Juan & Evan
As part of our luxury issue, we could not be more excited to feature Evan and JP. Their engagement brings a glamorous dose of Palm Springs luxe to this month’s edition. Read on to understand how!
“We first met when I was going to meet a guy I chatted with on Grindr. I went to meet the guy at the bar at which he was working, and JP, his best friend and coworker, was there too. I was immediately drawn to JP, and JP was also drawn to me as well (though I totally didn’t know it at the time). JP, being the good friend and wingman that he was, put his own feelings aside and encouraged his friend to go for it with me.”
JP went on to explain: “So, Evan and the other guy dated for about a year or so. During that time, Evan and I became friends. Since Evan was dating my best friend, Evan figured that I should date his best friend. You know, besties dating besties, double dates, and all that jazz. Needless to say, things did not work out for either couple. A few months after my relationship ended, Evan found out that his boyfriend was cheating on him. Evan’s relationship quickly ended, and so did the friendship between my best friend and me.”
“For the next couple of years, JP and I continued a super casual friendship—going to the dog park with our dogs and lesson planning together, since we’re both teachers,” Evan explained. “We would see each other once every few months or so, and just catch up to see how the other was doing.
One day, totally out of the blue, I had a moment in the morning while brushing my teeth. Mid-brush on the top molars, I stopped and thought, ‘You know, I haven’t talked to JP in a while. . . I should really get ahold of him.’ It was a quick thought, but one that stayed in my head, almost as though someone else had put it there. I continued brushing and went on with my day only to find that right after work that very same day, I had received a text from JP saying, ‘Hey, it’s been a while. How are you?’”
“Evan and I agreed to get together that night for dinner, and when we did, something was very different. We both had feelings for each other for years, but we never knew about it or acted on it because we didn’t want to ruin our friendship. The night ended with a ton of tension, but no kiss. After Evan got home, we texted again each of us saying how we wanted to kiss each other. I responded, ‘Well, maybe next time we can try that.’ So, we planned another hang out, but this time it was an actual date. I made Evan enchiladas verdes, we kissed, and the rest is history!”
“So…. neither one of us can truly remember when we said I love you, or who said it first. So, romantic, huh? It always felt like a given. I know it happened right away though…like a month or two into it, BUT I did have one moment where I knew that this was it…that JP was the one. We were both on his bed listening to (yes, we know this is cheesy) A Million Dreams from The Greatest Showman soundtrack. There was a moment where I looked into his eyes and started crying. It was this feeling of, ‘Oh…there you are. I found you.’ It was so overwhelming. That’s when I really knew. That must have been in the second month.”
“In fact, 3 months into dating, I knew that I was going to marry Evan. In June 2018, I flew to Denver to visit my godparents while Evan was on a birthday trip with his dad in Europe. This was the first time I ever visited my family in Denver with good news about a boyfriend. Knowing he was the one, my godfather, a jewelry maker, asked to create our wedding rings.
When I told Evan that I knew I was going to marry him, he was a little hesitant. Evan had been burned by guys before and was scared to jump into something that serious right away, even though he knew too and was too nervous to say anything.”
“JP told me right away that he understood that I was a little standoffish and he respected how I felt, but said that he would never propose to me in fear of being rejected or that I wouldn’t be ready. So, from that moment on, I knew that the proposing was always going to be on me!”
“Evan and I were asked to be part of this styled shoot. So, we went and did the shoot. Everything was totally normal.” Evan went on to say: “To be honest, I had so many different ideas of how I wanted to ask him in my head. I mean, I’d been thinking about it for almost a year! I knew that the night of the shoot was a possibility because I wanted to get amazing footage of our proposal. So, I kept the engagement rings hidden in my pocket the whole time. I was so nervous he would feel or see them.”
