Niki and Neil
How We Met
A mutual friend reached out to me after we randomly reconnected at another friend’s wedding a couple of months prior, about this great guy she knew who was moving to Boston, MA. She asked me if I was interested in potentially talking to him and so after doing some brief “investigation”, I was a bit intrigued and kind of like sure, what have I got to lose if I try to talk to this giraffe* loving Jersey boy? (*Side note: Neil’s profile picture on Facebook at the time was of him feeding a giraffe so naturally, I assumed that was his favorite animal. For the record – it’s not! It’s dogs! Now, this has become one of the million inside jokes we share together lol) Neil apparently felt the same way and literally about 5 minutes after telling my mutual friend I was interested I received the first of MANY texts from Neil. We instantly hit it off and proceeded to text the remainder of the evening. With both of us being interested in meeting up in person and sharing a strong love for coffee, we decided to grab a cup of joe at my second home – Starbucks.
After this initial meet up we both wanted to get to know each other more and decided to meet up for pizza next at one of my favorite pizza places – Littleton Sub Shoppe. Neil was clearly impressed with my impeccable taste in pizza, amongst other things, and this led to him asking me when I was free next. By this time Neil had discovered my major sweet tooth and I happened to tell him that I really wanted to try a cupcake from this bakery called Sprinkles. (Side note: I am a huge fan of baking and baking shows so at the time I had been watching a lot of this show called “Cupcake Wars” where one of the judges was the founder of this bakery Sprinkles!). Long story short, by the time I got into the city Sprinkles, was already closed (thanks Boston traffic!) so Neil suggested we try Georgetown Cupcakes instead since they were still open. Being fully aware of the number of calories I was about to consume, I suggested we walk there. We ended up getting lost and walking for hours before we finally made it (and my feet almost broke because of my boots) BUT it was totally worth it because during that walk I realized that this had the potential of turning into something extraordinary…plus I got a bomb cupcake out of it too! (#priorities #amiright?)
After all of this it was pretty obvious to both of us that the connection we had was something special but neither of us was prepared to actually admit that and officially start dating. So this led to us just “meeting up” and “hanging out” thereby conveniently avoiding the term “dates”. We eventually became best friends through all this time spent together and this led to Neil FINALLY admitting he had feelings for me that were stronger than that for just a “friend” and we officially started dating :) Around this same time Neil moved back to NJ for another career opportunity which at the time felt like really bad timing! But in retrospect the distance strengthened our relationship and while falling deeper in love with one another we also fell in love with NYC where we would often meet up!
how they asked
On 8/19/17 Neil decided it was time to put a ring on it. After spending so much time together in NYC, Neil knew the perfect spot to pop the question: the High Line. He planned this amazing surprise proposal for me which was not easy, to say the least, because I am a very difficult person to surprise. And just to complicate things further, Neil was also really worried I would not make it to NJ that weekend because I kept changing my mind on whether I was going to come up or not. It got to the point where he reached out to my best friend (and now maid of honor!) Shazia to try to convince me to definitely come up. This worked and I decided to ultimately go visit. That Saturday afternoon Neil and I had planned to go into NYC and spend the day at Chelsea Market. We met up and the moment I saw Neil I knew something was off – Neil was dressed up! Neil never dresses up unless I specifically ask him to so this was weird. I immediately started asking him a hundred questions at the speed of a million words/minute: “Why are you so dressed up?” “What is happening?” “Are you proposing today?” “Can we go shopping? I need new shoes for this!” “Wait, where’s the ring?” “Omg did you tell my parents?” “Do my friends know?” and I then proceeded to pat Neil down in an attempt to find the ring box on him. I didn’t find anything so this led to me thinking it was all in my head and nothing was happening today (it should be noted too that there had been other days where I thought he was proposing and it ended up not being that so I figured it just another one of those times and Neil felt like being a little fancy that day to keep up with his fashionista girlfriend). Also the fact that he still proposed to me after my bout of insanity is still shocking to me!
So anyways, we went on with our original plans and this led to me eating too much at Chelsea Market and developing a stomachache. Neil suggested we grab some sparkling ginger water and walk to the High Line to help me feel better. We then watched the sunset at the High Line and Neil took a couple of pictures of me to try to cheer me up and it helped a little. We then decided to head out to dinner thinking more food would definitely help lol. As we were walking, Neil suggested we take a picture together and before I could even respond he had already asked someone to take the picture. I was totally caught off guard because Neil rarely suggested we take pictures together but I figured he was just trying to cheer my up more because I LOVED pictures. So we took the picture and I started walking off totally clueless as to what was about to happen.
Then all of a sudden I heard our song “Rather Be” playing. I looked at Neil and was like “omg that’s our song, how cute!” and just kept kind of walking along. Then I noticed Neil wasn’t really walking beside me and I spotted someone taking pictures of me. I glanced back at Neil and noticed the violinist who was still playing our song with a dozen roses on a bench.
At that moment I FINALLY realized what was happening, tears started streaming down my face and time literally froze. Neil was talking and I was barely even listening because I couldn’t believe what was happening!
He then got down on one knee and I remember him saying “I was always nervous and scared when thinking about the future but when I imagined the same future with you I wasn’t scared or nervous anymore. I know you’re the one and only for me, will you marry me?” and he opened the ring box and I could barely believe my eyes as that was the exact ring of my dreams with the man of my dreams holding it out in front of me.
I obviously said YES and can honestly say that was one of the best (and easiest) decisions I have ever made. (Side note my stomachache also magically disappeared so we discovered the cure to any aches/pains for me was presenting me with shiny diamonds…good luck Neil lol) The proposal was absolutely perfect and I can proudly say I couldn’t have planned it better myself! I couldn’t be more excited to share this story with everyone and to share the rest of my life with my amazing new fiancé Neil :)