Farhan and Saara

The Proposal; His Version
Sometimes you are lucky enough to meet someone who changes everything about your life. For me, Saara is that person. I met Saara briefly through a mutual friend during a summer internship, and then years later, after I had moved away, we reconnected. From that point, she became instantly part of my life. I literally spoke to her every single day and it wasn’t just quick conversations or texts, but several hour long chats. She didn’t just change my life, she became my life.

What started out as a friendship, quickly evolved into something much more. I first knew how much she meant to me when I was flying back into LA after a Labor Day trip. The flight had Wi-Fi, and Saara kept me company online the entire flight. I hit some bad turbulence and the plane nearly crashed. I couldn’t stop thinking about Saara while all this was happening, and it was the first time I told Saara that I loved her.

Everything was perfect. I’ve never had such amazing chemistry with a person and she brought such happiness into my life. There was just one giant problem. We lived on complete opposite sides of the country. On top of that, Saara wasn’t looking for a relationship. I had never really asked out a girl before. All the girls I had dated in the past, had always approached me. In fact, I was terrified about asking out girls which was part of the reason I had never done it before. It was with different with Saara. I must have asked her out at least five times, and each time she told me she just wasn’t looking to be in a relationship.

Normally, I would have just let it go, but I wasn’t going to take no for an answer with this.. She was different than anyone I had ever met. I knew from early on that she was the person I was going to spend the rest of my life with.

Still, I wasn’t sure what to do. The distance was challenging, and I was really afraid that she might meet someone else. The plan was, that I’d fly to New York and tell her how much she meant to me. But I couldn’t just show up, for no reason. That would make my intentions too obvious. Instead, I did what any hopeless romantic would do. I made up a fake business trip, and flew to her. It was the most important weekend of my life. Flying to New York was almost like a hail-marry move. One way or the other, this trip would change everything. If it didn’t go well, then that would mean that me and her would never happen. Everything was riding on this weekend. I never get nervous, but I felt such an intense pressure to tell her exactly what she meant to me. When I finally saw her, all that pressure disappeared. Nothing needed to be said. I just enjoyed the moment. It was just so awesome being with her and when I flew back home, I did so knowing that I had found my other half. Oh, and she ended up asking ME out.

A few months later, I decided that I was ready to propose to her. It might sound like this all moved along really fast, but when you know, you know, and I couldn’t wait any longer. Saara was so special, that she deserved the best proposal I could come up with. It took me forever to try and come up with something. I literally would spend hours trying to figure out the perfect proposal. And finally it struck me.

A long time ago, Saara and I saw a Bollywood movie called Dostana. In it, the hero sets up this romantic outdoor movie date for the girl he likes. Saara thought this scene was the cutest thing, so I decided to recreate my own version of it with Saara’s favorite movie, Andaz Apna Apna. I had to find the perfect venue, and I decided to do it at Los Poblanos, a beautiful organic farm and historic inn. The events manager, Ashley and the entire staff were just so amazing. They helped me execute everything perfectly and put so much thought and detail into the planning.

There was a strict agenda with everything timed in a certain way. We did this, so that our AWESOME photographer, Jasmine, could covertly capture the best moments of the evening, with the actual proposal being the most important picture.

When we arrived Ashley, who was pretending to be a restaurant hostess told us that our table wasn’t ready. We sat in the courtyard and had appetizers. It was funny, because I’d see Jasmine secretly taking pictures and had to keep a straight face. At 7:20, I hired for a horse carriage to arrive and take us on a romantic stroll through Los Poblanos. Saara, who loves horseback riding, mentioned earlier that evening that she wanted to go riding with me one day and the horse carriage turned out to be the perfect touch. How I felt sitting next to her that day was one of the best feelings I’ve ever felt.  Saara, thought that this was all just part of a normal Los Poblanos experience, but I had hired the carriage privately. I almost gave everything away by introducing her, to Steve from Rio Sandia Carriage (it made no sense for me to know him by name as this was all supposed to be happening on the fly) but everyone had been so wonderful throughout the planning of this that I couldn’t resist introducing her. Luckily Saara still didn’t suspect anything.

Our carriage ride ended a little early, and the proposal was the next part of the agenda. We timed it so that the proposal would happen at 8:15PM. That way Jasmine could take the picture of me proposing, but since we ended early it sort of threw everything off. I was leading Saara through this small pathway, and out of the corner of my eye I saw Jasmine sprinting towards us! It was the funniest thing. I made Saara close her eyes and when we got to the end of the pathway I proposed to Saara in front of big heart made of rose petals. I honestly don’t even remember what I said. I was just so into the moment, that whatever I said just came out. It was perfect.

