(Photo by Kailey Shea)
When Lee Cohen and Ali Ribe first locked eyes in a crowded club four years ago, they knew they had found someone special.
Upon seeing each other, Ali smiled at Lee and Lee was captivated by the “pure joy and happiness in her eyes.”
“I knew then she must be a kind, good, loving soul, and she is,” Lee says. “For me, she noticed I wasn’t afraid to be a goofball the second we started dancing together.”
The two danced the night away, laughing as they did what Lee called a “really cheesy spinning move” to a Lady Gaga song.
“Then we both started headbanging to ‘Mr. Brightside,’ and that was it for me,” Lee added.
They shared their first kiss four hours after first locking eyes. Eight months after that, they said “I love you” to each other for the first time at Come Out With Pride.
“It happened very naturally,” Lee says. “We were at pride, and I said something that made her laugh and she just said ‘I love you.’ It was a huge relief to me because I was trying to work up the nerve to say it all day, but she beat me to it.”
The pair were engaged two years later, in November 2020. Lee proposed to Ali at the Enzian Theater’s garden. It was a small, quiet and intimate event. They talked about the proposal extensively before it happened, so Ali knew it was coming.
“I value her opinion in everything, and I know she really does not like public attention, so I asked where and how she wanted it to happen,” Lee says. “It was low-key and very quintessentially ‘us.’”
The Enzian was a special place for Lee and Ali because some of their favorite first dates took place there. They strolled through the garden before Lee popped the question. Then they celebrated their engagement by getting tipsy on champagne and watching “Ammonite.”
The couple married two years after their engagement at The Acre Orlando. One of Lee’s most special moments from the day was between the ceremony and the reception, when the two had a moment to themselves to process that they were married.
“After the ceremony and mad rush for golden hour portraits, we made sure to have a few minutes alone where we could just be together and revel in our day and our new life together before going out to the reception,” Lee said.
Having “overwhelming love from all of our family and friends in one place” was the best part of the wedding day, according to Lee. Family and friend moments were also the highlights of the reception.
Lee and Ali both danced with their parents, which meant a lot to each of them. Lee also enjoyed when their little cousin took over as MC once the truck from Kelly’s Homemade Ice Cream arrived.
“All of our friends scream-singing ‘Montero’ by Lil Nas X [was another fun moment],” Lee added.
Even their dog Ivy Bean was involved in the wedding, though Lee called her “the worst flower girl in the world.” Ali’s person of honor, Alex Traum, also gave a speech that became a highlight of the night for the couple.
“She was there the night we met and has watched us grow in life and love together and [the speech] made us both tear up,” Lee says.
It was an unforgettable day for Ali, Lee and their loved ones that they will take into their future as a married couple.
“As silly as it sounds, every day together is special,” Lee says. “We’re there with love and support in all of each other’s highs and lows, and that means everything.”
Engagement Date: Nov. 28, 2020
Wedding Date: Dec. 10, 2022
Officiant: Ivy LesVixen
Venue: The Acre Orlando
Colors: Charcoal, Gold, Plum, Black, Sage
Wedding Song/Artist: “The Avatar’s Love” from “Avatar: The Last Airbender”
Florist: Woodbine Everlasting on Etsy
Caterer: Pizza Bruno
Cake Flavors: N/A
Bakery: Kelly’s Homemade Ice Cream
Photographer/Videographer: Kailey Shea/Ivan Vargas