica more than 30 years ago.

“In March of 1982, I had just moved to New York City from Chicago after having recently broken up with my partner at the time,” says Bartholomew, who hails from Jamestown, N.Y. “My colleague Russell happened to be dating someone who worked with Rob.

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Watermark’s Wedding Bells: Kathleen Harper and Keith Sadler

By : Aaron Drake
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“We first met through a mutual friend that was living with me in Park Central,” Keith Sadler shares about first meeting his new wife, Kathleen Harper. “He had brought Kathleen over to the condo but he had to leave, so we proceeded to hang out, eat pork tenderloins, crush beers and binge “South Park.” We didn’t hang out again after that, but remained Facebook friends for the next five years.”

“After becoming friends on Facebook, sharing music links and randomly seeing each other out places, we finally had an actual date three years ago,” Kathleen says. “It was thanks to Tinder that we reconnected.”

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Watermark’s Wedding Bells: Steven Robert Mayer and Luis Oviedo Valverde

By : Aaron Drake
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Steven Robert Mayer and Luis Oviedo Valverde met through Facebook in December of 2017. The two met in person on New Year’s Day of this year in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.

“After one month chatting by Facebook and video call,[Steven] drove 5 hours on New Year’s Eve into Hilton Head Island and arrived at 9 a.m.,” Oviedo shares. “It was a big surprise for me.”

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Watermark’s Wedding Bells: Grace Peek and Elie Harris

By : Aaron Drake
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“We had been in the same place at the same time many times before without knowing,” Elie Harris says about when she first met her wife Grace Peek. The couple says they first interacted in January 2017 at the funeral of a mutual friend.

“Our friend Becky had been trying to introduce us, but it never quite worked out. It took a few weeks after our first meeting before we exchanged numbers, and since then we have been inseparable,” Harris says.

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Watermark’s Wedding Bells: Sarah Wilson and Stacey Schulz

By : Aaron Drake
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There were multiple instances I knew Stacey was the one, but it started to become obvious when I had a pretty significant shoulder injury early on in our relationship,” Sarah Wilson shares about the beginnings of her romance with her now-wife Stacey Schulz. “I was a mess. I was angry, sad, in excruciating pain constantly, irritable, spending all of my money on any treatment that would help and she just kept on taking care of me.”

Wilson recently moved back to St. Pete from Noblesville, Indiana and works as General Manager at the Mad Hatters Ethnobotanical Tea Bar. She shares where they were when she first met Schulz, who is a St. Pete native currently employed as a Software Product Specialist at SCC.

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Watermark’s Wedding Bells: Christopher Boldys and Kyle Rogers

By : Aaron Drake
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Sometimes you’ve got to put the “classic” into classically gay; that’s exactly what Christopher Boldys did when he proposed to his now-husband Kyle Rogers in May 2016. He popped the question at Tiffany’s in Manhattan.

Boldys and Rogers first met in June 2013 at a Starbucks in Royal Oak, Michigan. Both are from Metro Detroit and now live in their new home in Sarasota.

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Watermark’s Wedding Bells: Erin Boone and Jennie Gintoli

By : Aaron Drake
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“The minute I turned around on the stairs for our ‘First Look’ pictures and saw Toli, I just had never been so filled with anticipation and excitement as when our photographer told me to turn around,” Erin Boone shared about the wedding to her wife Jennie “Toli” Gintoli. “Seeing her for the first time in her dress was just… amazing. There was something so magical about that moment, and I will never forget it.”

Boone and Gintoli say they met where all 30-somethings meet these days: Tinder. When they matched, Gintoli says she wasn’t looking for a relationship—but Boone quickly won her heart.

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