How We Met
December 13, 2013, we went on our first date. Yes, Friday the 13th! We went to S3 on Fort Lauderdale beach and conversed over great food and wine. The very next day, C.J. asked me out on a second date! He took me to another romantic dinner at Prime 112 in Miami and surprised me with tickets to the Dave Chappelle show.
On the eve of the second date, C.J. brought me to the beach after dinner to talk. He told me that very night he knew I was “the one” for him if I could just be patient, as he was just beginning to apply for medical school with a long journey ahead. I knew C.J. was “the one” for me after we did a Dining in the Dark experience at a restaurant on Atlantic Ave in Delray Beach. On that date, I realized never in my life had I laughed, smiled, or felt more loved than I did when I was with C.J.
Seven sweet months later, in July of 2014, we decided to move into an apartment together in Davie, Florida. It was perfect timing, as C.J. was starting medical school at Nova Southeastern University’s College of Osteopathic Medicine and I was entering my final semester to earn my B.A. in Marketing also at NSU.
Easter of 2015, we added a member to our family and brought home a furry bundle of joy, Henry. Weighing in at 1.2 pounds, the little Yorkshire Terrier quickly became the center of our world, one puppy kiss at a time.
After living in Davie for nearly three years, in March of 2017, we decided to move to Boca Raton, Florida, where we currently reside, to be closer to C.J.’s core rotations hospital, my grandparents, and C.J.’s family.
C.J. is now in his final year of medical school – *time flies* – and is in the process of applying to residency programs for dermatology. Soon, we’ll know where we will be living for the next 4 years and can officially begin the wedding planning!
how they asked
Sunday, April 29, 2018, will always be a day to remember.
I woke up that Sunday morning to a text message from my 19-weeks pregnant-with-twins sister asking if I was awake. We FaceTimed each other as she shared some live footage from her 4D ultrasound the day before. I was so excited and couldn’t be happier about the pregnancy being halfway through, one step closer to becoming an aunt, and holding the twins in my arms! Little did I know, Paige knew exactly what was going to happen later that evening…
That afternoon, I made plans with my soon-to-be sister-in-law to go shopping. Over lunch, I mentioned I needed to be back home by a certain time, as C.J. had made dinner reservations with his college friends visiting from out of state. Questions were asked about my upcoming evening, i.e., where we were going, what I was wearing, etc., but I did not catch on to any of the hints!
I made it back home and changed into a very casual outfit, as I was not wanting to get all dressed up. Luckily, I had just gotten my nails done on Friday night after work. I didn’t even bother touching up my hair or makeup before we departed. C.J. and I made our way to the Four Seasons Resort of Palm Beach, which served as no surprise, as the friends we were [supposed to be] having dinner with visit quite often and stay in great hotels. He had told me the reservations were at the restaurant located at the hotel for convenience. As we’re driving to the hotel, I noticed C.J. was driving slower than usual. I asked him why he was driving so slow and he just said that he wanted to take his time. Again, I thought nothing of this. I checked the time and noticed we were early for our 6:30 pm reservation, so I sat back and enjoyed the scenic route.
We arrived at the Four Seasons, valeted the car, and proceeded to the restaurant. The hostess greeted us with a warm and welcoming, “Mr. Mancuso, we have a beautiful table set up outside for you!” We followed her through the restaurant, passed the outdoor dining, beyond the pools, and all the way to the oceanside, where there was a cabana set up for us. In the background, I heard a violinist performing Andrea Bocelli’s Con Te Partiro and noticed red rose petals trailing in that direction. I suspected nothing! I looked over to my left to see the beautifully prepared dining table featuring a bouquet of flowers and custom dinner menus, yet my initial reaction was, “O-M-G… there are only two place settings… what about C.J.’s friends!? We’re supposed to be a party of four…”
I glanced over and saw a photographer snapping away photos as I suddenly started to piece together what I had hoped was about to happen. The moment I had been waiting my entire life for with the man of my dreams that I will spend the rest of my life with. I turned to my right to find C.J., down on one knee, red illuminated ring box in hand, presenting the most brilliant, radiant, and stunning diamond as his eternal devotion to me, as he asks the million dollar question, “Will you marry me?” A rush of emotions came over me. I could not believe this moment was finally here, 1,598 days later since our first date on December 13, 2013. It probably was at least a solid 8 seconds of me standing there in absolute shock before I undoubtedly replied, “YES!!!” We kissed, hugged, toasted, and made our way down to the ocean to take a few photos before indulging in our romantic four-course dinner.
The amount of love that C.J. put into planning and executing this absolutely perfect proposal is beyond words. C.J. took everything I love into consideration to deliver the best day of my entire life. From the photographer to the gorgeous weather, sunset, full moon, flowers, live violinist, oceanside dining, and my custom diamond ring, it was more than I could have ever hoped for or dreamed of.