Daniela and Sean

Image 1 of Daniela and Sean

How We Met

Can true love last even if you just met? Sean and I met 4 years ago at a friend’s wedding in Mexico. We were instantly drawn to each other. I still remember having butterflies. Sean said he had never been more at peace simply by standing next to me and hearing me ramble… I tend to ramble. But there was a problem, both of us had just gotten out of very difficult relationships and knew it was too soon. Weeks and then months went by until one fine day in April my phone rang. It was him. The rest is history.

Image 2 of Daniela and Sean

Image 3 of Daniela and Sean

how they asked

It was a cold and rainy night in Manhattan. My long-distance boyfriend (Dallas – NYC) of almost four years, Sean, insisted on taking me to his friend’s gallery opening. I was told the press would be there and to dress nice. I admit that I’m more into shoes than art, and let’s be real, a pair of Valentino studded heels are art. But I’ve followed my boyfriend across five continents so why not a gallery. When we arrived, there were a handful of guests. The artist assured us ‘the important guests are coming”. Little did I know of the inside joke and that the entire gallery itself was all a setup! From the artwork, to the guests, to the artist himself; it was all for me. As we toured the first-floor artwork, Sean asked the artist if the exhibit had a name, “Le Nadia — a beautiful French woman I fell in love with” the artist replied. If I was thinking harder I may have realized that while I’m not French, Le Nadia is my name, Daniela, rearranged. This was only the beginning. Every piece of art in the gallery, I would later discover, was meaningful to our relationship. From the sleek splatter painting of the numbers 1323, the exact number of days we had dated up until that night, to the sketch of a father and daughter arguing (Sean thinks he’s my dad sometimes), to my favorite piece; a giant wall of 43 colorful balloons, the number of months we’ve dated and symbolic of our favorite movie UP! Despite all the signs around me, I was still clueless, and the biggest surprises were coming.

Image 4 of Daniela and Sean

When we entered the second floor, a room filled with giant balloons and a single TV screen with a camera on it, I thought, okay something’s up. Clearly this artist has too much time on his hands. After a very strange explanation of what art really means, he hit play on the TV and walked away as the video was ‘too emotional’ for him. “He’s pretty serious about his art” Sean joked as he smiled. Soon we were watching a video of clouds slowly moving, little did I know these clouds were about to change my life forever. Suddenly a familiar song began to play (our favorite) and the clouds turned into videos of us! Wait- WHAT!? The entire week, Sean was up until 2 or 3am working on a ‘client’s commercial’ but in truth he was putting together every video clip we’d taken over a four-year period and creating the most amazing video of our lives together. Every laugh, tear and memory was playing right before my eyes. That’s when I realized what was happening. I was overcome by a flood of emotions and felt I was going to faint.

Image 5 of Daniela and Sean

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Sean smiled, turned the film off and took my hand. He got down on both knees as he always joked he’d beg to marry me someday, and asked me to marry him in way that only Sean could, “What do you say dude, what do you say?” I laughed through the tears blurting out “Of course baby!” I had my dream guy, my dream proposal and my dream ring.

Image 8 of Daniela and Sean

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Image 10 of Daniela and Sean

How could the night get any better? Not possible. But it was. While I gathered myself in the restroom mirror Sean returned with two drinks and one huge smile. “No more surprises!” I shot out. “How on earth could there be more, I just faked an art gallery, that’s all I’ve got,” Sean replied. Liar.

Image 11 of Daniela and Sean

As we moved up the stairwell I had to take it all in, which for me means talking out loud. I would tell Sean in the most honest vulnerable way possible how happy I was, how truly surprised and deeply in love I was. He said ‘I love you’ for the first time as my fiancé, kissed me on the forehead and said ‘you first’. When the door opened, I couldn’t believe my eyes… SURPRISE!!!

Image 12 of Daniela and Sean

Image 13 of Daniela and Sean

Dozens of my closest family and friends had all secretly gathered for the surprise proposal of a hundred lifetimes. Not only were our friends from New York present, but our closest friends from Los Angeles, Atlanta, D.C and my entire family from Dallas had flown in for the night. For the next few hours we would drink and dance with the people I loved most in this world, all because the person I love most wanted to show me the strength of his love from the depths of his heart. When I began dating Sean years back I knew I was taking a chance. I was serious and structured, while he was creative and free spirited. Not to mention we would be dating long distance. 1323 days and one unforgettable night later taking that chance was the best decision of my life!

Our Video

Special Thanks

Mete Erdogan
 | THE Artist
Katherine Suzanne Phipps
 | Photographer