How We Met
A part of me, sometimes big, other times small, has always known that Anthony is my “one”. We first met at a party in the early spring of our freshman year at the University of Richmond, but sadly, he has no recollection of this. We met again at the birthday dinner of our dear friend Richard about six months later and became fast friends. His best friend, who also attended that dinner, was my very first college boyfriend and as a result, I spent lots of time with Anthony and Richard, who were his roommates. In that time, I think I spent more time with Anthony than anyone else, as I was always game to hop in his car and take a trip to Dunkin’ Donuts, walk down by the river, or go on a Sheetz run. We really got to know each other as friends first, which is the hallmark of our relationship now. He became my favorite person then, and I came to find out that both of our families saw what we couldn’t and told us individually that we were with the wrong people.
We became roommates during our time in Ireland for study abroad, along with my now Matron of Honor Danielle, and got to know each other even better. This was when I started to suspect that we both felt a bit more than friendship for each other, but neither of us acted upon it.
Our senior year of college we both broke up with our significant others, but the timing wasn’t right to date each other. Despite being pushed into a closet and being told not to come out until we kissed (thanks, Danielle), we couldn’t make anything work.
I went off to Boston to pursue teaching and he started his career in Roanoke, VA. In January of 2014, though, my world spun to a screeching halt when my mother got diagnosed with stage four breast cancer. I quickly packed up what I could in Boston and came back to PA to take care of her. It was during this time that Anthony reached back out to me and we started a tentative friendship again. We both knew we had feelings for each other, but again, the timing just wasn’t right. I began dating someone else and he realized how stupid he’d been for not going for it. Then, my mother passed away and I was left with an empty house and an abusive relationship. Anthony was there for me through it all, as a good friend and someone to lean on. He was the light at the end of the darkest tunnel.
Once my relationship was over, I knew that it had to be Anthony. He came up to PA in January of 2015 to help move the rest of my belongings out of my ex’s house and I knew from the moment we sat down and talked on the couch until four in the morning, this was it. We were really going to give this a shot. From that moment on, despite the distance and time in between visits, we always choose each other. He is truly my best friend, my biggest supporter and the person I can’t wait to be able to go home to at the end of a long day. His family has taken me in as their daughter, and I now have the big, loving, family I’ve always wanted. My mom loved Anthony from the start and always said he was the one for me, and now we’re getting married!!
how they asked
I could not come up with a more perfect proposal if I tried, and boy did I speculate. It isn’t a secret that I’ve wanted to marry Anthony for, what feels like, a very long time so I thought that I could see the proposal coming from a mile away. He lives in Raleigh, North Carolina and I live in Lancaster, PA so we only have so much time to see each other. I have always said that I wanted to use my late mother’s diamond in my engagement ring, so Anthony would have to figure out how to get it from my Grandma without me knowing. Unfortunately, he chose to pick it up a few days after it snowed and I saw his footprints when I went to visit her for Sunday dinner after he left to go back to NC! So, I knew it was only a matter of time.
He always said that he wanted to be dating for two years before we were engaged, and on March 6th of this year, we passed that milestone. The month of March was packed full of weekends together, so I knew it had to be that month. The one weekend, however, I knew it couldn’t possibly be was March 10th and 11th because we would be in New York celebrating his mother’s birthday. Boy, was I wrong!
For two months, Anthony told me his dad was throwing his mom a surprise party at his uncle’s restaurant in Bay Side, New York, and all of his family was planning to attend. There were a few times when he said something that didn’t quite line up but I thought I was just being paranoid. The day of the party arrived the four of us (Anthony, his parents and me) went to sit at the bar at the restaurant to “wait for Uncle Johnny”, who was “going with us into the city” (it was all a ruse to get “his mom” to the restaurant for her party). While we were sitting there, the manager of the restaurant came down, and knowing Anthony’s parents, said hello. He told us there was a wedding shoot going on upstairs on the roof and asked if we’d like to check it out. We agreed, and his mom joked about Anthony and I getting to be in an ad in the Queens newspaper. When we got to the rooftop, I saw a heart on the ground made with candles, a big bouquet of white roses on a table and purple fabric everywhere with a photographer standing in front for the “photo shoot”. She asked if we’d like to take a few shots, which I thought was odd, but his family insisted so I went along with it.
Just as we sat down to take pictures, I noticed chocolate covered cherries (my favorite candy) on the table beside me and I knew. This was the moment I’d waited my whole life for. There was a reason that everything was my favorite color or one of my favorite things. As we stood up to take more photos, with my heart racing and my hands shaking, Anthony handed me a present. Inside was a gorgeous book filled with pictures from all of the years we’ve known each other, and reasons he loves me and appreciates our relationship. He even included photos of my parents and his grandfathers, saying he wishes my dad could have been alive to ask his permission to marry me.
When I closed the book, he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him- to which I said yes!
Afterward, we toasted with delicious champagne and took some more photos with his parents. As it turns out though, the surprises weren’t over. Instead of “going into the city”, Anthony and his parents lead me into his Uncle’s other restaurant a block away, where all of our friends and family were waiting to celebrate with us.
Everyone made the trip up to New York to celebrate our special moment. I didn’t stop crying for two hours as all of our loved ones showered us with well wishes and hugs. Words don’t adequately describe how awed I am by Anthony’s parent’s generosity and by the love our friends and families showed. It was truly the best day of both of our lives- So far!