Andrea and Matthew

How We Met

To start off, I am from Canada and my fiance is American. I was born in Toronto (Ontario) and am an East Coast girl through and through. I moved to Atlantic Canada, from a temporary stint on the West Coast, for a new career opportunity and had no idea how many changes were coming my way. My fiance is a Southern boy, born in Florida and raised in North Carolina. He too found himself in the Northeast, working on development/ building projects throughout New England. Now the good stuff — how two people that had no business crossing paths, met:

I’d like to think that we are both old souls, yet we met in the most modern way possible — a dating app! Mathew ‘super-liked’ me and I was too curious about the ‘guy from the South, stuck in New England’ not to swipe right! After some witty banter and text messages between work travel and day-to-day routines, we quickly decided to get together for a first date. Matthew had tickets to an Eric Church concert happening in Bangor (Maine) at an outdoor waterside concert venue, and I couldn’t say no! At the time, I figured it would at least be a terrific concert (Church is one of my all-time favorites). But, who knew that concert and first date would change things for both of us.

Wedding Proposal Ideas in Boston Common, Boston MA

We continued to date long-distance, although nothing about our relationship felt ‘distant’. Matthew visited Canada for the first time (a short three hour drive for him at the time), I visited more job sites than I can count (he is in the family construction/ development business) and we had many special weekends away in Boston (one of our favorite places, and where we fell in love). Our shared love for gin martinis & oysters made restaurant hopping easy, he took to cheering for my hockey team (go leafs go), and I began supporting his college team (go Pack). We became best friends and golf partners. During different trips, we brought our mothers to Boston to spend some quality time together and to explore our favorite places — including our favorite coffee shop, restaurants and Boston Common (more to come on that). Soon enough we were seamlessly integrating with each other’s friends and families and the next chapter was in sight.

Andrea's Proposal in Boston Common, Boston MA

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Andrea and Matthew's Engagement in Boston Common, Boston MA

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Engagement Proposal Ideas in Boston Common, Boston MA

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How They Asked

Fast forward two years and the biennial NC State vs. Boston College football game was scheduled. We had gone to the game in our first year of dating, as one of our first official weekends away as a couple, and we thought we’d invite more friends for the event this year (2019). Matthew decided to take charge of planning and I had to put my ‘type-A’ control-enthusiast’ attitude aside (it wasn’t easy).

As the date approached, we had unexpected terrible weather in the city I was living and my flights were canceled and then delayed. I was stressed that I’d never make it to Boston for the fun weekend we had planned — unbeknownst to me, Matthew was even more stressed as he had much grander plans for us.

Fast forward again, and I made it to Beantown. Friday morning we wake up to the beautiful city and start off on our regular routine: breakfast and coffee at the Thinking Cup on Newbury Street, some shopping and then a stroll through Boston Common. The same coffee shop and park we brought both of our mothers; places that mean a lot to us. After acting a bit bizarre all morning and rushing me through shopping — we get to the park. Swans and ducks were in the water, people were perched under trees reading and tourists were snapping photos; everything was as it should be. Soon enough Matthew led me to a beautiful spot under a grand tree, with a view of the city and the entire park… I couldn’t believe what was happening, but I knew at that moment. He got down on one knee and I cried (which I never do. ever). I SAID YES! Then, a photographer (Hi, Marina) appeared from thin air and was capturing our special moment.

After the shock, Matthew let me know that we’d be having a mini engagement photoshoot and that the ‘friends football weekend’ was all a ruse. No one was coming and the weekend was set for our engagement. From the park, we proceeded to check into the Liberty Hotel (another favorite, if you recall). After some more strange behavior, celebratory champagne, and FaceTime calls with our Mothers and other families — I thought we were preparing for a boat cruise to celebrate. Boy was I shocked… (again). We were greeted in the lobby of the hotel by cheers and a loud ‘congratulations’ from his siblings & best friends, and my best friends from Canada. I cried again (I know, I said I never do that).

We ended up spending the weekend surrounded by friends, receiving calls and messages from family and those we love the most, and cheering on State at the game (we lost, but it didn’t matter). I would’ve said yes to Matthew a thousand times over, regardless of how he asked. Did we miss our family? Yes! But being from two different countries and having everyone we love to spread out — it can be hard. We look forward to continuing the celebrations with everyone we love and beginning the planning process, as we look forward to a 2021 wedding.

(typical calm morning at the Thinking Cup)

(the magical moment)

(the ugly cry — of happiness of course)

(it begins to sink in)

(Acorn Street… still pinching myself)

(a quiet moment of reflection and celebration, at the Liberty Hotel, after checking-in)

(we had a surprise waiting for us….)

(celebratory moments at the tailgate before the State v BC game, the next day)

Special Thanks

Marina Baklanova
 | Photographer