Joan & Bryan

Maui - July 4, 2019 - Sunset

joan and bryan outdoors

Our love story

Meeting Bryan for the first time was an interesting experience. I felt very nervous, but not for the reasons one might think. As a 19-year-old, walking into a room of five interviewers in the upper echelons of the Houston LGBTQ community to compete for a scholarship made my palms sweaty. I got through the interview with butterflies in my stomach, and years later I can still feel them when I come home to Bryan.

Sappy narrative aside, one of my favorite parts of our story is the fact I very quickly developed a crush on Bryan. We’d see each other at events, and I’d try to play it cool when we would talk. I was apparently very good at this, since the only person who did not know I was head over heels was Bryan himself. Over the years we knew each other, I never imagined for a moment that we would end up here, especially because he was married to another man at the time. We would keep in contact; I would ask him for advice and occasionally join his friend group for dinner or the movies.

Fast-forward about three years, after he and his ex-husband (He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named) divorced and I graduated college, we connected with an explosive chemistry. That summer was fast but unforgettable, culminating in a trip to hike Guadalupe Peak in west Texas where we made our already monogamous relationship “official.”

We celebrated our third-year anniversary September of this year, although if you ask Bryan our relationship truly began in May of 2015, when we eagerly explored a budding relationship. I suppose I’d have to agree with him. Nobody after Bryan in May seemed as exciting, warm, confident, or handsome. Nobody seemed to fit into my life and personality as readily as he did, cooling my tempers and igniting my passions (sorry, Mom).

Jokingly I’d say I knew he was the one when I discovered our mutual love for disco. Seriously I’d say I knew he was the one when I realized “Bryan in May” is Bryan in June, and so forth. Unapologetically I’d say I know he is the one because he loves me, I love him, and we care for each other in immeasurable ways.

I met Joan in April, 2012 at the Out For Education Student Interviews held at the Alley Theatre. I was one of the five people in his interview panel. As soon as he walked out the door, I said to my group “give that kid a few years and he will be smoking hot” Joan received a scholarship, not based on his looks but rather his great qualifications. Over the three years that followed, we stayed in touch and he would join our group at different events.

Fast forward three years to 2015, Joan had finished college and we were texting one afternoon about a group getting together for a movie when he discovered that I was single. I told him I would pick him up since we lived so close to each other. On the way home, Joan made it very clear that he had a crush on me for years, unbeknownst to me, and that considering we were both single, this should happen. I took him out the following Friday and we had an amazing time together. Our initial outlook was that this was nothing more than a summer fling and we were having fun as neither of us were looking for anything serious. Over the next three months, we spent most nights together and we were hardly ever apart. I took him hiking in West Texas over Labor Day Weekend and “declared” him as my boyfriend. Since then, there hasn’t been a day that I have questioned that he was perfect for me.

At the end of the day, there is no man that I would rather share with life with than Joan. He is absolutely everything I need him to be and more. I only hope I bring as much joy to his life that he has brought to mine. I can honestly say that I have never felt so loved in my entire life. To list every amazing thing about him would turn this into Doctoral Thesis level length. I am counting down the days until July 4, 2019 when I have the pleasure of marrying the love of my life, the soon-to-be, Mr. Joan Cotton.


Our plans for the perfect wedding week


Where to stay & booking info

Hyatt Regency Maui
200 Nohea Kai Drive, Lahaina, Hawaii 96761-1985

Tiffini Mason, Direct Travel

tel: 832-541-7219

Please book through Tiffini, she’s handling our reservations and will be best able to coordinate your travel with our wedding plans. It will also help us finalize the rest of the arrangements.

If you are planning to attend you need to book ASAP!
People book trips to Hawai’i far in advance and there aren’t nearly the number of rooms available now that there were in August.


Confirmations & Regrets

Please remember this week is for “adults only”. 
We love your children but they are not invited, we hope you’ll still be able to join us without them.