Neha and Avi

Image 1 of Neha and Avi

How We Met

I met Avi through my childhood friends – their cousins from FL would come visit them in MA for a few summers and since I was always around, we often found ourselves sharing / playing in my friends’ parents’ backyards. My first real memory of Avi was when he was 13 and I was 14, him and his cousin were playing wiffle ball and they looked like they needed some more people to play. I started to play with my friends when they went inside for a snack or bathroom break or something and before I knew it, he came running out saying they were playing first and that us girls had to wait. Safe to say, we were NOT friends and I did not like him / want to be around him for the rest of that summer.

Fast forward to March 2008, our family was in Jacksonville, FL (Avi’s hometown) for a close family friend’s wedding. My childhood bestie, eager to make sure I still didn’t hate her cousin, re-introduced me and Avi. We were 15/16 and I was ready to bury the hatchet. After an interesting turn of events that evening, his parents (who I didn’t know!) gave me a ride to the hotel I was staying at. The entire ride we were sitting in the backseat, with as much space as possible between us, and needless to say it was the most awkward car ride ever.

A couple of days after the wedding I added him on Facebook to thank him and his family for the ride. I also thought he was cute so why not right? He responded by asking me how the weather was in Massachusetts… and that Facebook thread still has not ended.

We ended up getting to know each other really well and realized how much we had in common, so naturally he was friendzoned into THE best friend I have ever had. We texted, called, AIM messaged, Facebook messaged, MySpace messaged, you name the platform and we were probably having an entirely different and new conversation on it all at the same time.

My friends in High School thought it was weird that I was talking so much to a guy who was “just a friend” who lived on the other side of the east coast, I just thought they didn’t understand what such good friends were.

In the Spring of 2010 and Avi booked a flight to New York in the summer to “shadow” his uncle (who is a Dentist). At this point it was very clear that he was coming to see ME!!

By the time Summer of 2010 came around, my best friend had told me he loved me. This reunion in NYC was already nerve-wracking but now it was unbearable.

I will never forget the feeling of running into Grand Central after taking a cab from the bus stop. The love of my life was waiting inside. He told me he was waiting by Grand Central Market and so I made my way there. Except, once I got there, I couldn’t see him anywhere. I started to take the escalator down thinking he may have mistaken the food court with the market or went to the bathroom, and as I was halfway down the escalator, there he was. On the exact opposite escalator, going up. Like seriously…I have to go through all that anxiety all over again??

Our trip in NYC was a dream and a few days later, in Grand Central in front of platform 118, he asked me to be more than just a friend…and we never looked back.

No plan on what was next. No plan on when we would see each other next. But it didn’t matter – we knew for some reason it would just work for some reason.


I went to NYU that Fall of 2010 and he went back to High School in Ponte Vedra, FL.

We spent our 1st 4 years on opposite sides of the coast and we would be lying if we said it wasn’t the toughest thing we have ever had to do. It was excruciating being torn apart from your first love when you only had one weekend together every month or so.

Despite having a virtual boyfriend/girlfriend, we made some amazing memories and friends along the way at PV, NYU and UCF that we will always be grateful for.

In 2014, Avi got into NYU College of Dentistry and after all these years apart, my boyfriend was not only in the same state as me, but in the same zip code!

The last 4 years have been a dream – we have accomplished big goals together and even better, have grown even closer to each other. Our NYC adventures have not come to an end just yet and we cannot wait to see what is next as husband and wife!

Picture – July 2010

how they asked

Avi and I were on a Pacific Coast Highway trip before he started his first job as a Dentist. I had control of the entire itinerary and so it wasn’t on my mind – at all – that he would be proposing on this trip. I didn’t leave him any time to pull that off in our hourly itinerary!

We were 3 days into our trip and it had already been a dream – from Santa Barbara beaches to waves crashing outside our Big Sur balcony, I was randomly sad to leave for Monterey / Carmel on this day. Probably because I didn’t want to leave Big Sur, Avi likes to remind me now that I took my sweet sweet time to get back on the road. We were supposed to drive around the mountains (Highway 1 was closed) to get to Carmel / Monterey. The drive was estimated to be ~2.5 hours.

Our first stop on the drive was to grab a quick lunch in Cambria and the place I chose for lunch happened to be closed when we arrived because it was the 4th of July.

Insistent on eating Mexican food, I chose a sit-down restaurant so I could have enchiladas…this wasn’t the speedy meal Avi was planning on so in hindsight, I guess only one of us enjoyed this meal.

We are back on the road again and Avi was enjoying the Mustang and making up for lost time on this drive. But wait!

30 minutes away from Carmel, I had to go to the bathroom and noticed a sign for a Starbucks in the middle of nowhere. We drove through a farm to get there and I figured, why not get an iced coffee while I am at it since it was a hot afternoon and we have some driving left ahead of us.

Avi graciously took me to the Starbucks and ordered my iced coffee while I waited for the bathroom I thought: how sweet! In reality, I didn’t know he was on a time crunch and was just trying to get me back on the road…and of course – the bathroom was out of toilet paper and so the staff took a bit of time finding some more and replacing it so I could finish my pitstop.

We are apparently 3 hours behind schedule (for the photographer) at this point (mostly due to the 45 minute gift shop stop I also made) and honestly, I was having a fantastic day already. It was relaxing and Avi was honestly just so enjoyable – as in, after so many delays, I am still surprised how he didn’t want to kill me.

We pull into Carmel and I noticed that our Waze had a specific end point which Avi said was to a scenic overlook someone he knew suggested. We had plenty of stops at overlooks so far on the trip, so this one didn’t catch me as unusual. Looking forward to stretching out my legs and seeing a beautiful coast, I got a little confused when Avi pulled into a residential neighborhood. I asked him if the address was wrong and he said no so I assumed it was a hidden gem and now I couldn’t wait to see what this overlook was going to offer.

Avi parks the car by the beginning of this trail which looked like was meant for locals, their dogs and anyone wanting to visit this secluded beach. We walked through this tunnel of trees and all of a sudden all I could see was ocean off the side of this cliff we were on. It was amazing. There were stone steps heading down to the beach and I offered we go for a walk down there. I was gently denied and Avi led me toward the trail – which made sense, so I didn’t think twice.

We approach these two large rocks and I saw a basket there with champagne and a blanket. I showed Avi and said I thought it was so cute that someone was having a picnic here. Avi reached for the basket and I was a bit shocked, like you can’t just steal someone’s picnic basket like that…

Avi told me the basket was ours and I was like ah! Makes sense! Our anniversary was in a few weeks and it was the most perfect setting for a picnic. I was so happy and gave him the biggest hug. Avi was pretty stiff and gently pushed me away.

I heard him say “Wait, I have something to say” and



Image 2 of Neha and Avi

Image 3 of Neha and Avi

Image 4 of Neha and Avi

Special Thanks

Flora Gibson
 | Photographer