Alexis and Jose Manuel

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How We Met

Jose and I met in elementary school, around second grade (the early 2000s). I was not very fond of him, he thought he was smarter than everyone else. We spoke a few times through mutual friends, but nothing more than a “hi” or “what’s up”. I moved schools in fourth grade and I didn’t see him again until middle school, where we pretty much had all the same classes together. I remember seeing him the first day of middle school and instantly felt something inside me I still cannot explain to this day.

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I remember that adorable smile I still drool over all the time. It’s that tingly feeling that never goes away. After that day, I could not stop liking him or thinking about him. Throughout middle school, we became really close friends, hung out with the same people, and even had our own share of crushes and relationships, but for some reason, we always went back to each other, until he finally asked me out a few months before going into high school, in 2008.

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I remember him almost fainting as he asked me to be his girlfriend. It was so unreal seeing someone I built such a good friendship by asking me to be his girlfriend. I remember feeling super excited!

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How They Asked

BARE YOURSELVES:

Jose and I began traveling together. Getting to know the various parts of Mexico was on our traveling bucket list. We had already been to Guanajuato and obviously Baja California (we live in San Diego, California). My dad’s family is from Mexico City and I had been there a few times already. Jose had never been to Mexico City and really wanted to go. So in March of 2019, we planned a trip to go and booked our flights for Labor day weekend. We had been dating for 11 years now. We were beginning to live major milestones in our lives: I was in grad school and he got an amazing job. Getting married was a topic we occasionally discussed throughout the years. I was entering my mid-twenties and found myself looking at beautiful engagement rings on Pinterest, but nothing too serious.

In October of 2018, I began grad school and his parents decided to renew their vows after 25 years of marriage. It was so special that they asked Jose and me to be their ring godparents. We were so happy! However, we found ourselves feeling a bit frustrated and realized that we would be shopping for rings for someone else. We wanted to at least window-shop for our future rings, especially after so many years of dating. This moment is bound to occur, we thought. So we decided to go and see some engagement rings. A month later, I began grad school. I told him that if he ever wanted to propose I would want it to be after I graduate from grad school. He couldn’t agree more. He’s always been super supportive. A few months passed and we went to the mall and we randomly ended up looking at engagement rings again. He reassured me that he wasn’t planning to propose soon. He also reminded me we had a deal that after I finished grad school. So I thought, ok, that’s super sweet. This time it was a longer visit, though. I tried on some rings and looked at several styles.

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Fast forward to our Mexico City trip. We arrived on Thursday night. The next day, Friday, August 30, 2019, we took a tour bus to the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Keep in mind that Jose knew that my parents had trouble conceiving me. My parents traveled to Michoacan, Mexico’s Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe to ask the Virgin Mary for a blessing to be able to conceive. Anyway, we arrived at the Basilica and walked around and did some shopping outside of the main church for a while before going in. I will admit, I had my suspicions that he would propose there, but I couldn’t see him carrying a small box or anything like that and, he was super relaxed. We finally went inside the church and got there right on time for mass. After mass, we went down to see the Virgin Mary, a beautiful experience. I was so emotional during mass and just being there. I then remembered that when I went as a little girl with my dad, there was a priest outside blessing rosaries, bibles, and any other objects. We had bought some key chains, rosaries and were hoping to get them blessed. We looked and looked but we did not find any priest. So we gave up and said, ok let’s go then.

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At the exit of the church was a book where you could write something to the Virgin Mary, or leave a message, a date, etc. I told him, “Look, let’s write something, our names!”. He said, “You go ahead, I’m going to ask the security guard right here if he knows where we can find the priest to bless our things”. So I began writing in the book and after a minute or so he came back. He said, “The security guard said the priest is probably gone for the day but that we can take a photo down the aisle facing the Virgin Mary. You want to take a pic?”. At first, it seemed a bit strange, especially since that specific aisle was fenced and locked, and the security guard was standing right in front of it. I walked over, the guard unlocked and opened the fence. Jose handed him his phone to take the photo and left our goodies on the side.

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We posed for the photo when I felt him get down and I turned. There he was on one knee holding a gorgeous ring. He said some super romantic and sweet words (which I’d rather keep to myself) and asked me to marry him. I could not pronounce the word “yes”. I was speechless and could barely hold my breath. I was crying like a baby. He said, “Is that a yes?” All I could do was nod. He put the ring on my finger and I bent down to kiss and hug him. We walked out and he grabbed his phone from the guard and said thank you! (That security guard will forever be part of our story) We walked out of the church and all I can remember is hugging him and asking how he was able to get away with the ring and everything. It was one of the happiest moments of our lives. We called our parents and of course, they already knew. The only one who did not know anything was me! We still had the rest of that Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and half of Monday to continue to explore Mexico City.

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I felt like I was floating the whole time. I was so happy to know I was never going to wake up from what I thought was a dream. I am going to marry my best friend, a man who puts God first. He wanted to connect that beautiful moment of my parents asking for a blessing. So original and special. It was more than perfect. He also explained to me that this ring was custom made from beginning to end from him (not directly of course) but he was in constant contact and communication with the jewelry store about how he knew how I wanted the ring designed exactly. Something I never imagined. My ring has so much more than value to me. It represents his love, effort, and commitment. I completed a graduate school in November 2019. He later explained to me that he knew we had a deal, but after grad school, I would have expected it and this way was more of a surprise. Yes, it was! And besides, a few months before school ended was no big deal. I finished strong and we got to the wedding planning. Unfortunately, due to our current uncertain time, our wedding planning has remained on hold.

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Special Thanks

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 | Security Guard