Theirs is a classic 21st century romance: Southern California native Kyle Domer and Chicago-born Andrea Dermos meet on Twitter, and when tweets morph into DMs, the longtime vegans swap virtual romance for the real deal, settling in sunny Orange County and laying the foundation for a fabulous future together.
On a Valentine’s Day trip to San Francisco in 2014, Kyle proposed to Andrea with a conflict-free diamond ring in front of “Cupid’s Span,” a pop art bow-and-arrow sculpture on the scenic Embarcadero waterfront. Just over a year later, they tied the knot at an intimate ceremony in Laguna Beach, California, with a to-die-for, Southern-inspired menu featuring fried pickles and okra with Cajun mayo; seitan with jezebel sauce; braised collard greens; mac and cheese; and a decadent red velvet cake with whipped cream frosting.
Flash forward seven years, and Kyle and Andrea are as much in love as they were the day they married. After a couple of short-lived relocation experiences—Chicago, Portland—the pair returned to Southern California, where they currently work in commercial construction (Kyle) and social media management (Andrea). We checked in with the Domers to find out what they've been up to the last seven years, and to get their sage advice for cultivating a joyful married life.
Our marriage is a shelter from the storm, and the greatest source of happiness.
Congrats on seven years of married life! What has been the greatest joy of life together so far?
Kyle: Waking up every day next to my best friend, and the most beautiful, amazing woman in the world. When everything seems bad in society, I can look at Andrea and know that we’re OK. Our marriage is a shelter from the storm, and the greatest source of happiness. We share small laughs, big accomplishments, quiet moments, tough times, and just everyday life. All of it is better because she’s there. Also, we’ve taken some really great road trips together and eaten a TON of delicious vegan food all around the country.
Andrea: Honestly, every day is a joy. I know I’m corny, but I get to do everything, from the mundane to the big stuff, with my best friend, so everything is just a lot more fun.
Aww, sweet! But now we have to ask: What has been the biggest challenge of married life?
Kyle: Understanding each other’s insecurities and pain points, and working to make sure we try to avoid them, is something we’re (especially me) constantly working on, because it’s really important.
Andrea: I had to think about this one because I wanted to say something silly like the way he organizes the dishwasher while I’m tossing that stuff in however I can. But we’re not immune to challenges, we argue and bicker too! I would say miscommunications, or like the good old “intention doesn’t equal impact” with the way we use words can be a challenge that we work through.
Have you created any special rituals as a couple?
Kyle: We do something for our monthiversary every month on the 18th, even if it’s just a burger, fries, and shake date at Plant Power. I’m writing this as we get ready to celebrate Christmas, and we have a ton of traditions in December alone, from seeing The Christmas Carol at South Coast Repertory, to picking out an ornament that encapsulates our year, to going to the Newport Boat Parade, looking at the lights at East Lake, Hikari at Tanaka Farms, and so much more. Some of the best rituals we’ve created together have been ones that only one of us did as children, or that we both wanted to do as children and never did in our individual families.
Andrea: Friday Pizza night every week is a long standing one, where we either make pizzas together (I do the dough/toppings, he is in charge of the pizza oven) or go out, most often to Purgatory or Hot Tongue Pizza.
Love it! How do the two of you spend your weekends?
Kyle: EATING! That is not a joke, we are really into food. And coffee. We live in Orange County but typically go to LA every weekend to eat. Pastries, ice cream, pizza, tacos, dumplings, and more! We know there are so many options in LA, but we end up going to our favorite places over and over. Right now I’m dreaming about sharing a croissant (or 4) from Baker’s Bench with Andrea, drinking locally roasted coffee, while watching our dogs play in the park. We’re a little too into the Dodgers, so that becomes a big part of our fun time during the season.
Andrea: Our weekends usually involve finding good coffee; we drive to LA or San Diego pretty often to just listen to music in the car, try new places, and get outside. We take the dogs to the park. We watch SNL and 90 Day Fiance together. During the pandemic, we started watching baseball. Kyle’s always been a fan and played when he was younger, but he didn’t really follow a team. Now we love going to Dodgers games! There’s fresh air and the crowd is always fun, and there’s vegan hot dogs! We also walk together at our local park to get moving, see some neighbors, and get some sunshine.
