Kaela and Leo

Image 1 of Kaela and Leo

How We Met

I grew up in a small town, so when Leo moved to town, it was a big deal. Leo came from a much larger town and was much different from the guys in my school. Leo is extremely outgoing and hardworking, and really didn’t care much about going to parties or being “cool”. I am much more reserved and quiet, and in High School I was still trying to figure myself out (aren’t we all?!). Time passed and we became very close friends. It was clear we were very different people, but we just clicked. Despite our moms begging us to date each other, we constantly complained to each other about not being able to find the right “one”, and it never even occurred to us that we would be compatible romantically. Throughout college we stayed in touch and maintained our close friendship, Leo even transferred to my college for a short time after visiting me there.

It wasn’t until we both got into serious relationships that our friendship started to dwindle. We probably went a couple of years without talking or seeing each other until I started Graduate school at the same college he was going to. When we both ended our long term relationships, we started spending more and more time together. At this time, I kept trying to tell myself “we’re just friends”, but our friends started realizing the attraction. It’s difficult to explain, but I had always known that he was the one, I just never had the confidence that someone like him would date someone like me. I had kept this feeling buried for a long time in order to protect myself from being hurt and from losing our friendship. But then, one day in June of 2012, Leo invited me over to his parent’s house, and he told me he liked me as more than a friend and my heart burst. I still remember how my mom cried tears of joy when I told her.

how they asked

On December 17th, 2016, Leo’s mom had set up a “Holiday Dinner” so that both of our families could celebrate the Holidays together as one. In the weeks before the dinner, I had learned that my mom and Leo’s mom had discussed having the dinner at the North Fork Table and Inn, which is a restaurant that has special meaning to me and my family since my grandfather owned the restaurant and Inn under a different name way before I was born. The day of the dinner, my mom invited me to get my nails done with her (sneaky mom) and we also tidied up the house since my mom told me we would have Leo’s family over for dessert after the dinner. When we got to the restaurant, I see one of Leo’s friends and his girlfriend at the bar and we greeted them.

Image 2 of Kaela and Leo

The Hostess then brought us to our very own private room, stating that it was because we were such a large party. After this, I started thinking something was up. Leo’s friend from the bar came into the room with his professional camera and offered to take family pictures for us since the room was decorated so beautifully for the Holidays. We all started taking off our coats except for Leo and he waves me over to him to get the right shot. All of a sudden he gets down on one knee and asks me to marry him!

Image 3 of Kaela and Leo

I was literally on cloud nine and could not believe it was happening. Leo’s friend captured the moment so perfectly, a picture really is worth a thousand words. It meant so much to me that he planned to propose at this restaurant because even though my grandpa died in 2010, I still feel like he was a part of that special moment.

Image 4 of Kaela and Leo

After dinner, we went back to my mom’s house as planned, except all of mine and Leo’s close family and friends were there to celebrate! It was truly one of the best nights of my life and I cannot wait to spend the rest of my life with best friend and soul mate. .

Image 5 of Kaela and Leo

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Image 8 of Kaela and Leo

Special Thanks

Evan Martilotta
 | Photographed the proposal