How We Met
We first met at Moravian College in 2008. Maura’s sorority, Sigma Sigma Sigma, and my fraternity, Omicron Gamma Omega, are brother and sister sorority/fraternity so we became close friends while Maura was pledging sophomore year. Our friendship grew throughout college and I would visit Maura’s parent’s home during winter, spring, and summer breaks. We would also go out on the town in Belmar. We always had such a strong connection and felt so comfortable in front of each other. It was not until Maura needed a wedding date in 2014 did we confess our inner feelings for one another and start dating.
How They Asked
Like any couple, we had discussed marriage and a future together, but all of those things always seemed so far off. However, certain events brought us ever closer together than we thought possible. Maura lost her mother in April of 2017 and I lost my father in February of 2018. We had been through a lot together, but these were trying times, and we emerged stronger because of it, though perhaps less whole.
In February of 2018, I secretly met with Maura’s father, Bill, at Dino & Harry’s Steakhouse in Hoboken to ask for his daughter’s hand in marriage. Funny enough, this is an Acox family tradition, as Maura’s sister’s husband asked Bill the same question at that same place. I also knew that it meant a lot to Maura that we would use her mother’s original engagement band in the engagement ring, so of course, I wanted to fulfill her wish. Again, in secret, I traveled to meet Bill to get the band and hid it away in my golf bag in our apartment for safe keeping. I then commissioned a custom ring, selecting a round stone and had the jeweler adjust the setting of the band to fit the new stone.
With the perfect ring in hand, I became more nervous than ever. Maura and I talked about marriage all the time and I, of course, knew the answer would be yes but I was immensely anxious about the whole ordeal. I also knew that it had to be a special affair. I knew that I wanted to do it on the waterfront in Hoboken – the skyline of Manhattan in the background would make for a picture perfect scene and it was a special place to us, as we often took walks along the Hudson. I also knew how much Maura cherishes family, and I wanted her family and mine, along with our close friends, to be present and to celebrate with us immediately after. Overwhelmed by the logistics of this, I enlisted the help of her sister Bridget to help coordinate with everyone.
March 31st, it was decided, would be the day that I was to ask. I had a few tall tasks ahead of me. First, I needed to hint to Maura to get her nails done but not make it clear the reason why. And, more importantly, I needed to keep us on schedule so that we’d arrive at the Ainsworth in Hoboken at 2 pm so that we wouldn’t keep our guests waiting. I awkwardly told Maura to stop plucking her eyebrows and to start her Saturday by getting her nails done and then we’d meet for brunch after. I anxiously drank some champagne at brunch at Anthony David’s as we prepared ourselves to “go shopping at Pottery Barn, after a brief walk along the water”. Fortunately, since we always walked along the water, this didn’t seem too out of the ordinary.
At last, the moment was here. Maura and I walked out along an extension on the boardwalk and my adrenaline kicked in. All of the thoughtful and eloquent words I had rehearsed a million times in my head disappeared when I looked at her. I knew it was time and I knew she’d say yes, however, I was so nervous at the same time. This was the moment my life would change and I knew it. So often in life do we know we are experiencing these moments. Yes, perhaps we can look back at memories with fondness and know it after the fact, but this was real and this was now and this was the moment I’d ask Maura to be my wife. I got down on one knee and pulled out the ring from my pocket and asked her the one question we both knew was coming – and she said yes.
Elated, we left the boardwalk and I told her that I had one last surprise for her and that she needed to follow me. She was stunned as we walked into the Ainsworth and all of the important people in our lives were there, with champagne (of course), to celebrate with us. It was a day that I’ll never forget and I can’t wait for the day of our wedding, as I’m sure that it will become another one of those special memories in my life.