I’ve been engaged now for a little over a month, and I wanted to share the story of the proposal and how my fiancé, Michael, and I met.
Michael and I first met at UC Santa Cruz, in the spring of our freshman year of college in 2010. I was pledging one of the local sororities called Alpha Psi, and Michael was part of one of the fraternities called Sigma Pi. I thought he was cute, but I only really saw him in passing and at parties for the next couple years.
It wasn’t until winter quarter of our junior year that we actually had a full conversation. The house I lived in at the time, had party after one of the Sigma Pi events called Date Auction. We had maybe 20-30 people come over to our place for the after party, and Michael came with his friends.
At the time, the drinking device called the Chuggler was really popular. It is basically a much easier to use beer bong. Michael, his friends and I competed to see who could chug the fastest (I was the fastest in my sorority…). Michael kept winning and we needed to get more beer. We walked over to the store near my house, and we kissed for the first time. (I guess I can thank the Chuggler for my engagement)
After that I found myself making excuses to hang out with his friend group and the people he lived with. Eventually we made plans just the two of us until we were seeing each other every day. We made our relationship official on February 5th, 2013.
About a month later Michael told me he loved me. I remember being a little shocked that he had said it so soon. I texted my best friend Laura and she said maybe he just said “olive juice”… I confirmed with him within the next few days that he did not say olive juice 🙂
Over the past five and a half years, Michael and I have had so many great experiences together. One of the most fun things we had done together was go to Italy in December of 2015. After that trip, Rome was our absolute favorite place in the world. We had been dying to go back ever since.
Fast forward to June of this year, we had been planning a trip to Europe for about a year, with the trip ending in Rome. I was really hoping that he might pop the question in Europe, but I had no idea how he could carry a ring for two weeks through six countries.
We traveled through Europe with our good friends Matt and Steven, and we had a great time! (I’ll be posting about the trip in more detail on another post) Michael and I had one night planned for a romantic dinner in Rome just the two of us at restaurant called Aroma. I was super excited for that dinner because of the view! The dinner was planned for the second night we were in Rome, at sunset.
The morning of the day of the proposal, all four of us did a tour of the Colosseum and the ruins, which was hot but really fun. After that we spent some time alone, and had a picnic in the Borghese Gardens. We had stopped at a local deli, grabbed some cold cuts, cheese and wine and had a beautiful picnic overlooking Rome. The view from the Borghese Gardens is one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen. It was super hot that day, but it was still perfect. After the picnic we spent some time sitting on the Spanish Steps watching the crowd. Then we walked to a corner flower shop, and Michael bought me flowers.
The night of our dinner the sky was clear with a few clouds. It was perfect. I could tell on our way over to dinner that Michael was a little nervous. I thought it was because we were running a little late.
We arrived and the view that I had seen online was 1000X more spectacular in person. The Colosseum is so close to to restaurant. We could see the Arc of Titus and the Piazza Venezia in the distance.
Dinner was fabulous! We ordered our dessert and waited for it to come out. First a complimentary dessert came out. Then the dessert that we ordered came out, which was delicious. I thought the dinner was over. I went to the restroom and when I came back, I saw ANOTHER dessert was on the way. At this point I was like that is enough food and dessert, I cannot eat any more… BUT it wasn’t an actual dessert, it was a plate with the ring.
Michael got down on one knee and told me that he had the perfect day with me, and that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me. He asked me to marry him. I said YES.
Then the photographer that he hired came out and started taking pictures. I was shook! I had no idea that he’d be able to coordinate that so well in a foreign country. The first picture my face is like OMG OMG. It took me a while to calm my nerves down. My fingers were swollen from all the walking, eating, drinking and traveling, so the ring didn’t quite fit when he went to put it on. I was like, this is SO BEAUTIFUL, THIS HAS TO FIT! So I squished it on my swollen finger.
I was still in shock by the time we left the restaurant. As we walked back to the hotel, I asked Michael if he could get down on one knee and ask me one more time, when it was just me and him so that I could fully absorb what just happened. We looked for a place clear of other people and ended up near the Roman ruins. He asked me one more time.
We stopped at the restaurant downstairs and outside from our hotel to get a glass of champagne to celebrate. Matt and Steven stopped by before going up to their room and congratulated us. The couple in the table next to us sent us another drink to congratulate us as well.
Matt had been carrying the ring IN HIS BACKPACK through ALL of Europe. He is truly an amazing friend.
While we had the champagne near the hotel, Michael explained to me the dessert at dinner confusion! He has asked he restaurant staff to bring the ring out with dessert. When we received the first complimentary taster dessert from the chef, he was thought the ring would come out with it. THEN when the second dessert came out that we had ordered, he thought maybe they had placed the ring in the dessert. He was pushing it around with his fork before eating it to make sure it wasn’t inside! When the ring didn’t come out with the dessert we ordered, he didn’t know if it was coming out at all. So we both didn’t know when it was coming and we were both in shock when it finally came out!
The ring! Michael and I had looked at rings together about a year and a half ago at the Robbin’s Brothers in Woodland Hills. They specialize in engagement rings, so I learned a lot about the types of diamonds available and the shapes during our appointment. I was deciding between oval and emerald cuts. I love the elongated shapes. When I actually saw the diamonds in person, I fell even more in love with the emerald cuts. I picked a gold band because my grandmother’s engagement ring that I wear every day is gold. My grandparents are 92 and 94, and they’ve been married for 70 years! They are truly a miraculous pair that I aspire to be like.
Now I am wedding dress shopping and looking at venues. It is super fun! I’ve thought of a theme and have a date in my mind. All I can share for now is that Teddy for sure will be in my wedding, wearing a pug sized little suit.
That is actually us sitting at the table near the window!
This is a shot the photographer that same night!