“I think the turning point was when we started meeting sometimes at lunch, because we both worked so close, so we would go sit in a park or walk in a park,” Jen says. “I don’t remember at what point it was, but I was just like, ‘I think I’m falling in love.’”
Jen McCoy, 49, a senior analyst at Nemours Children’s Hospital, and Pauline Lopez, 56, a financial coordinator at Orlando Periodontist Office, were married on August 22, 2015, which was just over six years after they had their commitment ceremony in May 2009. But the Winter Park couple’s love story goes back to a chance encounter when they both lived in Kansas.
“We were living in Kansas, and I worked at a dental office. Jennifer walked in and blew me away,” Pauline says.
Needing a new dentist after moving to town, Jen ended up finding an office only five minutes from her job – which ended up being the dental officewhere Pauline worked.
“It was just weird,” Jen says. “We kind of clicked, and I’m just sitting there in a dental chair, just waiting for the dentist, and she’s just talking to me. She’s all bubbly and has a beautiful smile.”
Pauline made sure that when Jennifer was scheduled to come back in for a follow-up that it was when she was working in the back, so she could be able to talk to her again.
“My most favorite thing about her is her eyes,” Pauline says. “Actually, it’s the first thing I noticed when I met her.”
After coming in for her follow-up, the two became friends. At the beginning, Pauline was in a relationship, and not the greatest one, when they first became friends and started hanging out. Jennifer was there to listen to her and gave her support.
They started going out to eat every Friday night, which turned into getting lunch together, and eventually a relationship. They moved in together and have been happy ever since.
In 2009, the couple had a commitment ceremony after Jen asked Pauline to marry her. They were at a popular outdoor mall in town and went into a jewelry store. Pauline loves jewelry and diamonds, and she found this unique ring and ended up buying it. They walked outside where there were park benches for sitting, and Jen got the ring, got down on one knee and asked Pauline to marry her.
Six years later, Jen and Pauline made the decision to legally get married.
“We’ve always known that our love is the same as anybody else’s, and that’s all it’s about – it’s about love,” Jen says. “But to be able to have your government and your state, even though it’s not everybody, recognize and say, ‘Yes, you have the right to do this,’ it was huge. I knew without a doubt, as long as she was going to say ‘yes’ again, that we would legally get married.”
They ended up having a small wedding ceremony at their house, and a lot of the same people from when they had their commitment ceremony came. They had barbecue brought in and music playing, so it was very similar to how their commitment ceremony went also.
“It’s the one thing that immediately attracted me to her, and the one thing that brightens up any day that I have is that she’s just bubbly and has this energy about her that’s fun,” Jen says.
YEARS TOGETHER: 8 years
ENGAGEMENT DATE: May 2008
WEDDING DATE: August 22, 2015
WEDDING VENUE: Their home
WEDDING PLANNER: The couple planned their own wedding.
WEDDING CATERER: Local barbecue was brought in from Kansas and Smokey Bones in Winter Park
WEDDING COLORS: Pink and maroon
FIRST SONG: “Grow Old with Me” by Tom Odell
INTERESTING FACT: Both women have six siblings.
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