EEK! I’m engaged!
Lu proposed on Sunday morning and I said yes! We’re getting married!
Can you sense my excitement? I’m still in shock! I’ve been overwhelmed with happiness, love, and pure giddiness and now, I get to share my story with those who support me every single day: my Inspiralized readers!
Truth: I had scheduled this post for Friday, but I just couldn’t wait to spill the beans.
I’m just going to get right to it.
Lu and I woke up, normal as ever. We had a lazy morning, I did some blog work and then he gets a text from his friend Scott saying that they had a gift certificate that was going to expire at this restaurant called Liberty House, which is in the marina in Liberty State Park (which is a gorgeous park that holds the Statue of Liberty.) They invited us for brunch at 11:30am.
So, at 11:15am, Lu and I get on our bikes and bike over to Liberty House (the park’s only about a 10 minute bike ride.) It was so humid, muggy and just plain hot out. I was wearing comfy pants that were black, which didn’t help the situation. If I had known what was going to happen next, I would’ve worn something cuter!
See? My hair looked like a triangle!
We hop off our bikes, parking them at the restaurant. When we hop off, Lu tells me that Scott and his wife, Katie, are running late, because their baby Jack was being fussy. Nothing out of the norm, but I was so hot and of course, complaining. Lu suggests that we walk around the area, which is gorgeous – it overlooks downtown Manhattan, there’s a 9/11 memorial and all the boats there in the marina.
Fine, I say, even though secretly, all I want to do is sit in the air conditioning.
We’re casually walking, talking about how excited we are to drive to my parents’ house later and hang out with the family. You see, Lu’s mom had been in town for about a week and a half from Puerto Rico, visiting. While she was visiting, we had casually planned on having my parents throw a barbecue at their home in New Jersey so more of my family could meet his mother. It was going to be my grandparents, parents, sister, Lu’s brother, Lu’s sister-in-law, and of course, Lu’s mom.
So, we keep walking, for about 5 minutes, and then we start to walk up a hilltop. It’s a small hilltop and at that point, I still wasn’t on to him.
Then, I see it: a picnic. It was adorable – a blue blanket laid out with a straw basket, flowers, a bottle of champagne and some gorgeous flutes set up on a tray. I didn’t think it was for us, at all. The thing is, is that, I’ve always begged Lu to take me on a picnic. For whatever reason, we’ve never been on one together – but I’ve always thought the idea was adorable and romantic, and I wanted to have one with him.
Well, I sure did get my picnic!
He said, “Look – it’s a picnic.” I just thought he was teasing me, because he never takes me on picnics. I just kind of gave a “uh huh” and we kept walking towards it. As we finally get a few feet away, I see that there’s Veuve Cliquot set up, which is my favorite champagne. I looked at him and he goes, “This is for us.” At that point, I knew what was happening and I went into shock.
Lu pointed into the city and then to our apartment building (right across from the Freedom Tower on the NJ side of the Hudson) telling me that this is ours together, our life and how he wants to spend the rest of his life with me and that he wants us to enjoy a picnic together.
I was in such shock. I hardly knew what was happening. Lu told me to pour us some champagne and as I turned around to nervously grab the glasses, I felt his hand on my hip, as he knelt down on one knee. He pulled a ring out of his pocket and asked me to marry him. I honestly don’t remember what he said in that proposal, because I blacked out I was in such shock!
I just started kissing and hugging him and he said, “Well, do you say yes?” Of course, I said yes, and I looked down at the ring, as he slid it onto my finger. We had never gone ring shopping, although he had asked me what kind of rings I liked and I had shown him a picture. That’s it. This ring exceeded every single expectation I ever had – it was absolutely stunning, sparkly and so perfect for me, for us.
We sat down on the blanket and just talked for the next 15 minutes, enjoying the moment together. He told me about how he went to ask my father and how he had planned everything. Everything was just so perfect, so sweet, so genuine and again, so us. After gluggin’ back a few nervous glasses of champagne, I called my mother, my sister, my grandparents and his family. Then, he called his friend Scott and said, “We’re ready for you.”
His best friend Scott, who lives in Jersey City also, had been hiding out, capturing everything on camera! Although he’s a lawyer by day, photography is his hobby and he amazingly photographed the whole engagement. When Scott got there, I gave him a huge hug and then Lu and I excitedly took pictures together. Again, it was so perfect – I loved having Scott there, he’s become one of my closest friends through Lu.
Then, his wife, Katie, (who had set up the picnic!) came out with her 2+ year old, Jack, and we all took more pictures together. We wrapped up the picnic and went to a restaurant in the park to have brunch. I couldn’t eat a thing, my stomach was in knots from all the adrenaline and the surprise! I just kept looking at Lu and down at my ring and so happy that everything had happened. I felt so absolutely blessed and grateful for my life and the direction it has taken.
After brunch, Lu and I biked back to our apartment (I thought I was going to fall off the bike, my legs were like jelly from the nerves!) We got ready in 15 minutes and drove the 50 minutes to my parents’ house, picking up some wine and champagne on the way.
I couldn’t wait to celebrate with my family and show them the ring!
As we pull around the bend into my driveway, I saw a lot of cars. Way more than there should have been. I knew he had obviously invited a couple extra people, but as we walked onto my parents’ deck and into the kitchen, I saw – Lu had invited a bunch of our friends! Here are the guys – that’s my dad in the blue, on the right of Lu:
It was another amazing surprise! I got to celebrate with everyone, it felt so good to see their faces and toast to our engagement. This is my infamous Poppy, who taught me everything I know about Italian cooking:
My mother was adorable, playing the perfect hostess, and she got me this cute basket with wedding magazines, thank you notes, jewelry cleaner, champagne and chocolates.
The proposal, the surprise celebration… it was all perfection.
Mostly, I have to thank his sister in law who introduced us (that story, you can read here.) This is Christina:
My sister (and soon to be MOH) is 24 and luckily, took PLENTY of selfies:
As we went to bed, exhausted from the day, we looked at each other and I couldn’t have been more in love with someone if I tried. He’s everything to me and I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with him.
Thank you for all your kind e-mails, comments and messages about our engagement. It means the world to me that you all care enough about me to take the time to send your love.
So, tell me, what’s your best engagement/wedding planning advice?