Richard Glenn Eastman and Eduardo Alonso Morales were surrounded by art on the night they met. Little did they know that their lives would soon be surrounded by love, as well.
The couple met in 2013 when Eduardo attended an art reception at Richard’s home in Spring Branch on Saturday, February 8. “We had our first date the following Tuesday, February 11. We saw each other almost every day after that,” Richard recalls.
For Eduardo, meeting Richard wasn’t about just falling in love. It was also about rebuilding his life. “I literally lost my entire family, and my partner of 15 years, to illness. I was asked by a mutual friend to attend an art gallery party at Richard Eastman’s home. It was love at first sight,” Eduardo says.
Richard’s feelings were not far behind. He fell for Eduardo when the two were at a friend’s house and Eduardo, who does sign-language interpreting, signed a song for him.
“I signed ‘The Goodbye Girl’ by David Gates of Bread,” Eduardo continues. “I felt so passionate about signing that song for someone I truly loved, I knew then that he was my soulmate.”
Richard was beyond touched, and he knew then he had found the real thing. “I cried and fell in love with him on the spot,” Richard adds.
Richard, 67, a lifelong Houstonian, is an artist and potter, as well as a retired interior designer. He attended Sam Houston State, Lee College, and Houston Community College.
Eduardo, 56, from Laredo, has been selling rare movie collectibles for over 23 years. He graduated from Boston University’s School of Communications with a degree in public relations and filmmaking. The two currently live in Garwood, Texas.
Eduardo proposed to Richard on November 7, 2015, on the bow of the Queen Mary when the ship was in Long Beach, California. “I cried and said yes. It was the most romantic moment I had ever experienced,” Richard says.
There was definitely a method behind Eduardo’s madness. “I am a huge film fan, and The Poseidon Adventure is one of my favorite films. It was a Friday; I kneeled on one knee and asked him to be my husband, and he said yes. It was beautifully romantic and emotional—a day I will never forget,” Eduardo adds.
The two were wed on September 24, 2022, in their backyard art studio. “We had just completed construction on our 2,400-square-foot building after having the previous structure burn to the ground on June 10, 2022. Our art studio is very special to us, as we spend a lot of time creating in it,” Richard explains.
Their old barn had burned after their wedding plans were already finalized, so they were in a true race against time to get their new studio finished in time for the wedding. “We decided to marry on our property because we feel so spiritually connected to our life [here, and to] nature and our animals,” Eduardo emphasizes. “It turned out beautifully.”
The most special moment of the ceremony for Richard was when the two exchanged their vows. “I married my soulmate, my best friend, and the best person I know. His words touched me so deeply that all I could do is smile at him through tear-filled eyes.”
Perhaps not surprisingly, that was the most special moment for Eduardo, as well. “When we exchanged our vows, I could feel our souls connecting. It was very spiritually powerful for both of us, and I hope that everyone who ever dreams of being married reaches a level when they can realize without a doubt that ‘This was meant to be.’”
During the ceremony, the couple had one of their friends read a Native American blessing that was special to them. At the reception, Deborah Duncan, of Great Day Houston fame, sang “At Last” for their first dance. “She is a longtime friend of ours, which made it an exceptional moment,” Richard says.
In the interest of supporting Houston’s LGBTQ professionals, the couple’s vocalist was Luis Hernandez, his accompanist was Jerry Atwood, their photographer was Dalton DeHart, and their minister was Johnny Peden. “I believe it’s important to give the LGBT community the first chance at opportunity because we must realize that being part of the gay community is also sharing and supporting each other,” Eduardo notes.
Eduardo did have to scramble at the last minute to find someone to officiate, as their original officiant had to cancel due to illness on the eve of their wedding.
The couple has planned a three-part honeymoon, and the Port Aransas leg occurred soon after the wedding. Next up is a cruise to the Bahamas with a stop in Key West on the way back, as Eduardo has never been there. And next year, the couple will see Europe on the Orient Express—a trip they booked three years ago but had to postpone because of COVID.
“We chose them because they represent the best of living a full life to us, with naturalism and beauty surrounding us. The Orient Express was chosen because we love trains and, quite honestly, it’s the chance of a lifetime,” Eduardo says.
“The man I fell in love with and married is my soulmate. Having someone understand and see life the way you do, by respecting a higher power, is a special gift,” Eduardo concludes. “The blessing of falling in love with a man right after having so much loss in my life is something that is never lost on me.”
“Eduardo is the most romantic, loving, and generous person I have ever met,” Richard adds. “He feels compelled to help everyone in need, including animals. We have 10 rescue dogs because they needed a home and we had one. His generosity is exemplary, and is definitely one of the main reasons that we have such a blessed life.”
This article appears in the January 2023 edition of OutSmart magazine.