You know those couples that are so happy and in love, so clearly meant for each other that sunshine basically radiates from their bodies? And you can’t help but feel happy around them, too, because it reaffirms the fact that that kind of love exists—even though you sort of want to kill them at the same time? Well, Abby and Lani are one of those couples! We can’t say enough great things about them.
The love gods of OKCupid! smiled upon these two in July 2010, when Abby, a former musical theatre actor-turned-businesswoman, stumbled upon the profile of Lani, a former academic-turned-technical project leader and secular Buddhist. That fortuitous moment set things in motion. “I found Lani first and wrote her practically immediately. I had spent the night prior at The Duplex with my friend Poppi, declaring my own independence after one too many vodka sodas, so of course, the following day I just had to meet my soulmate,” Abby laughs. “Like all good lesbians, we met at a vegan restaurant in Park Slope. That was all it took.”
FAIRYTALE PROPOSAL (WELL, NOT EXACTLY…)
Abby and Lani knew right away that they had something really special, and both were soon ready to make it official.
“Lani proposed to me on Christmas 2010, but we didn’t get married until October 2012. Short courtship; long engagement. We had gone engagement ring shopping together, but I didn’t know which ring she purchased or when it would happen,” Abby says. “We had both laughed over the funny court rulings in divorces, and the rulings regarding engagement rings—and I laughed, telling her that if she gives me the engagement ring on a gift-giving holiday (Christmas, birthday, etc.), the ring is considered a gift and I don’t have to give it back. So of course, she went and proposed on Christmas just to try to throw me off.”
Lani remembers it wasn’t exactly traditionally romantic, but that made it even better: “Abby was terribly sick with the flu, so all of my plans for an amazing dinner and popping the question at the beach were completely thwarted by an excessive and terrible snowstorm,” she recalls. “Succumbing to defeat, I asked Abby to marry me while kneeling on the kitchen floor in her father’s apartment. I promptly also caught the flu, within the hour, and we both shivered with fevers in each other’s arms, taking selfies and celebrating the absurdity.”
That’s real love right there, kiddos.
Originally, Abby and Lani were thinking they’d keep the wedding semi-local and tie the knot in New Hampshire. But they really wanted more than just one day to celebrate and spend time with their closest friends and family. So it was decided—destination wedding in Cancun!
“Our wedding was unbelievable. The ocean, the setting, the food, our dresses—but what made our wedding so memorable was having 35 of our nearest and dearest friends and family there to witness our day AND have a vacation,” Abby recalls. “Lying on the beach, private dinners, margaritas...it was perfect.” Lani especially appreciated the simplicity of it all. “I loved having a really low-key wedding in a beautiful place with our closest friends,” she says. “But the actual best part? Turning around and seeing Abby during our ‘reveal.’”
PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT
All right, we get it: They’re perfect together. Don’t worry, though—they’ve got their problems just like everybody else. In this case, their different communication styles create occasional challenges for them. “Lani is a true Californian, and I am an honest-to-god WASP (with Jewish tendencies). Lani communicates everything. Really, everything. And communication is hard for me, especially communication about feelings,” Abby explains. “And then when I do communicate, it’s usually only at the last possible moment before everything blows up. So we’ve been working on how to talk to each other; how I need a little more tenderness and Lani needs things a little more blunt. It’s like everything—a practice.”
Fortunately, these communication hiccups don’t last long because they’re pretty excellent at remembering the things they love about each other. “Abby is a truly joyful and arrestingly optimistic creature,” Lani says. “She deeply loves the things that matter: family, her partner, clean air, trees, ocean and sky. She grounds me and reminds me of the stability and beauty of openness, color, wood, stone and space. And she is outrageously generous of heart and the first to deeply pursue change if she feels it is important to the happiness and stability of our marriage.”
'GIRL, YOU BADASS.'
Abby admires Lani’s incredible capacity for compassion. “She’s not only good to me, but she is present and there for every person in her life,” Abby says. She gave us an example: “Last year, Lani and I were waiting in the hospital for a friend. It was late at night, and we were in the ER. A couple of men were there as well— both obviously with some serious drug problems. There were nurses present, who told us to ignore them, and to just give a yell if we needed anything. I was nervous. They were loud, and one was asking Lani questions, and starting to approach her. But she didn’t pull away like I did. She looked him right in the eye and talked to him. They talked about what they were doing in the hospital, about Oakland, where Lani used to live, and where he’s from—and she got the official badass stamp of approval because he said, ‘Oakland is crazy! Girl, you badass.’ They felt seen. She saw them. It was beautiful. I’ll never forget that.”
For those among us who could use a few pro tips on relationship maintenance, we asked about their secret to marital bliss. “I’m really not sure if there is a secret! Well, maybe. Being open, present, communicative and supportive are the real biggies,” Abby speculates. Lani agrees, “The secret is having complete confidence in our commitment to each other and our communities. Also, our values: Less is more, stuff equals stress, viewing our relationship as a platform for helping others, knowing full well the grass is not greener on the other side, and being honest and open with our feelings and desires.”
FUELED BY LOVE
While they’re mindful of living in the moment, this duo has an eye on the future as well. “In five years, I see us as fearless communicators, strong women, in a beautiful, healthy marriage. I don’t see us in New York anymore. We can only handle these winters for so long!” Abby laughs. “I see us aging like a fine wine.” With a dynamic like this, we know they can do whatever they set their minds to do, and it’ll be awesome and fueled by love. Where does Lani see them in a few years? “In someplace as sunny and warm as Abby’s heart. Seriously.”