Here’s what happens when a woman plans a proposal: She rents an oceanfront house in Malibu for the weekend, has fresh flowers delivered, hires a string quartet and an opera singer, and brings in a butler and a chef. Then said woman hands her beloved a flute of Veuve Clicquot and gets down on one knee on the balcony overlooking the Pacific.

That’s how it’s done.

“It was the second-best day of my life,” says Tracy Bjelland, whose then-girlfriend, Alexandra Gaudiani, popped the question in exactly that manner. The first? “My wedding.”

But it was a long and bumpy road to get to yes. When Tracy met Alex at a party at Harvard, she was a freshman and Alex was a senior. “It was definitely fascination at first sight,” Tracy says. “I didn’t know I was gay.” Yet, she admits, “there was something about her.”

They became friends but didn’t go on their first date until right before Alex graduated and moved to Los Angeles. When Tracy came to visit that first summer, both were noncommittal. “We needed a little more time to figure out if it was real,” Alex says.

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The two continued to stay connected, though, even after Tracy finished school. Eventually they both knew they wanted to get married. “We just love being together,” Alex says.

Since both sets of their parents had met at Harvard, too, they thought it fitting that the next generation marry there. So they said “I do” at Harvard’s Memorial Church before letting loose at the Harvard Club on 8/8, a meaningful date. “The eights resemble two infinity signs,” Tracy says. “The same symbol, like us as two women.”