Gabby and Franco
How We Met
Franco and I met the good old Italian way: my mother set us up… kind of. Both my mom and Franco work in the wedding industry and happened to be hired for the same wedding, sometime in 2014. My mom and Franco began talking and she was quick to suggest that he meet her daughter (me) – after which she sent me a selfie with him and screenshots of his Instagram page to convince me that, and I quote, she “met my future husband”. Me being involved with someone else at the time, and uninterested in humoring my mom, I was quick to dismiss the texts and suggestions.
Fast forward two months later, I had tickets to attend a Montreal Canadiens hockey game with my mom. We usually sit in the same seats as season-ticket holders, but a friend of ours was in town playing and we wanted to sit up close, so we traded our seats for different ones. Franco, who was studying for midterms that night, decided to take a study break with his friend and found last-minute tickets to the same game…. sitting right behind us! Obviously, the idea of introducing us was very exciting to my mom, so she jumped up and did just that… except, again, I didn’t want to even give it any attention, so I waved – admittedly a little rudely. Franco politely waved back as he introduced himself and whispered to his friend that I was the kind of girl he would NEVER date… HA!
A few months after that awkward encounter, I was no longer seeing someone, and a little bit bummed about the way things had ended. I went for coffee with a friend who had suggested that the best way to get over this guy would be to just go on a date with another guy, and even if I just made a friend out of it, it would get my mind off things. But who would I go on a date with? This friend of mine also worked in the wedding industry and said she’d thought of someone she had met that would be perfect for me: Franco. Kismet? Coincidence? Fate? Who knows, but I agreed to go for it. That week Franco got my number and despite his first impression of me, texted me; we made a plan to meet for dessert the following week.
He picked me up on a cold January night and had SClub7 playing in the car on a CD – he was embarrassed, I loved it. I knew that his perfect taste in late-90s, early 2000s music was a good sign. We talked until 4 am and the rest was history!…
How They Asked
Franco and I have been together for four and a half years. In those years, we have done and experience a lot, including me getting my first place on my own, my move to Boston to pursue my Masters degree (which he was fully supportive of and pushed me to do), getting our first puppy (Buddy!), and most importantly the purchase of our first home together. The idea of marriage was always on my mind at this point and I just wondered when he was going to ask. However, Franco was pretty adamant that now was just not the time, so the idea that he would propose anytime in the near future was virtually non-existent… So I thought.
Meanwhile, Franco had other plans – he had asked both my dad and mom for my hand in marriage in January and was working very diligently on creating the ring of my dreams with a local jeweler.
I am a very nosy person and it isn’t very easy to keep surprises from me, so Franco knew he would have to concoct some elaborate story to get me to the location of the proposal without me finding out about it – that was his biggest fear. The week before the proposal, I got an email from my coworker telling me about an important potential project partner coming into town and that she was available to meet for dinner on the following Friday. Although I was not happy about the thought of having a work dinner on a Friday night, I had to agree. I work for family, and my uncle was in on the ruse – he suggested cocktails before dinner at his private car club, the setting for the proposal; the plan was made.
Franco and I had taken that Friday off and went for brunch with my best friend and her boyfriend that morning. Franco was cool, calm and collected all day – I wouldn’t have suspected a thing.
When Franco and I would talk about getting engaged, I always mentioned that I would love to celebrate with closest friends and family right after and that I didn’t want an engagement party – there are already too many pre-wedding celebrations to plan, one less would be fine by me! Keeping that in mind, Franco and my event-planner mom came up with the idea of him proposing to me in front of our families and friends and turning the proposal into a surprise engagement party. Obviously, he had to give everyone a heads-up to be there, so that added to his worry about the beans spilling somehow. The only people who didn’t know about the engagement were my best friends – they thought they were invited to some work event where I would win some surprise award. When they walked into the proposal venue and found out what was really about to happen, their reaction was priceless (and caught on camera!).
When Franco and I pulled up to the venue, there was a valet. I was confused as to why there would be a valet for an eight-person cocktail, but when I opened my door the valet asked if we were there for the Fiat event (which was not surprising since the car club is attached to a dealership and doubles as an event venue); everything was making sense. When we walked in, there was a Fiat parked in the entrance with a big sticker on the windshield that read “Was it worth the wait?” – odd advertising I thought. There were draping, lighting, and music lining the hallway towards where we were walking. Again, I didn’t think anything of it, because we were just told that there was an event taking place. Our song was even playing as we walked in and I was singing along!… Still not catching on to a thing.
When Franco opened the curtains to reveal all the most familiar and dear faces in our lives, I was confused and my heart started racing. Everyone’s phones were out and they were grinning ear-to-ear, and yet it still was not clicking to me. I only had time to ask Franco “what’s going on” before I saw him on bended knee, holding a ring box. I don’t remember a word of what he said after that and I couldn’t even muster the word “YES!”. One of my grandmothers shouted out, “SO?! What did you answer?” to which I mumbled out a loud YESSSSS in between a ton of happy tears.
After hugging and kissing the joyful and crying crowd of our closest loved ones, it was revealed to me that this was an engagement party. Words cannot describe how beautiful and perfect the night was and I will never be able to properly explain the emotions that were felt – I still feel like I am coming down from the greatest high. No detail was spared; it was one of the most gorgeous events I have ever attended. It went on until 2 a.m. and I didn’t want it to end! Not only was I spoiled with the most perfect proposal, but it was also immortalized with the most spectacular professional photos and keepsake video. I can’t wait for forever; I am the luckiest.