After the proposal, Los Poblanos’ chef had put together an incredible five course feast. The food was amazing. We were supposed to watch the movie during dinner, but funny enough, we barely saw any of it. I think our faces just hurt too much from smiling so hard. It was the best day of my life.

I can’t properly describe what Saara means to me. All I know is that she is my dream come true and that I’m one of the lucky few that gets to marry their best friend.

The Proposal: Her Version
Farhan and I had been dating long distance for a few months now.  And we took turns visiting each other.  In July, it was finally my turn to visit him while he was at his family’s home in NM (he had already met mine on his trip in May).  We had openly talked about a timeframe for getting engaged and married as well as rings and styles I liked.  So yes, I knew it was coming.  Farhan had given me a heads up before that it would happen during the trip (let’s just say I was very well dressed during my stay in NM).  With the help of my sister, they began to drop hints about the proposal, fake hints.  I was convinced he would propose on a planned hike on my last day there.

The night before my departure, July 10, 2012, Farhan made reservations for dinner at Los Poblanos Inn.  He told me to be ready at 5pm sharp; the place was strict about keeping to reservation times (ours was for 7).  So after a photo session by my mom, we left for dinner.  We got there about half an hour early and Farhan told me that if we got there early, they wouldn’t take us so we would have to just drive around until it was closer to our reservation (for some reason I did not think this was strange).  After a long drive through various residential areas, we drove up to Los Poblanos.  It was breathtaking!  Tree lined driveway, surrounding farmland, gorgeous inn sitting in the middle of the property.  We parked and walked up to the main courtyard and told a woman (who I now know is Ashley, the amazing events manager at Los Poblanos) that we had a reservation for 7. We were lead to a reserved table in the courtyard while our dinner table was being set up.  We sat sipping on delicious drinks and munching on some housemade snacks.  While waiting for our table, I caught a glimpse of a horse carriage pulling up to the courtyard.  I looked around, there didn’t seem to be anyone waiting for it (nope, still nothing’s fishy). A few minutes after the carriage arrival, Farhan goes to “ask about our table” and comes back telling me that we can take a carriage ride (still doesn’t seem strange).  So we get in and have an amazing tour of Los Poblanos.  We decide that we’re hungry for dinner and the carriage pulls up to a garden.  Farhan thanks Steve, our carriage driver (not weird at all) and introduces me to him.  We then take a walk through the gardens while Farhan makes small talk.  At this point I see a girl sprinting through the garden, from one side of Los Poblanos to the other (I now know this is Jasmine, our awesome photographer that captured so many great shots of the entire night) and commented with sarcasm: “well that’s normal”.

We walked to a small wooded area and Farhan convinced me it’d be romantic.  As we got halfway through, he told me to close my eyes. And THIS is when I knew.  I was led out of the woods to a clearing and he asked me to open my eyes. After looking in the wrong direction and then being directed to look the opposite way, I saw a heart of rose petals on the lawn.  The proposal itself was such a blur, I was just so happy.  I remember Farhan getting on one knee and just wanted to scream out “yes!” throughout the entire proposal.

After he asked and I, of course, accepted we went to a table with hors d’oeuvres and had a little to eat.  I was then introduced to the entire team that put in so much effort to make that night perfect.  The veranda was set up with candles and flowers and a table for two as well as a couch with a projector screen.  It was so GORGEOUS and I couldn’t believe I was engaged to such an amazing man that put so much thought into every aspect of the proposal.  We had a 5 course dinner followed by my favorite Bollywood movie on a projector and snacks on the couch.  This was above and beyond what I had expected and was completely floored.

It’s hard to put into words how I feel about Farhan.  He is my soulmate, my matching puzzle piece, my rock.  Our chemistry is greater than anything I have ever felt or imagined.  I often find myself thinking about how at ease, how peaceful I feel when I am with him.  He’s always there for me, supporting me, and always makes sure I have a smile on my face.  He even gets my sarcastic, dry humor.  I’m so lucky to have found him to be my life partner.  I love him more than I can describe and can’t wait to marry such a caring, thoughtful, funny, intelligent, amazing person.

Photos: Jasmine Nicole Photography // Venue: Los Poblanos Inn