Looking back on your wedding day, what is your favorite memory?
Kyle: Everything was perfect, but the moment I’ll never forget is seeing the first glimpse of Andrea walking out in her dress, on the level above where I was, crying my eyes out, feeling like the luckiest person to ever live.
Andrea: Kyle crying when he saw me come out in my wedding dress is a favorite of mine. It was just so sweet, and so him. Watching our friends dance is another favorite; there was an inflatable doughnut involved on the dance floor.
How do you celebrate your wedding anniversary?
Kyle: Road trips! Sometimes it’s up and down the west coast, sometimes it’s all the way to NYC from California. We eat every vegan pastry we can find along the way, try every slice of pizza we can, and take our dogs to a new park to play in every city.
If you could change anything about the wedding experience, what would you change?
Kyle: Nothing. Ours was an absolute dream. My best advice is don’t be afraid to spend money, this is an experience you only get to have once in your life. Make it count!
Andrea: I wouldn’t wear heels at all! LOL. I chose to wear heels for the ceremony and change into flats for the party but I was shaking and the heels did not help. I should have stuck to my normal style.
What advice would you offer vegan couples embarking on the wedding planning process?
Kyle: Do the research and be assertive to make everything your own. Don’t pick a venue because they may be able to offer a couple vegan options. Get a venue where they’ll let you design the menu or bring in your own food vendor. A good chef will love the challenge of doing an all vegan event, and if they don’t, you’re in the wrong place. Get creative to infuse your own personal preferences into everything. Don’t be afraid to ask your local bakery (or restaurant or doughnut shop) if they’ll supply your wedding. You’re not limited to the couple choices that everyone in the area already knows does weddings. If you’re flexible, you can get all of your favorite food from all of your favorite small businesses at the biggest celebration of your life. (Can you tell I like food?)
Andrea: The same advice that I was given: remember the day is about you! I know, it sounds selfish, and so many of us are people pleasers, but you have to do what feels right in your gut, and what will still make you smile seven, 10, 20 years later, not make you cringe at something your mom wanted that made you uncomfortable. (This is hypothetical, LOL; my mom didn’t get involved!)
You two have been married for the better part of a decade now. What's the secret to successful marriage?
Kyle: Cherish what you have and make an effort in EVERYTHING. Things that seem small or unimportant to you may mean a lot more than you would expect to your spouse. Don’t settle for someone who isn’t perfect for you. Try not to be stubborn and try to always see your spouse’s point of view. Kiss, hug, and say I love you all day every day. What point is there in a marriage if you don’t?!?!
Andrea: It feels like just yesterday we were planning the wedding! My first reaction is to say that there’s no such thing as a successful marriage, we’re just two best friends who try our best with every choice that we make. Ask questions, check in with each other, and create situations where you can do that! Approach everything as a team. Something I read once that stuck with me is to consider whether something is worth wasting time or taking time away from your person. I am not perfect at sticking to that, not anywhere close, but I do think that overall, it’s a good way to navigate a busy world and arguments.
Thank you so much for sharing so many personal insights and getting us all caught up on your story! What exciting plans do you have for the future?
Kyle: It’s going to sound cheesy, but just spending the rest of my life with Andrea is the most exciting plan I could ever think of. Boring days are fun because we’re together. Eventful days are pure bliss because we’re together. Every obstacle can be faced because we’re together. When it seems like the world is imploding, everything in our little bubble is OK because we’re together. Every day my dreams come true over and over and over again because this magical lady agreed to marry me. Oh, and I think we’ll start doing some international travel, attend a lot of Dodgers games, and we’re looking forward to seeing Taylor Swift from the second row in LA this coming summer. We’ll continue to eat too much food all over America, and we’ll share a ton of laughs along the way.
Andrea: Traveling and concerts and more museums, that’s what I’m thinking for 2023!
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