How We Met: Michael and I met at Villanova University through mutual friends during our freshman year in 2009. On Halloween 2010, Michael hosted a party at his house and invited all the friends. At the end of the night, Michael texted me confessing his “crush”. We began to see each other as more than friends and in February of 2011, we began dating.
After graduation in 2012, we dated long distance for almost two years before moving in together in January 2014 and adopting our puppy, Winnie in September 2014.
how they asked: I’m a huge Disney fan. My family goes to Walt Disney World annually (sometimes twice a year). Senior year of college in 2012, I convinced Michael to go to Disney World together for spring break. I confessed during the trip that I always thought the first boy I went to Disney with would be the one I would marry.
My parents had planned a family trip to Walt Disney World to take place in May 2015. Little did I know, this would be my favorite trip to Disney. After picking out the perfect ring and asking my father for permission, Michael sneakily worked with my parents to make special arrangements to propose during the trip.
My dad called two weeks before the trip and told me we would be taking a family boat trip and there would be a photographer to capture the special tour. Two days after arriving in Disney, on May 25, 2015 at 8:00 a.m., Michael and I, along with my family boarded the Grand 1 Yacht outside of Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa.
The photographer was wearing a Disney cast member badge and introduced herself as “Linda.” Shortly after the boat took off, “Linda” explained we would be taking couples pictures of Michael and me, my parents, and my two brothers and their girlfriends. My family went upstairs on the yacht and the captain stopped the boat with a picture perfect view of Cinderella caste in the background.
Michael and me were the first couple up to take pictures. “Linda” snapped a few shots then Michael turned to me, dropped to one knee and reminded me that I once told him I would marry the first boy I went to Disney with and was wondering if that were still true.
He then asked me to be his wife and of course I agreed!
“Linda” then took more pictures and my family raced downstairs and to my surprise, Michaels family came out from hiding inside the bedroom on the boat. The whole Benas family had flown down as well to join in the celebrations.
The photographer then revealed herself to be Heather and admitted she did not work for Disney. For the next hour, Michael, me and everyone in both our families enjoyed champagne toasts and joyous tears.
The boat dropped us off at the Magic Kingdom and the whole family spent the day together in the happiest place on Earth!
We celebrated with dinner in Downtown Disney that night and when we got back to the hotel, there was a big bouquet of roses waiting for me from my new fiancé. Truly magic!
Photos by: Heather Rice Photography