It took two and half years for Jules and Paul to take the plunge and go on a date.
They’d brushed past each other at various events around Fort Lauderdale, but had assumed each was unavailable. Yet, at the weekend, the couple tied the knot onboard a Virgin Trains USA (formerly Brightline) train.
Jules, a former flight attendant from Brazil, had assumed that Paul, a retired ship captain and pilot, was straight. Paul thought Jules was in a relationship.
The couple booked the entire train car and took the train from Fort Lauderdale to West Palm Beach. The wedding ceremony took place onboard, as flowers were strewn in the aisle, music played, and 40 guests crowded into the carriage to celebrate.
To some, a train might seem like an odd place to tie the knot. But Paul admits he was a huge fan of all things transportation – after all, he was a former ship’s captain and pilot. “I was standing outside the Pride Center where the Brightline train passes through, thinking about where I could pronounce my love for Jules. We were considering a yacht wedding but then I was stopped in my tracks.”
It wasn’t a straightforward courtship, which made their eventual nuptials all the sweeter. The couple had their first date was in Fort Lauderdale on October 30th and spent three hours getting to know each other. Towards the end of the date they held hands and as Paul says “there was this wonderful energy that was impalpable when he held hands.”
The start of their relationship wasn’t straightforward, as they traveled constantly back and forth between South Florida and Brazil, using up any and all vacation days to spend as much time together as possible. When Jules had a month off once, they decided to spend the entire month together (half in Brazil, half in Florida) to explore their future.
After spending a month together, Jules moved to Fort Lauderdale. On June 30th Paul proposed during a sunset walk on Fort Lauderdale Beach.
Paul explained that the entire courtship and various life situations that ended with them marrying was “organic”. He added: “Everything just fell into place, it almost feels like divine intervention.”
Pastor Leslie Rutland-Tipton from the LGBT Christian Church officially declared them husbands, and they were joined by 40 of their closest friends and family who had come from as far afield as Sarasota and Brazil.
Paul and Jules finally tied the knot as the train sped into West Palm Beach station.