Paloma & Ian: A Valentine's Day Love Story
Paloma Gwin and Ian Condon are getting married next year… after getting engaged on the Norwegian Jade during Star Trek: The Cruise II – Voyage 2. Since it’s Valentine’s Day, StarTrek.com invited the happy couple to recount how the proposal all came together – which it did with an assist from Connor Trinneer. Paloma and Ian shared their proposal video and some photos, and also tapped out this she-said/he-said story detailing how they met, the proposal and their wedding plans.
Paloma on How They Met
Ian and I both were born in California, but grew up in different parts: me in Central California, and him consistently moving until he started school in my hometown. But as any good Nerd Love Story goes, we met online. We immediately clicked over Star Trek and many other Fandoms, and immediately became great friends, longer than we had been dating. But the four years since our first date has been nothing but a wonderful world. Our mutual love for all things Star Trek fueled our drive to go onto our very first Star Trek cruise. The both of us always knew this was going to be a memorable vacation, but I had no idea how special it would end up being.
Ian on the Proposal
Going into the cruise I really had no planning for this proposal. The thought had crossed my mind, but I’d always told myself I would just forego marriage. Around the first night at sea, we were having the time of our life immersed in one of the various fandoms that we share. The moment was special and I decided that I wanted to spend the rest of my life visiting conventions, traveling, living, fully embracing each other and the quirks we have come to cherish. So, the planning began that night. I started looking at rings with Paloma under the guise of future present ideas; I took note of what fit and what she liked. When we got to Belize she lit up when she saw the ring I would be giving her. We walked out and I ran back inside to “Check if they did online ordering and shipping.”
This is when my day of lying to her really got underway. I asked the gentlemen who’d been helping us to get the ring ready and I’d be back to purchase it. We continued walking along the shops at Harvest Caye, and when we stopped at the Harley Davidson store I found my opportunity. There was a small line for the cash register. I handed over cash and asked Paloma to buy a shot glass souvenir for me and excused myself to the facilities. I sprinted over to the jewelry store and paid for the ring while hiding in a corner to avoid the open doors in case she strolled back past the store. I stashed the ring in my beach bag and continued our wonderful day without another word. Now, the real stressing kicked as I asked myself how I could make this special.
I’d made the decision on the Jade during the celebrity-hosted karaoke event with Connor Trinneer and Robert O’Reilly, so I wanted to incorporate that entire aspect into the moment. I found out there was another karaoke night scheduled shortly after the blackjack tournament with Connor. All the pieces started clicking together in my head. I scoped a couple of spots where I might run into Connor and ask for his assistance. Unfortunately, I didn’t get the opportunity because I really didn’t want to crowd him further as people surrounded him. As a last-ditch effort, I signed me and Paloma up for the blackjack tournament, taking the gamble that I could ask Connor for the favor and still manage to keep the proposal a secret.
We arrived early to the tournament and, in between rounds, Connor was chatting with everyone. I almost incurred the wrath of Khan by asking Paloma to grab me a Pepsi from the bar while one of her favorite actors stood three feet away. Luckily, she obliged, at which point I abruptly tapped Connor on the shoulder and asked if he would be willing to assist me with my proposal at karaoke after the tournament. Being the amazingly gracious individual that he is, he agreed with no hesitation.
The next step was figuring out how to get the karaoke staff in on the request, so that Paloma’s song would be played at the right time, again while attempting not to tip off the surprise. I decided to tell her that I was going to sing that night (which would’ve severely damaged the hearing of anyone in the room). While Paloma searched the books for her song, I stepped over to the karaoke staff four feet away to discuss the particulars of a song I wanted to play. The staff was amazing, kept everything quiet and held on to her song card to play when they got the signal. While waiting, I excused myself to the facilities, which is a white lie I abused slightly, as Paloma questioned the frequency!
Connor and I went over the plan; my idea was far too cheesy. Connor asked if she was wearing the sparkly shoes she had been wearing during his karaoke event. She was not, but I pointed out she was wearing a sequin dress, and he quickly came up with a bit that was a huge improvement. I handed him the ring and nervously gave the signal to the staff. It was a wonderful mistake that Paloma’s original song choice, “Jukebox Hero,” was not available. Her backup song was “What a Wonderful World.” As the song ended, Connor ran up to the stage and exclaimed “Paloma hold on, I think you dropped a sequin.” As he revealed the ring, he called me up to the stage. Trying not to trip over myself or stutter, I took the ring, dropped to my knee and in true Trekkie fashion, asked her “Will you boldly go on a new adventure with me?” Luckily, there wasn’t a moment of hesitation in her reply, so I didn’t have to sweat long!
Paloma on the Wedding Plans
Since the engagement, all of our family and friends have been so excited for us, always asking when and where we will get married. We have been envisioning since I said “yes” getting married aboard or during Star Trek: The Cruise III. It’s looking like it’ll be a port wedding, preferably in Jamaica, a country we have frequently talked about visiting. In the end, just having each other, no matter where we get married, I know it is going to be an amazing adventure.