Alessandra had three weeks for Nicole to fall in love with her. That was how long Nicole had left in New York City before she was to move back to the Dominican Republic. During those weeks, they made sure to do all the quintessential New York things like eating the best New York pizza and visiting the Empire State Building. “We had a lot of momentum in the beginning of our relationship to get to know each other really well,” Alessandra recalls. Not long after Nicole left for home, Alessandra moved halfway across the country to Dallas for work. After less than a year of making long-distance work, Nicole made the leap to join Alessandra in the heart of Texas.
Four years later, in September of 2019, Nicole arranged a surprise proposal for Alessandra. At their home in Lower Greenville, which was under renovation, was a candlelit pathway to the backyard where a dance floor of leftover planks and a string of lights awaited. As Leon Bridges played on a record player nearby, the two became fiancées. However, that wasn’t the only proposal. Two weeks later, “I returned the proposal back to her in Mexico and asked her, in very bad Spanish, to marry me,” Alessandra reminisces.
Alessandra’s dreams of a large wedding were stalled as COVID-19 began to sweep across the U.S. However, it wasn’t until the passing of Ruth Bader Ginsberg in September that they felt inspired to elope. A brief two-week planning period was all it took for things to fall into place. They found dresses during a quick stop at Nordstrom. “We stumbled upon the bridal department having a sample sale, so those dresses were off the rack, which is kind of phenomenal,” Alessandra says.
Serendipitously, a photoshoot at the Parker Hotel in Palm Springs for Alessandra’s work became the venue for their intimate ceremony. The photographer for the shoot, Tom Schirmacher, offered to photograph their ceremony, and local hair and makeup artist Felipe Lee, who happens to be married to one of Alessandra’s coworker’s, offered his beauty services.
The final touch to their elopement was a surprise Zoom invite to 30 of their closest friends and family. “We actually sent out the video conferencing link at midnight the night before. So everyone who woke up and checked their email saw that they were part of the shotgun wedding,” Alessandra says. “It wasn’t the basic Zoom wedding.”
On October 5, 2020, under a canopy of trees and foliage, the brides were finally able to say “I do.”
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Hair by Felipe Lee