How We Met
We were invited separately by mutual friends that were brothers to a lake house on Fourth of July weekend in 2012. Michael was living in Singapore at the time and was just visiting for a couple weeks. We hit it off but with Michael living out of the country, we realized it would be tough starting a relationship. Good ol’ Facebook and Skype kept us in touch and I met him in Thailand a couple months later in October. I believe having a long distance relationship made us stronger and somehow, we don’t even remember the conversation started but I moved to Singapore to be with him in August 2013.
how they asked
We knew that we were going to get married for the past few years but the timing was always unclear. When we moved from Singapore to Vancouver in June of 2015, it felt like our lives were stabilizing a bit and we were putting down some roots here. Nonetheless, we weren’t in any big rush. Michael made it a point to talk about how he would propose in a couple years, once we were settled and had saved up some money. As it turns out, this Michael just throwing out what he calls, “flares,” so that I would be surprised when he proposed. So, when we planned a trip to Europe the next summer, I wasn’t thinking about a proposal at all. We were going to a wedding in Italy, visiting a friend in Barcelona, and then finishing our trip in Paris because Michael was presenting at a conference. It was an amazing two and a half weeks and our trip was winding down, with only two days left in Paris before heading home.
Michael had asked a French friend of ours to send a list of recommendations in Paris, which he made sure included mention of Park Monceau, a beautiful and quiet park in the 8th arrondissement of Paris. The day before we were to leave, he suggested that we do some sightseeing during the day and then spend the late afternoon in the park with a bottle of wine before heading to dinner at a nearby restaurant. Our last stop on the sightseeing tour was the Louvre and surrounding gardens. We were having a lovely time walking around and taking photos and Michael suggested that we head back to the cottage we were staying in to freshen up. I was taking my time as we walked around (not knowing Michael was having a mini heart attack) and it was looking like we did not have much time to spend in the park before dinner. Michael threw another flare and suggested maybe that we could just skip the park and go straight to dinner.
I thought the park was a sweet idea so I said that we should still take a stroll there (it turns out that Michael was planning to redirect us through the park even if I had agreed to skip it). When we got back, he suggested that we dress up a bit for dinner. I had put on black yoga pants and so I upgraded to a dress but didn’t do much else (like wash my hair!). We took the subway to the stop at the entrance of the park and started walking through the park. It was such a beautiful park and I kept wanting to stop and look at things but Michael said that we should just do a lap around the park first to get a feel for it.
When we walked down a small path, there was a violinist sitting on a bench playing music. As we walked by him, he started playing “All of me” by John Legend, which always makes me cry. I thought it was a really sweet moment and then Michael asked me if I wanted to dance. As we were dancing, he started to talk to me but I kept interrupting him to ask if he had euros to tip the violinist.
Finally, he said, “Nicole, focus!” and finished his speech. At the end, he said he had a question to ask me. And that’s the moment I knew. He got down on a knee, pulled a ring from his pocket, and asked if I would marry him.