Mike and Wes brought their sweet pup, Maggie, to their engagement session along with a lot of love and laughter. These two guys have a natural chemistry and it’s clear why…they’ve known each other for over 20 years. They are the best of friends and each other’s strongest support system.
How did you two meet?
We first met at a Mexican restaurant in Greensboro back in 1994. Mike had a partner, and Wes was single at the time. The dinner was an open invite to LGBT folks, and it met there every Friday night. We would get a big table and just get to know one another, etc. Wes was there with a female friend of his, and they just happened to be seated near Mike. Shortly afterward, Wes met his partner John, and they both started coming to the dinner together. It turned out that John was good friends with Mike, and so all 4 became friends. So at that first meeting, it was strictly friends, nothing romantic.
Who approached who? How did it go down?
Fast forward 20 years, Mike and Wes had remained friends through moves, break-ups, job changes and deaths. Mike was single and living in Charlotte, Wes was widowed and still living in Greensboro. They kept in touch but only saw each other maybe once a year. As fate would have it in late 2014, Wes had been laid off and Mike had taken early retirement. It was Christmas and time for the annual eggnog party hosted in Charlotte by their mutual friend Daryl. Wes decided to attend, and he asked if he would stay over at Mike’s house. Because they didn’t have to work, they spent more time together over that weekend than usual, having dinner, Christmas shopping etc, and they began to see each other as more than friends.
What did you do for your first date?
There really wasn’t a typical first date since we already knew each other so well.
Sooo…how long did you date? Did you move in together? Where did things stand before the proposal?
Roughly 7 months passed before the proposal, which was completely unplanned. Wes remained in Greensboro and the plan was basically to see where things would go, and Wes was also sorting out his next job step. They would go back and forth every couple of weeks from GSO & CLT to see each other. They had also taken a couple of big trips together, first to Cuba, then Kentucky and then to Cape Cod, where the proposal occurred.
Ok ok…so tell me about the big question. How did it happen? Tell me the details!
Mike had made reservations at one of his favorite restaurants in Provincetown, MA, where they were spending the week with friends. There was nothing special about the dinner at first, but Wes & Mike began talking seriously about their relationship. Mike “innocently” asked a question about next steps in their relationship, and Wes took the unexpected plunge and asked, “Will you marry me?” Mike was completely taken off guard but said yes! The next day, Wes wanted Mike to know he was serious, so while Mike was having a massage, Wes planned a more official proposal. Wes waited in their room, and when Mike returned, there was music playing and rose petals on the floor; rose petals on the bed spelled out “I love you.” Wes got down on 1 knee, asked the question again and, in lieu of a ring, presented Mike with a red Human Rights Campaign Equality wristband from a local shop (Wes wore a matching one).
Who was the first person you told?
Other Location: Glencairn Gardens
Photographer: Amanda Moss Photography