It took Mike Holloman, 50, and Juan Querol, 43, ten months after connecting on Scruff to go on a first date. But when they did finally connect over what Juan calls “an innocent ice-cream date,” love was definitely on the menu.
Mike, Houston born and raised, holds a bachelor’s degree in finance from Texas A&M University and is a business broker and managing director at Murphy Business Sales.
Juan, a design consultant with a background in architecture and a master’s in bioclimatic architecture and environmental design, graduated from the Polytechnic University of Catalonia in Barcelona, and the Polytechnic University of Madrid. He was born in Castellón de la Plana, Spain, and has also lived in a small village by the Mediterranean called Bencàssim.
When they first connected on Scruff in January 2018, Juan had just moved to Houston. But their first date, at Amorino in River Oaks, wasn’t until November—and it only lasted an hour.
“We had been chatting off and on for almost eight months, but we each had a lot going on so it took a while to make the in-person connection,” Juan recalls.
Their second date was later that week. “I was smitten by then,” Mike adds. “It took me a few more dates to get him onboard.”
By early 2019 they were exclusive, and a year later they were looking to buy a house together in the Heights.
“By the time we decided to live together and buy a house together, I knew he was the one. It took me another year to get the ring— and the nerves to do the proposal,” Mike admits.
“Juan can be totally silly and goofy and is so much fun. He has impeccable taste and appreciates all the finer things in life, with a keen eye for detail in everything. And he’s a great cook.”
It was when Juan badly injured his left foot while at Mike’s lake house that he became convinced Mike was the one for him. “Mike took great care of me at the ER, holding my hand while I was going through a very painful process. That’s when I knew,” Juan says.
Mike proposed to Juan on their first trip to Spain after the pandemic travel restrictions were lifted.
“He had been missing home badly, and I had wanted to propose for about six months but kept waiting for the opportunity to do it in Spain,” Mike explains.
Juan had a packed schedule planned for them, but one evening they decided to stay home. They were watching the sunset when Mike excused himself and came back with the ring.
“I suggested we take a selfie to catch the sunset, then set up the camera. Unbeknownst to Juan, I had the video camera on instead, and recorded myself dropping to my knee to pro- pose,” Mike recalls. “We had never discussed marriage, so he was totally shocked.”
“He started in Spanish, which was very sweet of him,” Juan adds. “And he started it with a goofy sentence that is very much ours: Te quiero mucho, como la trucho al trucho, which basically means ‘I love you so much, like trout to trout.’”
By the end of the proposal, Mike had actually forgotten how to say “Will you marry me?” in Spanish, so Juan prompted him: ¿Te casarías con migo?
“It was very cute because we ended up proposing one to the other,” Juan says. “Mike makes me feel more comfortable with myself than I had ever felt at any time before meeting him.”
The two traveled to Spain to be wed in a bilingual ceremony on July 9 on the island of Menorca in a 19th-century Spanish fortress called La Mola.
“It was important to have important parts of our relationship also revolve around Juan’s heritage in Spain. We chose the island because one of my favorite dates with Juan, my first time with him in Spain, was there at the caves where we watched the sun set over the Mediterranean,” Mike explains.
The night before the wedding, guests gathered at that very place, Cova d’en Xoroi, for a pre-wedding celebration.
The ceremony had an elliptical layout with the couple meeting in the center after entering from opposite ends. “The purpose was to feel surrounded by the people we love, and to arrive as independent individuals and then leave together as a married couple,” Juan notes.
After the ceremony, guests gathered for a sunset cocktail hour with fairytale views atop the La Mola fortress. They were then treated to a sit-down dinner beneath strings of lights, followed by dancing into the early morning hours.
“As we entered the dinner area, the music was blasting and people were cheering and waving their napkins in the air,” Mike recalls. “It was all very festive, and the energy of the room was full of love and support that we could definitely feel.”
It was a magical, cinema-worthy night. The couple was giddy, and the guests were elated.
In the midst of the celebration, the couple shared a very private moment with their guests by describing how they were standing at opposite ends of the building waiting to head into the ceremony. “Before starting to walk, we looked at each other across the empty building and smiled. That moment was like, This is it!”