Brides is committed to guiding ALL couples through not only their wedding planning journey, but through relationship milestones and ups and downs. Every love story is beautiful, has its own distinct history, and its own trials—there's no relationship that looks the same. To celebrate that uniqueness, we're asking couples to open up about their love story, for our latest column, "Love Looks Like This." Below, Victoria De La Fuente tells her love story.
Last year, I was in London on a business trip trying to board a flight back to New York but was not allowed to board. I’m Peruvian and at that time they were not allowing anyone who was not American back into the country. So instead, I went to my mother’s house in Mexico for four months. During that time, my father died and I had to retool my business that was based in New York. Everything went wrong but I committed to making the year positive somehow.
I put my energy into meeting someone. I was about to move to L.A., so I connected with a matchmaking service. I was on Hinge, Bumble, and Raya. At first, I was looking for guys who looked perfect on paper. But, nothing and nothing again.
After a week in L.A., I connected with a guy on Hinge. We started talking on chat. From looking at my Instagram, he asked if I was staying at a mutual friend’s house. He had coincidentally met her a few months ago at Sunset Tower. I called this mutual friend and asked about him. She said he was nice and friendly, but thought he was married. This has happened to me before, so I texted him and asked. He called me right away and we ended up talking for five hours about life, work, and everything. He was not married and ended up asking me on a date for the next day. I told him I was booked, because I was booked for like two weeks with other dates. But, I canceled the date I had for the next day.
Adam showed up to our date with chocolate and flowers. There were not a lot of activity options at this time due to Covid, so he invited me to his place to meet his puppy and have some Champagne before going out for dinner. The date was going well, and then he told me that while he had never been married, he had been engaged.
I was waiting for the other shoe to drop. I asked what happened to his ex, and part of the story was that he had been there for her when her father had passed away. I had just lost my own dad, so I started crying. Then, he started crying. It was a very emotional first date. I asked him who was taking care of him while he was helping everyone else. I told him I wanted to take care of him, and he says that’s when he knew I was his person.
We talked all night on his couch. I saw shooting stars. I don’t want to be cheesy, but it was one of those moments that made me realize that this is my person. I was 38. I didn’t know if finding ‘the one’ was just a fantasy at this point, but it just felt right. I ended up canceling all of my other dates for the week.
By the weekend after our first date, I told him if you want to date me, you need to only date me. We both deleted our apps that day. My furniture still hadn’t arrived from New York and my place was only five blocks from his house, so he helped me unpack my apartment. From there, we were together 24/7. I’m Latin and Italian, and I always thought love was supposed to be tumultuous and complicated, like a telenovela. But this was easy and comfortable, and it never felt rushed. It just kept progressing. He met my family in Mexico in just a couple of months.
I then looked at houses without telling him and said we should move in together. Being the Virgo that I am, I had already done the research. The house we are now living in was the first house that we saw in March.
Then, I told him I wanted to have a family soon. The year before, I had seen a doctor who told me I needed to freeze my eggs. We tried in April, and got pregnant the first time. I speak about it with my friends a lot. There is so much pressure among my friends about having babies and getting pregnant. I’m seven-and-a-half months pregnant now.
Then, the conversation started coming up around getting married, and should we do it for the kid. I always thought I wanted this huge wedding. Being Latin, a small wedding is 300 people to me. But it just felt so overwhelming to me to do something so big, and I had seen so many friends just cancel their weddings. It didn’t seem to even be about the couple, and I just wanted it to be about us. Whenever we started having conversations about the wedding, it was about the food and the guests, and not us.
So, we decided we wanted to celebrate finding each other. We went on a weekend trip to Santa Barbara and fell in love with San Ysidro Ranch. The hotel was fancy without being ostentatious, and full of flowers with beautiful little cottages. Adam has always brought me so many flowers, and our house is filled with them. It felt like our place.
Then came the ring. I’ve been working in fashion for 15 years now, so I was very specific about what I wanted. I hated everything with rings—everything felt commercial and the same. I called my friend Amir Simkhai, Jonathan Simkhai’s brother and a diamond dealer, to help. He suggested his friend, jewelry designer Sarah Ysabel Narici. I went on her Instagram and fell in love with her engagement rings. I told them that they had three weeks to find a diamond because that’s how long we had until our wedding. Amir found a diamond in India, and sent it to New York for Sarah to design. The ring arrived the day before we were going to Montecito for our wedding.
We had the ceremony in the gardens at San Ysidro Ranch and then a dinner in the Old Adobe space on the property. We had our two best friends as our witnesses, photographers, and wedding designers. I had my friend and CFDA-winning designer, Juan Carlos Obando, make my dress. We picked out the fabric together. I was clear that I didn’t want any cheesy wedding photos—no looking at the horizon together. I wanted quirky. I wanted fun.
I reached out to Shelby Eastman for the cake. She made a pink cake with pears in the shape of a heart. I reached out to Under New Mgmt to do the flowers. I wanted it to feel like a fairytale in the woods. We had the whole room decorated with candles and flowers. My friends documented the whole thing. It was like Juergen Teller vibes for the photos. We had a little after-party in our room and then the two of us stayed for a few extra days on the property.
Once we were back home, we invited our 20 closest friends who live in L.A. to come to our house on a Saturday after we got married to celebrate. We got these heart-shaped pizzas from La Morra Pizzeria, had two cakes, and flowers everywhere. It was very casual and it felt really natural to us. It was a special, private moment with our closest friends. I am so happy we did it the way we did it.