Amanda and Blake

Image 1 of Blake and Amanda

How We Met

“I’m getting drunk tonight!” …Not the first words you want to hear on a first date. But there I was, at an NYC rooftop bar, with “Blake,” asking myself why I had swiped right in the first place. Our conversation on Hinge had been normal enough, I figured I would give him a shot. Little did I know, this would be one of the best decisions I would ever make.

During our first date, we swapped the usual stories and asked the typical questions, all while gazing at the gorgeous New York skyline that we called home. We quickly realized how much we had in common: both coming from large, loud Italian families, growing up on the Jersey Shore, going to high school only a few miles apart…. one of my best friends’ boyfriend (now fiancé!) even grew up with Blake. Still, I wasn’t sold on him. He seemed like the type of guy who liked to party, and that was definitely not something that I was looking for. He rambled on about going out to bars and shows, drinking with his buddies ‘til all hours of the night. His one saving grace: Blake kept mentioning his family: how important they were to him, and how spending time with them is one of his favorite things to do. He walked me home to my apartment that night and texted me when he got home, thanking me for the great night, and asking me out again. To say I was confused was an understatement.

Image 2 of Blake and Amanda

The next day at work, I rolled my eyes as I recapped the date to my friends. “Give him another chance,” they pleaded, “he doesn’t seem so bad…and you know you’re ridiculously picky.” I agreed, and the date was set for the following week.

(FYI: Blake went to work the next day and told his co-workers: “I think I met my future wife.”)

Our second date was the game changer. Blake met me at Upstate, a hole-in-the-wall oyster bar in the East Village. Over oysters and white wine, Blake’s true character shined through. I realized the party boy persona was just an act…maybe he was trying to impress me? He was sweet, genuine, and caring. He had a fantastic personality and had me smiling and laughing the entire night. The night ended at Barcade, a bar which features vintage arcade games. He was impressed by my skills at Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. He was hooked, and so was I.

On the one year anniversary of our first date, we went back to the rooftop bar where it all started. Blake gave me a book of love notes he wrote for me, each one was dated with a specific date on which I could open it. “You are not allowed to open the last one until our two year anniversary… and No, there is not a marriage proposal in there.” I swear he can read my mind sometimes.

Image 3 of Blake and Amanda

how they asked

Friday night at drinks with two of my best friends, we hypothesized when Blake would propose. I mentally went through my calendar, crossing out possible weekends that were consumed with birthdays, graduations, and weddings. “We don’t have a free weekend until July, it will definitely not be before then.” We toasted to July and sipped on our prosecco.

Saturday came and with it our usual weekend routine. We went to our respective workout classes and walked home together afterward. All week, Blake had been talking about getting a pedicure for the first time. I volunteered to go with him without hesitation. Blake is insanely ticklish (something he was VERY worried about pre-pedi). It would be hysterical to watch him squirm a bit…and plus, I’m always down for a mani/pedi. I laughed uncontrollably as Blake bit his fingers for the entire pedicure. I got it on camera, posting it to my Instagram story… sorry, Blake!

Image 4 of Blake and Amanda

After our trip to the nail salon, Blake suggested that we go for a walk in the park. He mentioned he wanted to change into jeans before he went, but I had no interest. “Jeans? For a walk in the park? I’m going just like this” I pointed to my leggings and sweatshirt. He said, “Okay, I guess I will too.” Off we went.

Image 5 of Blake and Amanda

Image 6 of Blake and Amanda

We started walking towards the Turtle Pond. As we turned onto a large patio overlooking the water, a thought went through my head: “Is he going to propose? I think he might. But, if he doesn’t, I’m going to tell him that I thought he was going to, he’ll get a laugh out of that.” We neared the edge of the patio, a few steps from the water. Blake asked me “Do you remember what I said was so special about this day?” Hmmm… nope. It wasn’t our anniversary. Did I miss someone’s birthday? “I don’t remember,” I responded guiltily. I looked at him in shock as he slowly got down on one knee and pulled a box out of his pocket, “Because this is the day that I ask you to marry me.”

Image 7 of Blake and Amanda

Image 8 of Blake and Amanda

Image 9 of Blake and Amanda

I heard clapping from onlookers, but in that moment, in all of New York City, in all the world, it was just Blake and me. Time stood still as I tried to find the words that Blake was waiting to hear. “So is that a yes?!” he asked. “Oh my god, yes!” I cried. “Okay great, now please put this ring on because it’s been stressing me out having it in my pocket all this time.” Ever the charmer, my fiancé. Blake put the ring on my finger and we kissed and embraced. He pulled away and turned to wave and give the thumbs up. I looked over in confusion. “Say ‘hi’ to Lin, our photographer!”

Image 10 of Blake and Amanda

Image 11 of Blake and Amanda

Image 12 of Blake and Amanda

Image 13 of Blake and Amanda

“Hi. Lin. Oh. My. God. I. Have. No. Makeup. On.” I managed to say in between sobs. Blake took me in his arms. “You look beautiful, baby like you always do. Now smile for the camera!”

Image 14 of Blake and Amanda

Little did I know, Blake purchased my ring about a month before he proposed, hiding the ring in his nightstand in our apartment. While home for Easter, Blake snuck over to my house while I was out running errands to ask my parents and my brother for their permission to marry me. He then hired Lin, a photographer, to be waiting for us in the park, ready to capture our moment. We spent the rest of the day taking pictures with Lin and calling friends and family to share our happy news. The weekend ended with us celebrating with close friends.

Image 15 of Blake and Amanda

Special Thanks

Lin Pernille Photography
 | Photographer