Alex and Alie

Image 3 of Alex and Alie

How We Met

It was the summer of 2015, & I was out with some friends at a bar in NYC. One of my best friends from college mentioned that his coworker had texted him asking what bar we were at. When she walked into the bar, the first thing I noticed was that we were both wearing white jeans & a black shirt – the perfect segue into making a move. After making a joke about how I was glad she got the outfit memo, we chatted for a bit & I thought we were really hitting it off. She & her friend left to go get late-night tacos, but not before giving me her number. I texted her right away & we talked throughout the rest of the weekend.

I told my friend how I was crushing it with this girl & how I thought this could really turn into something. Little did I know, Alie was also talking to my friend through their work chat & told him she couldn’t remember my name or what I looked like (except that we were wearing matching outfits) but told him that his friend was nonstop texting her all weekend. It just goes to show how there are two sides to every story!

How They Asked

On April 3, 2020, I proposed to my girlfriend of 4 years during the COVID-19 Pandemic. This has been such a heartwarming experience for our friends & family I can’t help but think this will bring a smile to so many people in the country right now.

As a guy who is known for his grand gestures, I always wanted to put together a spectacle to ask my girlfriend to marry me. I was also very adamant about having this be a complete surprise, as there are very little surprises in life. After months of planning, going back to 2019, I had a very elaborate proposal planned in Montauk, but COVID-19 had other plans. My now fiancee and I live in NYC, and right before the panic turned into a pandemic, I developed a backup plan to propose in NYC on a gorgeous rooftop at a local restaurant. Within a few days, this second proposal plan fell through, as the establishment closed, & the jeweler who made the ring had to close shop for the foreseeable future.

Image 2 of Alex and Alie

At this point, I was convinced it would be months before I could try to make the proposal happen. In the meantime, my fiancee and I began to work from home and self-quarantine in our studio apartment. While things were unfolding in the outside world, we had the most amazing two weeks together. We really felt like we were back to the basics with no outside distractions, & could spend quality time playing games, cooking, watching movies, & enjoying each other’s company. It made me fall in love with her all over again, & I knew I just couldn’t wait to start our life together.

Image 5 of Alex and Alie

As the panic in the city unfolded, we decided to weather the pandemic on Long Island and quarantine with my family. Our 4 year anniversary was coming up on April 3rd, & amidst all of the depressing news & uncertainty in the world, I realized that as long as we have each other in life, we can get through anything life throws at us. This felt like the perfect opportunity to ask for her hand in marriage. With the help of my mom & sister, we were able to put together a proposal in the span of two days. I was able to get the ring sent to me overnight, & it arrived on the morning of the 3rd.

Image 4 of Alex and Alie

That day, I told her I had a surprise anniversary activity planned, & blindfolded her. Luckily for me, since she knows grand gestures are my thing, doing something like this for our dating anniversary was nothing out of the ordinary, & she had no idea what was about to happen. I brought her to this gazebo overlooking a small pond in the neighborhood, where my family decorated it with roses, signs, & a sweatshirt that said: “I Said Yes!” After telling her how much I loved her & how grateful I was for the last 4 years, I told her how with everything going on in the world, it put things into perspective – as long as we have each other, we can get through anything. With that, I got down on one knee, took off my jacket to show my sweatshirt that said: “Marry Me?” & asked her to spend the rest of our lives together. She said yes, & was completely caught off guard – by surprise proposal was a success! A few neighbors even applauded us as they watched (from a distance, of course!)

This entire experience has made us both appreciate the simplicities in life & instead of doing an elaborate proposal, which I had obsessed overdoing for months, it made me realize that some aspects of life are out of our control & we have to work with the cards we are dealt. I wanted us to look back on these dark times & remember it as such a special time for the two of us. I couldn’t wait to tell her that in these times of uncertainty, I am so certain about wanting to spend my life with her.

Image 1 of Alex and Alie

Special Thanks

Dani Estis
 | My sister made the sweatshirt & recorded the entire proposal