How We Met
Bilal and I were first introduced at a mutual friend’s birthday party back in 2012. From there we started hanging out more and more and we became close friends. Bilal moved out of Atlanta after he graduated in 2014 but we still kept in touch. We would always see each other whenever he came home to visit or make plans to meet up in other cities. We did the work to keep our friendship strong. Eventually Bilal moved once more for grad school in Ithaca. He invited me to visit him for a weekend. On October 6th, 2018 Bilal told me he loved me for the first time. We started officially dating and exactly a year later he took me back up to Ithaca and asked me to marry him :)
How They Asked
Bilal was so sweet with his planning. We drove into Ithaca the day before from NYC and we stayed in a beautiful Airbnb out on a little farm. Bilal knows how much I love being out in fresh air so we spent our entire day outside. We started first thing in the morning, he took me to the Ithaca Farmers Market and we had locally made pastries and coffee while sitting on the dock of the Cayuga Inlet. Next we headed out to the Indian Creek Farm which has acres of different fruits and vegetables including its own orchard. It’s a beautiful spot to visit. We decided to pick some raspberries to make some jam and Bilal was setting up his camera on the tripod to take photos of me, of the two of us, and of the farm. We get to a more secluded spot and Bilal sets up the camera again and says hey go stand over there for a picture. He comes over to where I’m standing. I’m trying to get him to pose for the photo and he’s trying to talk to me. Eventually I give up and face him and he asks me if I know how much he loves me, if I know that he wants to spend the rest of his life with me and if I know that he wants me to be the mother of his children I say yes, yes, yes and he gets down on one knee and I really didn’t believe him at first but he says Aya will you marry me and I say yes and we’re both beaming at each other we stand up and hug. After all the phone calls to family and close friends we headed out to a stable and we went horseback riding for hours. I used to ride a lot when I was younger and bilal loves riding as well. We started our day outside and ended it watching the sunset on horseback. It was really a special day for us and all the planning bilal put into it made it even better.