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Mario Rodriguez Graniel and Guy Rejwan were visiting Florence, Italy, in November 2019 when Mr. Graniel said that he felt “the time was right to discuss any special engagement plans for the near future” with Mr. Rejwan, whom Mr. Graniel had been dating for three years.
“In gay relationships, there’s really not an understanding of when you’re supposed to get engaged or who is supposed to propose to whom,” said Mr. Graniel, 35, who works in Manhattan as a vice president for the luxury fashion company Fendi.
“I really just wanted to have that conversation with Guy to avoid any miscommunication or confusion,” added Mr. Graniel.
But when he broached the subject of an engagement with Mr. Rejwan during a dinner on their trip, Mr. Graniel found that the “near future” he spoke of was a lot sooner than he thought.
“Mario, you just proposed,” Mr. Rejwan, 35, recalled saying. “Yes, I want to get married,” he said to Mr. Graniel, “and you just asked me.”
Despite his confusion, Mr. Graniel said he was not about to spoil a precious moment with Mr. Rejwan, the managing director of Rejwan Group, a residential-real-estate-investment firm in Manhattan that he started in June 2015.
“What the heck,” he said. “I just went with it.”
Mr. Graniel, of Mexican descent, graduated summa cum laude from Babson College in Wellesley, Mass. Mr. Rejwan, an Israeli,, graduated from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. They met in September 2013 at Columbia University, where each eventually earned an M.B.A.
“There was a spark that existed from the day we met,” said Mr. Graniel, but the two did not cross a platonic line during their years at business school. Instead, they chose to remain the best of friends, and during that time they lived in separate apartments in Lower Manhattan, Mr. Rejwan on Prince Street and Mr. Graniel on Mott Street.
“You keep talking to me about Guy as a friend, but I think you guys have something more going on,” Mr. Graniel recalled her saying. “Sometimes love is not that hard, sometimes it’s right there in front of you.”
Mr. Graniel took it from there, sending a letter via email to Mr. Rejwan about wanting to try being more than friends. “I wrote to Guy and said, ‘I know it’s been awhile since we talked about potentially dating, but I think it’s about time.’”
Mr. Rejwan said he “was overwhelmed,” after reading Mr. Graniel’s text. “That same night, Mario visited me at my apartment and he never left,” Mr. Rejwan said. “We have been living together ever since.”
Soon after, they started hosting Shabbat dinners at what became their shared apartment on Prince Street. They also spent time getting to know each other’s family, to the point where their parents became good friends.
Before the two became engaged, Mr. Graniel’s parents, who live in Villahermosa, Mexico, went with the couple to visit Mr. Rejwan’s family in Israel for Passover, celebrating the holiday with a dinner at the Jerusalem home where Mr. Rejwan grew up.
They were married Jan. 23 at the couple’s apartment on West 15th Street in Manhattan. Fernando Harp, a cousin of Mr. Graniel and friend of the couple ordained as a Universal Life Church minister, officiated before eight vaccinated guests.
Neither set of parents was present, but they all were among the 115 vaccinated guests at a second celebration the grooms hosted on Jan. 29 at the Jardín Etnobotánico de Oaxaca, a botanical garden in Oaxaca City, Mexico.
At the larger celebration, both grooms were walked down the aisle by their mothers, an emotional moment that took on extra meaning for Mr. Graniel, who might not have taken a chance at love with Mr. Rejwan had his mother not expressed her feelings about their relationship.
“The whole thing had come full circle,” Mr. Graniel said. “There was so much love in the air and everyone was crying. It was a really beautiful scene.”