“At our very last shot, which was the night shot, the director (now our wedding planner), asked Evan to get on one knee for a different pose. Mind you, it is pitch black. I can’t see anything. Not thinking anything of it, Evan began to slip a ring on my finger. I immediately said, ‘We don’t need a ring in the night shot. You can’t even see it!’ But he kept putting the ring on and then he said, ‘Will you?’ Totally confused, I responded, ‘Will I what?’ And Evan replied, ‘Will you marry me?’ I honestly thought he was just doing it for the shot, or to create a mood for the picture. I had no clue until he asked again… for the third time. I said, ‘Are you serious right now?’ And he said, ‘Yes, I’m serious!’ So, of course, I said yes.”
“Meanwhile, the rest of the crew is losing it because no one can see anything in the pitch-dark desert. They were all asking, ‘What just happened!?’ And, it was so crazy because I had said to myself earlier, ‘You know, today just isn’t the day. It’s way too busy on the photoshoot, and we’re just trying to get things done.’ But by this time of the night, things had calmed down. Then, when Andrew, the director, asked me to get down on one knew underneath those millions of stars, I knew that this was the moment. I knew the universe was setting it up for me—I didn’t even have to decide when to kneel down! It was so beautiful. There could not have been a more special and perfect moment.”
“I’m not a big feelings guy,” JP said, “but our engagement was crazy emotional. I cried, which doesn’t happen very often. I was shocked and so happy. I wasn’t necessarily waiting for him to ask me—I wasn’t preparing myself or in anticipation. So, when it happened, I almost didn’t believe it.” Evan continued, “I was so pumped full of adrenaline that it was almost an out of body experience. I was thinking to myself, ‘Oh, my gosh…this is it. Is this really about to happen? This is really about to happen. Am I really kneeling down right now? What is going on?’ It happened so fast, but it felt like time stood still. After it happened, and I knew we were engaged, ALL my fears and worries about the future melted away. It was like I could finally see clearly. I knew this was it, this was right, and that I was a very lucky guy that he still wanted to marry me!”
“The truth is, we’ve worked crazy hard on our relationship,” JP expanded. “We have had a lot of bumps in the road and so many personality differences that we struggled a bit to understand each other. We have an amazing relationship, but that came with dedication in one-on-one therapy, pre-martial counseling, learning how to communicate effectively, and learning to trust each other completely. We each had to sort through our own baggage and “life manuals,” as our therapists says, in order to get where we are today.”
When asked about what advice Evan and JP would give others planning on getting engaged, JP shared: “don’t think too much about it, just do it. And stay true to yourself. If you’re a simple guy, don’t make it over the top crazy. Go with the flow and what you know would be special to you both.” But, according to Evan: “I am an over thinker to the max. I plan and plan, make changes, re-plan, and make more changes—all to avoid having to make a solid decision. I guess my advice is twofold. One: Don’t overthink it. If you’re already at this point, you know what would be special and mean the most to both of you. It doesn’t have to be perfect—the imperfection is what makes it special. And two: If you’re a type A, plan details to the hilt kind of person, allow for flexibility in your plans. Maybe the universe is trying to deal you something better than you could have planned yourself.”
Speaking of plans, the two already have almost everything planned or the wedding. JP explained: “The wedding is taking place on 02/02/2020 at the Ace Hotel in Palm Springs, CA. We just want to have a fun and relaxing wedding. Sliders and fries for dinner, churros for dessert, s’mores by the firepit, fun games like Jenga and cornhole, and maybe even a late-night swim. We live in the desert and want to catch that vibe for our guests—especially people from out of town. We want a mix of mid-century, meets desert, meets Mexico.” Evan added: “I can’t wait to have all our family and favorite people together in one place! I love this guy so much; I can’t wait to celebrate spending the rest of my life with him. I want to dance the night away and start off the rest of our days surrounded by support, prayers, and positive vibes. It’s truly amazing when I think about it.”
Night Photographer: @lwfalzarano
Table Top: @hostesshaven
Hair and Makeup: @jenpluscolour