Donald and Alex Hinn never met as high-school classmates, but became college sweethearts.
By Henry V. Thiel
Donald and Alex Hinn were in the same graduating class at Houston’s Cypress Falls High School.
However, they say they never really met until Donald’s mom introduced them when they were both home from college, attending their younger siblings’ soccer game.
“It was a very brief encounter,” Alex says. “I saw a beautiful mop of blonde hair on a tall, handsome guy. It might not have been love at first sight, but I vividly remember that moment.”
It wouldn’t be until a few years later, during the holidays in 2010, that they exchanged their first “hello” on a dating app.
“When I first met Donald, his initial shyness caught me off guard, because I am usually the shy one,” Alex says. “I think this allowed me to bring my personal walls down, which made it possible for me to make a strong connection with him rather quickly—so much so that I was anxious to propose to him on our second date.”
Donald, a 30-year-old Houston native, is a sales and design consultant with the nation’s leading tile manufacturer who earned his degree in interior design from the University of Texas at Arlington. Alex, a 30-year-old California native, is a reservoir engineer for an international oil and gas company. He obtained his bachelor’s degree in petroleum engineering from Texas A&M University.
Even though Alex didn’t propose on their second date, the feeling stayed with him. “Somewhere around the three-year mark, I knew our relationship was meant to be,” he says. “Anybody who could tolerate me for that long has to be a keeper. I’m a very lucky guy.”
Donald says he and Alex “really just clicked.”
“Aside from being different from every other guy I have dated, I really liked how spontaneous Alex is,” Donald says. “I know that this may sound silly, but I think the most romantic thing Alex has done for me was writing a few of my essays while I was in college. Oh, and traveling from College Station to Arlington almost every weekend over the course of two years.”
Alex says the most romantic thing Donald has done was catching him off guard with a marriage proposal. It happened outside their front door immediately after they closed on their house. Before they walked in, Donald got down on one knee and said, “Alex, you’ve seen me at my best, and you’ve seen me at my worst, and you’ve seen me as your boyfriend. Can you see me as your husband?”
Donald and Alex married on December 2, 2017, at The Springs in Brookshire, Texas. Their close friend and neighbor, Rev. Jonathan Wakefield, officiated. They chose The Springs because they fell in love with the hall and the ceremony site, and the limestone walls and gorgeous hardwood floors made their decorating job easier.
“I told myself I wasn’t going to cry, and I made it through the ceremony without a tear,” Alex says. “But on our first dance, I begin to bawl. It still is an indescribable feeling.”
“The moments I remember the most are walking down the aisle with my mom on my arm, and then standing next to Alex at the altar,” Donald says. “Everything came together perfectly, and nothing could take away how special it was.”
Donald says his advice to other couples who are considering getting married is to step back and enjoy the moment, because it goes by fast.
“Also, be sure to get a whole piece of cake,” he adds.
“Every wedding is unique,” Alex says. “Make it your own.”
The couple resides in west Houston.
Henry V. Thiel is a frequent contributor to OutSmart magazine. He loves weddings.