Alex and Steven

How We Met

This is a longer how we met because Steve and I have a relationship where we have crossed paths so many times, to realize down the line we were always meant to be, we just had to get our timing right. On March 15, 2003, Steve and I attended our then, future high school’s dance. It was a way to get all of the eighth-grade students excited and ready to become freshman at the school just six months later. From what we remember all those years ago, we met that day, talked for a little while and exchanged phone numbers. Now, this was before emojis and I decided to stand out by putting my name in his phone as “Alex <3”. I give 8th grade me a lot of credit for finding my husband back then.

Engagement Proposal Ideas in Costa Rica

Through the years, Steve and I would constantly cross paths, knowing now, we were always meant to. In high school, we had our first kiss as freshman playing spin the bottle. In college, my best friend went away to the same school that he did. After college, my friends and I would frequent a bar in NYC he was bartending and would always bring on the drinks at no charge. I even have a hilarious story about a time we saw one another at the jersey shore (but that story is best told in person).

Alex and Steven's Engagement in Costa Rica

Being that we always stayed in touch, we remained in contact through text and of course, social media. In the summer of 2015, I was on a camping trip through the Canadian Rockies when Steve reached out about how awesome he thought the trip looked and talked about how we should catch up sometime. After getting back, he reached out again and brought up getting together one day in the city, where he then lived and told me to let him know anytime I was around and to be honest, the thought of seeing him did excite me.

Where to Propose in Costa Rica

One early Saturday evening after meeting friends, I reached out to Steve to see if he was around. Typically this is not like me, I’m very much the wait for him to call or text type, so this was me being vulnerable. His response was that he was at work, and I was not happy about it to say the least. I immediately think I’m being blown off because; who works on a Saturday night!?

The next week he reached out, asking me to come into the city. My immediate response was no, I had a friends birthday that night and I would be in my town in Hoboken with no plans of going across the river. Before you know it, Steve also has plans to be in Hoboken and wants to meet up. I found out later on that he feverishly asked the only person he knew who lived here (who had all intentions of staying in) to come out with him that night so he could see me. He let me know he would be there, and to meet him at 10th and Willow when I could. I took my time, had some drinks and debated on whether or not I should show up. This is the guy who blew me off last week, remember? My friends convinced me there was no hurt in going, so we showed up.

Proposal Ideas Costa Rica

Steve and I saw each other from across the room and immediately we knew. The night went on with hundreds of people in the room (our groups of friends included) and nothing mattered but the two of us and from that moment on, we haven’t left each other’s side. The past three and a half years of our relationship have been nothing short of an adventure. We have been traveling through this thing called life and I couldn’t ask for a better person to do it with.

How They Asked

In early March, on a work phone call, I found out about vacation time I didn’t know I had in just a few short weeks. My mind immediately raced and I looked at Steve and said: “we have to go away!”. Researching and rushing to find something that wouldn’t break the bank on such short notice, brought us to Costa Rica. We were so excited because we aren’t exactly the lay by the beach or pool for a week type people. We like to get out and see what the world has to offer us and from what we heard Costa Rica is THE place to get out and explore.

We ended up visiting a resort that friends of ours had visited in the past on high recommendation. It took the stress off of us from having to find the perfect vacation destination because apparently, this was it. It was not it. This was the resort was everything we did not want in a vacation. It was falsely advertised to us as adults only, with good food and a luxurious feel. What we got was screaming teenagers on spring break, a bed without a headboard and to top it all off, maggots discovered at our dinner table. The whole vacation as we knew it was ruined. Steve was FREAKING out because he had a ring and a proposal planned for the following night at a hotel we couldn’t picture ourselves staying in for another minute. Steve talked me down, and we decided this dinner nightmare wasn’t ruining our trip, we were leaving first thing in the morning – but Steve was out of a proposal plan and needed a new one fast.

From the minute we arrived at the new resort we felt relieved. We knew this is where we were supposed to vacation. However, Steve still needed a plan and was having a hard time getting away from me. I was really focused on spending as much time together as we could, being that our vacation got cut a day short. Steve was smart and called in the troops. While sitting at the pool, Steve texted my best friend Jaclyn back home and laid out everything he wanted from the hotel. From the romantic dinner to the surprise room decor, Jaclyn let him know she would get it done. An hour later, Jaclyn got back to him with a time, place and directions on where to go.

After we left the pool, Steve let me know he wanted to catch the sunset that night before grabbing dinner. This didn’t seem out of the norm for me because chasing sunsets is something that we always do when we travel to a new place. When we walked down to the beach and the sun was beginning to set it was absolutely beautiful and I asked Steve if we could have a couple of chairs to watch on. He agreed and then awkwardly waddled his way down to the shore with a beach chair. Again, nothing out of the norm, that’s just Steve. Before I could get comfortable he told me to get up and stand “over there”. I was so confused but obliged because I thought we were grabbing a quick picture together.

As he was walking towards me, I saw two pieces of paper in his hands. It was my daily “Today’s reason why I love you” letter that I regularly woke up to every morning from Steve. I hadn’t gotten one in a few days, which happens sometimes when life gets crazy for us or if we begin to travel – but the timing of this one was a little different. As I opened the letter I almost immediately began crying because I knew this wasn’t just another morning letter from my Steve. This unfinished letter was beautifully crafted to explain our love, and to complete it, Steve directed me to look up at him to let him finish what he had to say. Before I knew it he was getting down on one knee and asking me to MARRY HIM!!!

I didn’t even look at the ring or allow him to put it on me before saying yes and giving him a huge hug and kiss. I was absolutely shocked because we weren’t even planning to go on this trip, and it turned into the trip of a lifetime. Almost 16 years to the day we met, my best friend in the world had asked me to marry him and I couldn’t be happier. He had the rest of the night set up for us to dine together on this romantic spot on the beach, the hotel had decorated our room beautifully to celebrate our proposal, and then we wrapped up the night the best way we knew how with some epic karaoke.

Our Video

Special Thanks

Steven Armato
 | Videographer
Jaclyn Bellino
 | Planning