Milana and Mark

How We Met

We met 6 years ago through mutual friends. I was 17 years old at the time and he was 19. We hit it off right away and quickly became friends. Over time, he grew to be one of my best friends; we spoke daily, had dinner together frequently, I confided in him about my love life and he gave me advice. Around the 2 year mark, things began to change and I could tell he was no longer interested in my talking about boyfriends (he actually started to act jealous!). Around that time, I had dental surgery to remove my wisdom teeth. Heavily drugged after the surgery was over, I could barely hold a conversation with him long enough to stay on topic. Suddenly, he began to confess his feelings for me: he said he wasn’t interested in hearing about my love life anymore because he wanted to be more than just friends. Of course, I thought he was just kidding and so I teased him relentlessly. When he finally convinced me that he was serious, I agreed (still somewhat loopy from the Percocets) to date him! The following week, we went on our first real date together. After 2 years of being best friends, it was the most natural and comfortable dinner date ever. All of our friends warned us against the relationship, fearing if we broke up we would lose a good friendship. But we knew from the very beginning that this wasn’t just another relationship: this was something far more special. 4 years later, we proved all of our friends wrong. He proposed in August 2019, exactly 6 years after we first met (almost to the date), and I agreed to marry my best friend!

How They Asked

Mark is an NYPD police officer. He told me about two weeks earlier that his sergeant at work was hosting a precinct activity, a barbecue in the park for some of his fellow officers. He told me that the other officers were bringing their wives and that this was a good opportunity to meet and befriend his coworkers and his bosses. I agreed, reluctantly (I complained for all two weeks about not knowing anyone there and feeling uncomfortable). Nevertheless, I went shopping for a new dress to wear and made a hair appointment for that morning (I wanted to make a good impression on his bosses!). When Mark picked me up from the hair salon, it started to rain. The entire hour-long drive to the park, clouds were rolling over us and the rain was pouring. Unable to hold back his frustration, he told me the barbecue might get canceled. He appeared devastated and wouldn’t stop checking his weather app on his phone, but I joked and said I wouldn’t mind if it got canceled (I was too nervous to meet his bosses anyway). When we finally arrived at the park, like magic, the rain immediately stopped, the sun appeared and rainbows were everywhere.

Proposal Ideas Snug Harbor Botanical Garden, Staten Island, NY

Milana and Mark's Engagement in Snug Harbor Botanical Garden, Staten Island, NY

Wedding Proposal Ideas in Snug Harbor Botanical Garden, Staten Island, NY

We parked the car and walked about 10 minutes into the botanical gardens (where I continued to complain about the mud ruining my shoes and the humidity ruining my hair). After what felt like forever of a walk, we stopped near a flower arch. I wouldn’t stop harassing him about where this barbecue was and joking that he took me to this quiet area of the park to kill me while no one was around. He then turned to me and said, “look how beautiful this area is, let’s take a picture together.” He set up his phone on a bench for a timed photo, we posed and he told me the picture was taken (though I was so confused because I didn’t see a flash). He then turned to me and said that there was a different reason that he took me to this park today. I responded with, “duh, you brought me here to kill me.” At that point, he put his arms around me and began his speech.

After a few moments, I realized what was happening and began hysterically crying, all the while not hearing a word he was saying (good thing he actually set up his phone for a video recording of the entire speech!). He got down on his knee, asked me to marry him, and I agreed! Once it was over, he began to yell at the top of his lungs, “she said yes!” I didn’t understand who he was yelling to (we were completely alone in that part of the garden), but then suddenly I saw both of our families appear from behind the bushes with flowers and balloons for me. After about an hour of tears, hugs, and kisses, we went to dinner and he surprised me with all of our friends at the restaurant. By the end of the night, I was surrounded by everyone that I love, standing by the love of my life, my best friend, and my future husband! It was absolutely the most magical day of my life!

Special Thanks

Blue Nile
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