Emily and John

Image 1 of Emily and John Du

How We Met

John and I grew up down the block from each other in Jersey City. My mom was the president of our neighborhood block association, and his dad was the vice president. We would play in the park with each other during neighborhood meetings in the summer– I specifically remember looking forward to seeing him and his brother in the park because they had the best toys and scooters, plus I could play catch with them as my siblings were too young to play. When we were about 7 or so his family moved to Hoboken so we saw them less, but our parents bumped into each other from time to time. Fast forward 10 years, to when my mom bumped into his mom at the supermarket.I had just started school at Rutgers so our moms talked about colleges. The second my mom got home “guess who I ran into and guess who goes to Rutgers and loves it!” she said. John was going into his junior year at Rutgers and not much longer after that, a Facebook request was waiting for me when I got to my dorm. “Oh yeahhhh, that kid” I thought, thinking back on our times playing together in the park.

Image 2 of Emily and John Du

John and I can’t remember who messaged who first, but for a whole week, I was checking my phone nonstop for his next message. As an excuse to text him, I would text him the weather every morning I had an early class to get the conversation going. We had everything in common, we were both English majors, had similar work study jobs, the same advisor, same interests, the list went on and on and on and on and on. Finally he asked me to get some coffee with him after class that Friday. I tore my dorm room apart trying to figure out what to wear. I was nervous as I took the bus to college ave campus. I wasn’t even that sure what he looked like exactly, his Facebook photos were all out of date, and I only remembered him as a kid really. I remember spotting him from the bus stop, and thinking “oh my gosh he’s so cute.” He was polite, and sweet, and we talked for hours. 6 whole hours to be exact. I had never talked to a guy about so many things for so long.

Image 3 of Emily and John Du

After he dropped me back off at the bus, I checked my phone and had dozens of texts and missed calls. My roommate, who knew I was going to meet him for coffee, had called my RA and my parents, worried about where I was. She didn’t believe that we could have been at coffee for 6 whole hours. I got back to the dorm, told her all about it, and told her to get ready because I had actually told John that we would see him and his roommate at the Rutgers Football stadium to watch Toy Story 3. John and I had 4 first dates total – coffee, the movie, he took me to the art museum on campus where we shared our first kiss (across the street from the chapel where we are going to get married) and then an official dinner at Rafferty’s. Since then, our relationship has gone through so much, including John’s semester abroad in Florence, a year hiatus, and dozens of other life events; college graduations, first jobs, second jobs, first apartments, and eventually moving in together. I always knew that he was my soulmate, and I can’t wait to be his wife.

Image 4 of Emily and John Du

how they asked

John came home from a work happy hour just before Christmas 2016, and said that his boss told him that he was been picked to go to a big conference in Italy, and that instead of a bonus, he was going to get to take a plus one. I had never been out of the country before, and has always wanted to take me to Italy since he had lived in Florence for a semester in college. We were so excited, I had to go get a passport and we started planning our trip. We had an itinerary of l the meetings he was going to have to go to on our fridge, and planned things for us to do around them. A lot of my friends assumed that he was going to propose, and i mentioned that to john and he said that he knew it would be nice, but it was a new job, a new company this was a vote of confidence from them, and he didn’t want to propose on his work’s dime, not to mention, it was our first trip abroad together, and that alone was going to be so special. I totally believed him. Here is the totally fake itinerary:

Image 5 of Emily and John Du

Here is the beautiful ring that he snuck through security and the note he wrote to let the TSA workers to be discreet:

Image 6 of Emily and John Du

Our trip finally came, and we landed in Venice on Friday, march 3, 2017, and had an amazing time walking around and taking in the city, it was beautiful. But, the whole time, John said he was really nervous about his presentation the next day. Saturday, we were supposed to meet his boss and owner of the company for breakfast and then go to a big meeting where john was going to give a huge presentation. John had made sure I packed a nice outfit, and gotten my nails done to impress his boss and coworkers. That morning, we got ready, and got really lost on the way to Piazza San Marco to meet the guys.

It was 7:30 in the morning and the only people around were garbage men, and shop owners. i thought to myself “where are we even going to get breakfast everything is totally closed” but John was so nervous so I just stayed quiet and enjoyed walking through the streets of Venice. When we got to Piazza San Marco, it was SO beautiful, and I just couldn’t believe we were there. I was snapping pictures, we were waiting in front of the bridge of sighed for everyone and John said that he texted his boss. As we were waiting, a Woman came up to us and said that she was a photography student doing a study on people in Venice and asked if she could take photos of us. John said sure (which was a little surprising) and I said “this is so cool! We are getting professional pictures in Venice!”

Image 7 of Emily and John Du

She took us to a beautiful spot right on the water, and that’s when John went down on one knee. I was in total shock, and realized that the woman was there to take pictures of this moment which was just incredible and made it so special.

Image 8 of Emily and John Du

Image 9 of Emily and John Du

The ring was breathtaking, and it was the happiest moment of my life. When I said yes, the garbage men and shop owners cheered and said “si! Si!” as we kissed. It was perfect. John told me that he had set up the photographer, Marta, who was from Flytographer and had set up an hour engagement shoot in the city. “So when’s your presentation, do they guys know you did this?” “They’re not here, this is for us” he said.

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Image 12 of Emily and John Du

Special Thanks