Wedding Guide

Love at First Scent

Desiree Lopez and Victoria Flores settled on ‘The One’—in more ways than one—at a Dillard’s perfume counter.

By Henry V. Thiel

Desiree Lopez and Victoria Flores were formally introduced in 2012 by their mutual friend, Britney Hurta, at Dillard’s.

“Desi,” as Flores prefers to call Lopez, is a 31-year-old inventory coordinator at a plastics plant. Flores, also 31, works as a phlebotomist for a family doctor.

In 2012, Flores was working at Dillard’s as a fragrance specialist while attending college. Lopez knew she had to find a way to get to know Flores better, so she went back to the store a few days later. While looking around, she heard Flores call out, “Desiree Lopez, don’t you dare walk into my store and not come give me a hug.”

While they chatted, Flores helped Lopez find a new perfume—Dolce & Gabbana’s The One. “Only I hated the smell,” Lopez recalls, laughing. “But she liked it on me, and that was all that mattered.”

Lopez didn’t just buy a bottle; she bought the whole set. Before she left with her purchase, they added each other as friends on Facebook and exchanged phone numbers. “I’ll always remember the text message she sent me: ‘I like your hugs. They make me smile,’” Lopez says.

They started dating, and soon discovered they both wanted the same things: to fall in love, get married, have a family, and be happy. “Yet we were both pretty jaded,” Lopez says. “We both honestly thought that neither of us would ever get married and settle down.”

So they decided to spend as much time together as possible. Based in Angleton, they took weekend trips to Austin, Galveston, San Antonio, and Houston—anywhere they could enjoy some “alone time” together. One of their favorite getaways was Surfside Beach.

“Every second with her was amazing, and every second away from her all I could do was think about her and wanting to be with her,” Lopez says.

On July 5, 2013, Lopez asked Flores to be her girlfriend. It was late at night, and they were getting ready for bed. “I told Victoria that I was falling in love with her and that I wanted her to be with me and only me,” Lopez says. “I told her that I also wanted to take things to the next level, for her to move in with me, and to take a chance on love. She kissed me, and then, for the first time, told me that she loved me, too.

“Victoria later shared with me that before I asked her to be my girlfriend, she would often kiss me while I was sleeping and would whisper in my ear that she was in love with me,” she adds.

The couple dated for one year and five months before Lopez finally proposed. It
was on December 13, 2014 (12-13-14) while they were staying at The Retreat at Artesian Lakes in Cleveland, Texas. They were in the middle of nowhere, nestled in a cabin in the woods—the same place where they’d spent their first Valentine’s Day.

“But the day she asked me to marry her was the greatest,” Flores says. “There was sunshine and birds, and a trail of rose petals.”

Originally, the couple wanted to marry at Niagara Falls, but they eventually decided on Oahu, Hawaii. They picked a Tuesday—September 20, 2016—so the beach wouldn’t be crowded.

“One thing we did during the ceremony, which was unique, was the ‘first glance,’” Lopez recalls. “I had not seen Victoria at all on our wedding day. Instead of walking down the aisle, I stood in the middle of a ballroom, facing the beach, as she came into the room. I was holding my breath when a friend told me to turn around. That was when I saw my bride. She was the most beautiful bride I have ever seen. Together, we walked to the waiting limousine and rode to the ceremony on Makapuu Beach, where we walked down the aisle together as two brides.”

During the ceremony, they both recited their own vows and then had a traditional Hawaiian sand ceremony, where they poured beach sand into each other’s hands and mixed it together to show that they were now one—and just like the sand, could never be separated.

Two companies helped Lopez with all the details—Weddings of Hawaii, and Unforgettable Honeymoons. She said both were very LGBT-friendly and understood their hopes, wishes, and dreams.

“What made the day perfect for us was that we got to spend it with what we call ‘framily,’” Flores says. These friends that they also consider family flew with them to Hawaii on the same flight, wearing matching T-shirts that said “Two Brides Are Better Than One #flopezwedding 9/20/16.”

After the ceremony, the brides spent the week with their wedding party on Waikiki Beach at the Hyatt Regency Resort and Spa. For their honeymoon, they spent a week on the North Shore at the Turtle Bay Resort. “Both hotels were very accommodating to us as a same-sex couple,” Flores says. “Even the locals were friendly and open to us, and a waitress from the Hyatt even gave us information about gay bars in the area.”

Flores and Lopez live in Angleton, where they just bought their first home. They’re looking forward to expanding their family through adoption.

This article appears in the July 2017 edition of OutSmart Magazine. 



Henry Thiel

Henry V. Thiel is a principal with The Epicurean Publicist, a boutique public relations company which works exclusively with chefs and restauranteurs. He loves weddings.
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