how we met
I was finishing up my senior year at Paul Smiths College in northern NY and I was part of the Bobcats’ men soccer team. Joelle was an incoming freshman who also played for the women’s soccer team. Our school was a small private college located in the heart of the Adirondacks and it is the perfect place for anyone who enjoys the outdoors. We were a tight knit community up there, so everyone knew everyone on campus. The men’s and women’s soccer team typically socialized on and off the field, which eventually led to Joelle and I getting paired together as *water* pong partners ;-).
I remember seeing her for the first time at preseason practice. She had the most beautiful smile. I would always joke on the sidelines with my teammates whispering “I love you” every time she kicked the ball. Fast forward 5 years I was able to convince Joelle to move to Syracuse and then to Buffalo, NY where we currently work and live. We’ve continued to visit the Adirondacks over the years to go hiking, camping, and snowboarding.
how they asked
The Adirondacks mean so much to us. It’s amazing to think that I was able to find my soulmate at a tiny private college in the middle of the woods. We met in the Adirondacks so I knew I had to propose there.
Lake Placid and Winter Carnival – Each year for the past 7 years I would rent a house in Lake Placid and invite my friends and family. We usually will spend one day skiing at Whiteface and the rest of the time celebrating the annual Winter Carnival festival in Saranac Lake, NY. I figured this would be the best weekend to propose since we would be surrounded by friends and family. Not to mention we would be in the Adirondacks and at the top of mountain, the perfect spot. The days leading up to the proposal were spent watching the forecast and to my surprise a cold front was moving in and the highs were projected to be -24F. Panic set in and I almost called off the proposal; no one is interested in skiing in that kind of cold! Joelle’s parents were planning to surprise her in the lodge and the whole thing almost fell through. Luckily the cold front was stalled and Friday’s temperatures looked favorable. Highs in the 20’s with occasional snow showers. It was go time!
I tricked Joelle into thinking we were taking a group photo at the top of the mountain before we all went skiing. Even friends of ours who weren’t skiing braved the cold and came up to witness the proposal. Everyone knew what was happening but Joelle, which is surprising since we were all acting a little “off.” After a few group shots I asked if we could have our picture taken alone. Everyone stepped back and started taking their cell phones out.
I dropped down on one knee and Joelle told me to get up and even tried to pull me up. I’ve loved embarrassing her and in the past I have pulled the knee drop trick plenty of times (including once pulling out a candy pop ring), but this time I was serious.
When I pulled out the ring she realized what was happening and instantly started crying inside her goggles. I practiced what I was going to say for weeks but when the time came I was lost for words. Nevertheless, it was still the most special moment of my life. She said yes!
After the proposal Joelle asked if her parents knew and wanted to give them a call, but I pushed her off. We snowboarded down the mountain for a quick celebration drink in the lodge. Little did she know they were waiting for us at the bar, with a bottle of champagne!
I purchased the ring from a local jeweler named Ralph Monforte. He owns Cazenovia Jewelry and has 2 locations in central New York and he came highly recommended. After looking at several stones and designs there was only one that stood out and I knew it was the one as soon as I saw it. The ring is made by Valina and contains a single centered diamond stone with 10 side stones, 5 on each side. It’s a classic solitaire ring design. I was concerned Joelle wouldn’t like it but she said I found the perfect ring and planned the perfect proposal!