Dr. Cynthia Corral, 35, is a dentist at Bayou City Smiles. But her very first job after graduating from high school in 2001 was at the Gap store in Deerbrook Mall. And, as fate would have it, it was that very same year, in that very same Gap, where Corral would meet her future wife, Jessica Celaya, 34.
“Jessica walked into the Gap, and our lives were forever changed.” Celaya was shopping for jeans, and Corral said she was more than happy to help her to find the perfect fit. “On that fateful day, little did I know she would weave herself into the fabric of my life.”
Celaya, who was a 17-year-old high-school senior at the time, continued to shop (or, according to Corral, to stalk her) at that Gap for months. One day, Celaya gave Corral her number under the pretense of wanting to get a heads-up about upcoming sales. “I immediately called her,” Corral says, “And we went on a first date to Starbucks.”
They’ve been drinking coffee and shopping together ever since. After graduating from Argosy University in Atlanta, Celaya is now an executive assistant at Asset Management Company. Corral earned her degree in Houston at the University of Texas School of Dentistry, and the pair now lives in Houston.
Celaya describes her attraction to Corral as “love at first sight.” I was smitten and only had eyes for Cynthia as far back as 2002,” she says. As most people in relationships do, she admits they’ve had their ups and downs. “But one thing remains to this day: I love her with all my heart, my love grows stronger each day, and I can’t imagine my life without her.”
Corral says that her realization that Celaya was the one came to her in a flash while she was driving to Celaya’s parent’s house in 2004 to pick her up for a date. “My realization was that I was completely head-over-heels in love with Jessica. I had fallen deeply in love.” At that moment, she knew she wanted to spend the rest of her life with her. “I also knew I couldn’t let her get away.” So that summer, she purchased a promise ring, set up a picnic at Eleanor Tinsley Park, and “made a promise of love and commitment that continues to endure.”
Corral says Celaya “gave the ring a really close look and then looked me in the eyes, threw her arms over my shoulders, and said, ‘Yes, baby! Of course!’” Celaya’s sisters then met them at Chez Nous (Celaya’s favorite restaurant in her hometown of Humble) to celebrate the engagement.
The two were married in Midtown on October 20, 2018, by officiant Leslie Bonnie in the outdoor courtyard of Brennan’s restaurant. Music was performed by a string trio, and both women were escorted down the aisle by their fathers to exchange vows that they had written. One unique component of their big day was having two caricature artists there to create custom caricature portraits of their guests.
The traditional Christian ceremony included favorite Bible verses from the book of Psalms. After the ceremony, they each wanted to have their own individual father/daughter dances, so Celaya danced with her dad to “She’s a Rainbow” by The Rolling Stones, her dad’s favorite group. Corral danced with her dad to “Mi Niña” by her dad’s favorite artist, José José. They chose “Never My Love” by The Association for their first dance.
Corral and Celaya are expecting a baby in November, so they decided to take a combined honey/baby-moon this month to the Cayman Islands. “We have made it a tradition to go to Cancún every year since our first trip in 2004. However, we had to change our honey/baby-moon destination due to the potential risk of Zika virus.”
The love between the two is obvious as they speak about one another in glowing terms. Celaya describes Corral “as a magnetic woman with a heart of gold. She’s hilarious, spontaneous, determined, loyal, and very easy on the eyes. She loves with her whole heart, and is one of the most generous people I know.” Corral’s feelings about Celaya portray an equal enchantment.
Corral describes Celaya as “a strong-hearted truth-seeker, and a true believer in following your own path of personal and spiritual growth. She is a great listener, extremely intuitive, and has a genuine understanding for others. She is also gorgeously stunning, with a flawless complexion and bright emerald eyes—truly beautiful. I have a trophy wife! This year, I can officially say that I have been with Jessica for half my life as we celebrate 18 years together.”
This article appears in the June 2019 edition of OutSmart magazine.