How We Met
Hi! My name is Gabriella and my amazing fiancé is Raphael. I come from a Portuguese American family and Raphael or Ralphy (I call him) is from a Greek American family. So you can say we have BIG, loud families. Our love story is a love story like any other. We met through my very best friend, Renee. Renee was working as a waitress at Ralphy’s brother’s restaurant. Through working there for a few summers, Renee grew a friendship with Ralphy. It started when Ralphy noticed me on Renee’s Snapchat story. Being a 20-year-old college girl who spent the school year at the University of Rhode Island, I had no intention of seeing anyone. While Ralphy wanted to pursue me, I was being a brat. Fast forward 4 months and I am home from college break, I am about to embark on a semester abroad in Spain and just had my heartbroken. The last thing I was looking for was a boyfriend. One girls night in I asked Renee for Ralphy’s number. And the rest was history..
On our first date, about two hours in I kept thinking to myself, I don’t think this guy wants to date me, I feel like I’m with my best friend! Well little did I know he would be my forever best friend. After our second date, I had to break the news to him I was leaving for Spain for four months, having the pit in my stomach having to tell the guy I REALLY liked about me leaving I knew he was going to say goodbye to me. But his response was “ Okay so when can I visit you?” I found the man who would travel around the world to see me after two dates! After that date, he said he wanted me to eventually meet his family and meet mine and then we would become official. Two days later I got invited to his family’s NYE party, now imagine a household full of about 30 Greeks and this was his “close” family! It wasn’t too scary for me because my Portuguese family is just as intimidating. That night when the ball dropped he asked me to be his girlfriend.
Since that first date I have never been a happier woman, I changed when I met him. We spend most of our time planning our next adventure, whether it is traveling to Greece or Portugal to see our families, going to sport events, being foodies and trying new restaurants, or just enjoying each others company and watching movies. I have found my best friend for life and my soulmate.
How They Asked
It started with our trip to Portugal this summer, we had planned that before we went to visit my grandmother we would drive down south to the beach/resort area of Portugal, Algarve. My birthday was falling on the first Friday of our trip so Raphael insisted he find and book the resort as a birthday gift to me. Raphael told me he planned a nice birthday dinner for me while we were there. This was not out of the norm, when we traveled to Jamaica two years prior I did a similar birthday dinner surprise as well. The day of the proposal, Raphael told me to make sure I wear my nice earrings he bought me, and dress to the nines! We were staying at a very nice resort with very fancy restaurants and of course what girl doesn’t want to look fabulous on her birthday dinner. Raphael also told me the resort has set us up pre drinks for my birthday to watch the sunset. Walking down to the spot Ralphy led the way, which is odd, he always walked behind me. When I turned the corner of the pool area I saw rose petals in the shape of a heart with candles surrounding it with a beautiful dinner set up. (See pictures below) In that moment I said, “Babe this is a really nice birthday dinner”, Raphael grabbed my hands and then got down on one knee. In the background I hear “Thousand Years” by Christina Perri, the song I have been dreaming about dancing to on our wedding day. I cried and cried while he had tears and spoke about how much he loved me and asked “Gabriella Lynn Pereira, will you marry me?” I screamed YES!
After the rush of emotions our photographer let us know about the engagement photo shoot we had. After about two hours of photos and family calling us in between we enjoyed a delicious specialized dinner just for us. My proposal felt like a true fairytale, the epitome of a perfect engagement to being our very happy life together!