Real Couples // Same-Sex Engagement Photos at Papago Park

Cody: We met online while living in Washington, DC, in 2010. Danny had just finished his undergraduate degree at Texas A&M and was working for an LGBT non-profit. I was working on my doctorate in criminology at George Mason University. After a few weeks of G-Chat, AIM (whoa this was a long-time ago!), and texting (and learning that we only lived a couple of blocks apart) we went on our first date in April 2010.

We were both raised in Phoenix, Arizona, and we make our home there today. Through health complications, long distance, unemployment, and relocating across the country, we, like many couples, have been through our share of obstacles. We are stronger together. We are passionate about fighting for those who need a voice and speaking out on issues related to the continued marginalization of the LGBT community.

We love spending time together: eating dinner after hours of texting taco, burger, and chicken leg emojis to make a plan, or re-watching a favorite show on Hulu or Netflix for the fifth or sixth time.

Danny: For me, our relationship was certainly not a “love at first sight” story. Before I knew he was the one, there was a “vetting” process that included many steps such as meeting his family in Charlottesville, Cody meeting my very large, Mexican family in Texas, seeking approval from each other’s closest friends, ensuring that he wanted kids (and not just one or two — I want a big family), and most importantly, knowing that he’d be comfortable defending me, the values I stand for, and our union as we build a life in a country that still has issues accepting non-traditional families. I know we have many challenges ahead of us, but I know there is no one else I’d rather have by my side than Cody.

Cody: For me, there was a spark there from the very beginning. And I knew I had to win Danny over, so I worked extra hard to show him I was a worthy partner. We went from living two blocks apart in D.C. to 2,000 miles away when I got to Phoenix and Danny was in Philadelphia. I missed him constantly and knew that I wanted him closer forever. I racked up a lot of frequent flyer miles on PHX to PHL trips, but we both realized that long-distance couldn’t work forever. From the moment I convinced him to give up a great job and life in Philly to trek across the country and become an Arizonan, I knew we’d be together forever.

Danny: Our proposal was a total surprise. Cody planned a nice dinner at Richardson’s in Phoenix. While still on the appetizers, I could tell Cody was nervous before popping the question. The surprise didn’t end there; Cody had a group of our friends ready to start the celebration when they got home. The next day, we drove down for a wonderful weekend at the Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain. It was a beautiful escape full of incredible scenery and piña coladas by the pool before coming home and starting to plan our wedding!

Words by Cody and Danny, as told to Amber Marlow. Photos by CW Life Photography

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CW Life Photography

CWLIFE PHOTOGRAPHY

Connie and Steve, with CWLIFE Photography, are wedding and commercial photographers based in Scottsdale, Arizona — but will travel the world for love!  They are fun-loving, creative, and passionate about photography.

Their take on weddings: love comes in all shapes and sizes, so embrace it! When not behind the camera, they enjoy fine dining, hanging with their fur kids, and exploring the cultures of the world.