Poornima and Sumit

How We Met

Sumit and I connected on a dating app (Coffee Meets Bagel) before I moved to Chicago in the Summer of 2017. After I moved to Chicago and we exchanged a few messages, we decided to meet, and the rest is history! We discovered that we are both from the same hometown in Dayton, OH! What a small world.

How They Asked

Sumit had initially planned to propose to me at the end of March. He had the ring custom designed in India in January while we were on vacation there. He had intended to pick it up on our way back home to the United States during our layover in Mumbai. However, our incoming flight was delayed and he wasn’t allowed out of the airport to pick up the ring, so he had to devise a plan to somehow get the ring despite being stuck in the airport with me, and keep it a secret! He gave me the task of getting dinner for us from a food vendor at the airport, and all the while he was negotiating with airport security to pick up the ring from the jeweler who was parked outside. Somehow he succeeded!

Poornima's Proposal in Chicago, IL

He had amazing plans set up for March, including bringing both our grandmothers, parents, and siblings into Chicago for the occasion for a proposal with the Chicago River as the backdrop. However, COVID-19 pandemic changed everything. He had to cancel his initial proposal plans, and our families were no longer able to come into town. I am a physician, so I was pretty busy at work handling the pandemic. Given my risk of exposure, we both decided to get tested for COVID-19.

To our surprise, I tested negative, but poor Sumit tested positive. We decided it was safest for us to stay isolated from each other to monitor his symptoms and avoid further disease spread. I was finishing two weeks of being on a night’s schedule at the beginning of April, so I hadn’t seen Sumit in some time. Little did I know, his positive COVID-19 test ruined ANOTHER plan he had to propose to me! Thankfully, Sumit never developed severe symptoms and made it through the two weeks just fine.

On April 21st, when it was finally safe for us to see each other, we started the day with a mimosa brunch at home. I was on a “staycation,” and Sumit successfully convinced me to lose the sweatpants because he wanted to pretend it was a “date.” I begrudgingly put on some jeans. After our mimosa brunch, we walked to the park across the street from my apartment, which overlooks part of the Chicago River. Sumit pretended he needed to tie his shoe and the next thing I knew he was asking me to marry him! All the while, our wonderful photographer captured our moment. I was so surprised!

Poornima and Sumit's Engagement in Chicago, IL

The rest of the day was filled with amazing, socially-distant surprises, including a vintage bottle of Dom Perignon and rose petals all over my apartment! Sumit also created a video with over a hundred messages of love and congratulations from our friends and family from all over the world! I sobbed the entire time I watched the video. He also ordered dinner from the Thai restaurant where we had one of our first dates. To end the night, Sumit contacted the owner and mastermind (also my friend!) behind my favorite speakeasy in Chicago, and had a nightcap delivered to my apartment! It was an amazing end to an amazing day. Despite the ring debacle, two derailed engagements and COVID-19, Sumit created the most perfect proposal for us, in the city where we fell in love. I can’t wait to marry him!

Special Thanks

Colette Marie
 | Photographer