By: Jen Russon
Two years ago, Joshua Simmons, was just a candidate for Seat 4 on the Coral Springs city commission. However, a lot has changed in two years. This summer, on a trip to Italy, the city commissioner was just another nervous guy asking his girlfriend to marry him.
He popped the question to Cheyenne Howe in Venice, Italy in the late afternoon of July 2, after six blissful days split between Florence and Rome.
“I think she knew I was going to propose, which is why I delayed asking until the last day of our trip,” said Simmons, adding they walked to a pier, where tourists on gondolas cruised lazily past.
“I had just dropped down [on my knee]. I hadn’t asked her anything yet, and the people in the gondolas were shouting at us, ‘say yes, say yes!’” he recalled.
The 31-year-old commissioner, who also teaches history at Coral Springs High School, said he felt the proposal was a perfect example of how their love is both comedic and beautiful. The couple’s two families they were in love and had been hoping they would eventually tie the knot, even teasing the pair about wedding bells for some time.
Simmons said he decided he wanted to marry Howe more than three months ago.
“I thought it was time to take the next step,” he said. “She’s my best friend, and I can’t imagine my life without her.”
Howe and Simmons met a few years ago. The always politically active Simmons said he kept running into the 28-year-old medical tech during his campaign work for Judge Florence Taylor Barner. He would later bump into her, in his volunteer work for Hillary Clinton.
Howe, who currently shares a home with Simmons in Coral Springs, is from Miramar and works at the Cleveland Clinic in that city. Howe was 100 percent on board when Simmons decided to run for office himself.
“She listened to me complain for two years,” Simmons joked. “I mean when you run a campaign like I did for so long,” he laughs, describing how his bride-to-be took an active role in helping him win his seat.
Simmons said he was grateful for their Italian getaway, as both of them have worked so hard establishing their careers. He and Howe spent their most meaningful time at a hotel just a few blocks from San Marco Square, where they sipped cappuccinos overlooking Doge’s Palace, its many iconic pigeons in view. Howe even fed one before it was time to meet their photographer and head over to the fishing pier.
“It was quiet there, and far away from the crowds,” said Simmons, who confessed to being more nervous than he thought he’d be.
None of that mattered to Howe, who described the momentous occasion on her Facebook page:
“My life just got a lot more sparkly,” she wrote. “Life has never been perfect, but loving you makes it worth it. I am honored to become Mrs. Simmons. I wouldn’t change this moment for anything, and if you had a twin I would still choose you!”
Commissioner Simmons doesn’t have a brother – just a younger sister he helped raise while his mom served in the Navy. His nest, a home in the Ramblewood community, just added a new beak since Howe came to live there. In time, he says they hope to welcome children, too.
Their wedding is set for May of 2020.