The Figueras-Cieslak courtship was truly a 21st-century phenomenon: love on-site and then love at first sight.
“We are a success story from Grindr,” Robert Figueras explained, “depending on your definition of success for Grindr.”
John Figueras and the then-Robert Cieslak met on the social networking app and spent a couple of weeks chatting before they got together.
Robert is a stock plan administrator for Global Payments Inc., a financial tech company on the S&P 500 index. John also came from the world of finance: he works as a personal banker at Wells Fargo. Both men knew a good investment when they saw it.
“Once we met,” Robert said, “we both had the same goals and objectives.”
It was a whirlwind romance. They met in January, and by February the proposal had arrived.
Robert knew John: “I didn’t expect him to say no.” Robert made his proposal plan over a short period. He said he initially hadn’t been “sure where or when to propose.”
Eventually, he devised a weekend getaway for the two of them. The jaunt was clothed in secrecy.
“I didn’t tell him where we were going,” Robert said, “but we had our bags packed.”
He had a limo pick them up, and in the blink of an eye, the car had whisked the couple away to the boutique W Hotel in Atlanta.
They went to brunch in the Westin. The couple ate at the Sun Dial restaurant — Atlanta’s famous 360-degree dining experience. It was a fitting spot to keep the long view in mind, and Robert did. At that point, he said, John was still expecting the weekend getaway.
“We had a great brunch — we were at one of the observatories looking out, and that’s when I proposed to him,” Robert said.
But the highest point was still to come. The pair returned to the W, where Robert had “arranged security to come pick us up.” At the right moment, a man knocked on their door, and simply told them “Your ride is here.”
“John had no idea,” Robert said. They went up to the rooftop. There, just as Robert had planned, a helicopter was waiting. The pair took a spin around Atlanta, just to celebrate. They capped the night with a champagne toast.
They became Robert and John Figueras (of Sandy Springs) on June 24, 2017, on a beach in St. Augustine, Florida. The event was handled by River To Sea Preserve.
The nuptials were concluded on an off-white beach before a landscape of scenic rock formations. Their path was strewn with red rose petals, and the pair said their vows before a simple wooden arbor draped with light blue fabric and sunflowers. The grooms went coatless, in white dress shirts, and each wore a sunflower boutonniere on the left side. They had 12 to 15 guests, mostly family and friends. Robert described the event as “very casual, very intimate — and very special.”
River to Sea Preserve handled all wedding details, with the exception of transportation, which was provided by Presley Limousines.