How We Met
Mutual friends and circles caused our paths to cross. Nothing much was thought about it. And though we would love to tell you that our start-up story was something more exquisite, it was a random spark on a random night in late December 2011 that ignited our lives together. At the time, Noel had prepared to move away to start a new career in the big apple. To this day she proclaims I had nothing to do with her moving back to Miami only 3 weeks after she left – but we all know the truth. When she came back, it took little time to realize what we had between us. I knew relatively soon after that she was the one for me. The brainstorming of ideas on how I might tell her started.
how they asked
Three years later, we had a bucket full of travel experiences, but they somehow always included our closest friends. We had yet to do a big trip alone. Having backpacked the globe earlier in life, she had far more countries checked off her list than I did. One neither of us had yet to check off was Greece. In May 2014, we tried to make Greece happen but due to work and schedules, it didn’t materialize. When it didn’t, we forgot about it.
The following May, Noel made an off-handed comment about going again. Despite the subtlety of it, I heard it and my nights got longer instantaneously. I was going to make it happen and I was going to tell her what I had wanted to for some time. I knew the hotel I wanted to stay in – the Grace. I found it in 2014. I wanted that pool view in Santorini. I began scheduling the trip based 100% on the availability of that hotel. I would wake up at 2 am to call hotels and work on the plans. When I had a reservation locked, I began searching for somebody to help me accomplish the proposal and my vision.
I’m not sure when it turned into what it did, but from the onset, my biggest concern was executing the plan in a country I had never been. I wanted it to be exceptional and adventurous and I needed a team to bring this to fruition – the collaboration ended up perfect. Studio Phosart and their team were just that. I still remember our first skype meeting – their ideas, energy and passion were seamless with mine. I knew I found my team.
We had only thirty days to put it all together. Perhaps most important for somebody planning from afar is communication. They exceeded my expectations. They were the perfectionist-driven team I had hoped for. They were never hesitant to make sure we had follow up skype calls, were responsive to emails and never said “yes” to an idea without first doing research. Having never stepped foot on the Island, the prep work invested by Studio Phosart in sending me videos, pictures and maps, made it what it was. The team from Studio Phosart executed flawlessly.
Together we came up with the perfect proposal, a special production for the woman I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. They helped me organize everything and provided the support I hoped for. I would take Noel on a helicopter tour of Santorini Island.
We would land at Theros Beach where the two of us would horseback alone on the beach next to the white washed cliffs of Vlyhada.
At the end of the horse ride, a path with white lanterns would lead us to a floral arrangement in the sand where I would drop to a knee and proclaim my love to Noel.
Fingers crossed she would say yes, a romantic dinner on a cliff would await us….
With the plan in the process overseas – I still had to figure out what ring to get!!! (Thanks to my sister Sam for that help).
We arrived in Santorini late in the morning on the day of the big event that would alter our lives. We relaxed by the pool, starred at the Santorini cliffs, sipped on champagne, and I smiled. She had no idea what was about to come next – she thought we were just going for dinner . . . . Drones, hidden cameras, microphones and even photographers following us in secret from a boat were all part of the plan . . .