Dana and Nicholas

How We Met

Through mutual friends, we all went over to Fire Island for a beach day and to hit the local bar, Flynn’s. We may have only had a few small conversations at the bar and on the ferry, but it was enough to spark our interests. For the next few years we would meet at various events and were always hesitant to make the first move over the fear of ruining the friend dynamic. We finally admitted our feelings for one another on a cold winter’s night and went on our first official date on February 25th of 2018.

We both fell hard and fast after and found ourselves spending our free time together and meeting each others family right away. We spent a week straight together on the Jersey Shore for Nicks family vacation and this is when we realized how strongly we felt for one another. We first said those 3 little words after a simple morning of the two of us waking up, cooking breakfast together and watching friends on the couch.

How They Asked

Nick had asked me to reserve the third weekend in July to go down to his families beach house with a group of his friends. As the weekend approached, he asked a favor of me – if we could go watch the sunrise on Saturday morning. At first I thought it was a little strange but when he said it was an ode to his late grandfather, of course i agreed. That Friday, we packed the car for a fun weekend with his friends, and made our way down to the shore. We made some pitstops for food and alcohol. As the bottles clanked in the back of the car, I thought to myself we bought way too much drinks for only a few of us. At the house we were the first to arrive and unpacked the goodies into the fridge. We spent the rest of the night casually drinking and playing games. As the clock ticked later and later, I feared having to wake up so early but at 1:00am I finally called it quits and hit the hay. And then on the fateful day of Saturday, July 20th at 5:00AM our alarms went off and we made our way down to the beach. I was very tired and already looking forward to going back to bed, little did I know that I would be wide awake very soon. I snapped a quick instagram for proof I was up early (how ironic my caption was now looking back at it).

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It was 5:30AM but the sky was beautiful, already setting the perfect scene for what was to come. He stood next to me quiet for a few minutes as I tried to fill the air with small talk. The sun seemed to take forever to appear over the horizon, and I could tell Nick was being extra quiet. I figured he was thinking about his grandfather, as I held his hand to comfort him. Suddenly he said, “so I didn’t bring you here just to watch the sunrise.” In that moment, everything happened so fast and before I knew it he was down on one knee telling me he loved me and asking me to spend the rest of my life with him. My heart leaped and my hand flew to cover my mouth in shock. I finally managed to to blurt out the words “yes” as I put out my shaking hand for him. His friend who had been secretly documenting the whole thing, ran up to us to take some final photos of the moment.

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Even after Nick popped the question, he still had more surprises up his sleeve. Once I was able to catch my breath and my heart stopped racing, we sat in the sand and called our families to tell them the good news – they were all anxiously awaiting our phone call. When morning was in full swing, we went for quick breakfast at Patti’s Kitchen where we were both still beaming with joy. I couldn’t stop staring at how gorgeous my ring was and how fortunate I was to now be able to call the man sitting across from me “my fiancé”. Once we were finished eating, we made our way back to the house, where Nick had another surprise waiting. The outside of the house was decorated with cutesy decorations congratulating us on our engagement. When he opened the door and we stepped inside, I first noticed the rest of the decorations and the brunch spread with mimosas and sangria set up on the table. However, when I looked to the other half of the room I was shocked to see some friendly faces their shouting “surprise!” I actually screamed with excitement that a few of my friends came down to celebrate what was already the best day of my life. We continued on with the celebrations with Nick and I popping some champagne, toasting to our engagement, and then relaxing on the beach with a few drinks and giant ring floaty in hand. When it was time for lunch we all stopped at Wawa’s before heading back to the house. This time, when I got back to the house, Nick managed to have a few more of my friends hiding in the rooms just waiting to jump out and surprise me. Needless to say, their mission was successful. With only a few minutes to digest the new group of friends just arrived, another couple arrived, and then another. Before I knew it, all my childhood friends were there to celebrate with Nick and I.

Once everyone settled in, we spent some time to have some drinks, enjoy each others company, and for me to gush about the days activities. We all then took our time to get ready before heading out for a group dinner at Hemingway’s Cafe. Between mine and Nick’s friends, we were rolling with a crew that was 16 people deep. As we sat at the table in our private room, I couldn’t help but look around at all the people who showed up to share the love with us and I had never felt more grateful. Nick and I raised our glasses to toast and to thank everyone for coming and of course I got choked up. To top off the evening, we hit the Jersey boardwalk for some more drinks and to dance the night away.

Waking up the next day, everything still felt so surreal. The amount of care, thoughtfulness and love that went into making this day what it was is something I will never forget. Nick made me feel so special and it was better than anything I ever could have imagined for myself. I am so grateful to have him as my forever. We cannot wait to start this new chapter of our lives together.

From sunrise to sunset, the proposal was a complete and utter fairytale.