Radhika and Shyam

How We Met

One of my close friend’s girlfriend was having a birthday party, and she was bringing all of her friends too. It took a lot of convincing for me to go as I wasn’t really up for it, but if I didn’t go, I wouldn’t have met the girl I want to spend the rest of my life with! Right at the last minute, I decided to borrow my friend’s clothes and go to the party very reluctantly. Her friend has been dating my friend for a very long time (and they’re now getting married and take full credit for bringing us together!) so they both introduced us as we walked in.

Radhika immediately caught my attention but I thought she was way out of my league so I just played it cool throughout the night. At the party, the music was so loud even when I tried to tune my hearing aids as best as I could, I never really had the chance to speak to her, but at the end of the night I offered her my friends blazer because it was pouring with rain but she gracefully rejected it to go check on her friends. However, I asked my close friend what her name was and I spelled it horribly wrong and couldn’t find her on any social media so I thought that would be that.

A couple of weeks later, come to my surprise, she found me on Twitter even when my profile name was ‘Commander Spock’. Turns out that she asked her friend to find me on social media after the party because we didn’t get to speak enough that night. As we lived in different cities in the UK, we spoke every single day and it felt as if I’d known her for years. As I got to know her better, I really thought she was too good for me and that she was just being friendly.

On 8th December 2013, she was in my city and after months of talking on Whatsapp/ Twitter, she wanted to meet up with me. I didn’t know what to expect, but it was the most spontaneous day I ever had. Despite that, we didn’t have our first kiss and I put her in the friend zone because I was too shy to ask her out first, and to this day, she still hasn’t forgiven me for that!

After that, we met again on New Year’s Eve for dinner and I dropped her off to her brother’s apartment. She invited me in and instead, I didn’t see the signs that she was interested in me so I gave her a side hug and left. Midway through my journey, I suddenly realized I should’ve kissed her at that moment so I made a U-turn back to her brother’s party and raced to get there before midnight. She wasn’t there and I panicked so I asked her brother where she was and he gave me a funny look and pointed her out in the crowd of his friends. Luckily I found her before midnight and that’s when we had our first kiss and she finally made her way out of the friend zone.

How They Asked

I wanted the proposal date to be on the same day when we first met in my city on 8th December 2013.

When we were reminiscing about our childhoods and our love for gaming on that day, she mentioned to me how much she loved Pokemon as a child and even now, so I knew I needed a very special ring box. With the help of her brother, Alpesh, he managed to find a 3D Pokeball ring box with ‘I Choose You’ engraved on the inside which arrived in the UK the day before we flew out to Miami – what a HUGE relief!

I wanted the idea for the proposal to be my own so I didn’t tell anyone and just hoped that she would love it. After spending an eternity looking for venues of where to propose in Miami, I came across Olga from Blush Bouquet Photography Inc and viewing her Instagram page, I knew she was right the photographer that would help us capture our special moment, so I contacted her and she helped me find the perfect spot to propose. The photos she took at Vizcaya Gardens really caught my eye and when I saw the photos she had taken, I knew this was the perfect place. Vizcaya Gardens reminded me of our first holiday in Italy, and how we spent our entire summer every year playing Pokemon Go and having picnics in the Parks and Gardens. We had a day trip to Kew Gardens in London with her brother and brothers wife this year, and when I saw how the photos have turned out from her brother’s camera, I realized that I had to propose somewhere similar.

Radhika and Shyam's Engagement in Vizcaya Musuem & Gardens

The day before the proposal, our flights were severely delayed and we got to Miami so late, she was not happy with having to wake up so early the next day, but I told her we had a museum tour/fancy brunch in the morning to throw her off. I gave her plenty of hints that I was going to propose in the Bahamas just to throw her off even more.

After a sleepless night, worrying about whether she would approve of my proposal, we headed to Vizcaya Gardens in style by Uber. I knew this was already the perfect day to propose when Bruno Mars – Marry You started playing on Radio 93.9 MIA! She looked at me very suspiciously as if I had planned this, but it really was a crazy coincidence which I tried to claim as my idea afterward.

Wedding Proposal Ideas in Vizcaya Musuem & Gardens

When we got to the venue, I got there a tad too early so we enjoyed the sights of the museum and gardens. I was really nervous about knowing what to say and how to get her to the Tea Room without making it too obvious. The 3D Pokeball ring box was so big it was sticking out of my back pocket, so I kept walking behind her just in case.

As we approached the Tea Room with Olga and her other half camera ready, I kept reciting what I wanted to say over and over again in my head. When we got inside the Tea Room, I went down on one knee, and all the words I wanted to say left my mind. So I whipped out the Pokeball Ring Box first and we were both very emotional to say anything within that minute, and also crying with laughter on where the Pokeball came from and at how windy it was as she was trying to hold her hair and dress at the same time.

Where to Propose in Vizcaya Musuem & Gardens

I gathered the courage to finally say my speech, and I told her that ever since I met her and everything that we went through, she went from a friendzone to my best friend, to the girlfriend that I always dreamed of. And listed all the things that brought us together that I believed was fate, like the fact that even our names in Hindu mythology are joined which she taught me – the well known term my Grandma always says is ‘RadheShyam’ which is the joining of Lord Krishna (also known as Shyam) and Goddess Radha (also known as Radhika) and is in Hindu scriptures and songs.

Proposal Ideas Vizcaya Musuem & Gardens

She knows how much I love my Films and TV shows, so I had to get a reference in there somewhere. So I quoted from an episode of Marvels Iron Fist that I watched a few days earlier, and it was the only quote I remembered at the time: ‘We are the yin and yang, you and I. In constant motion, but one and the same’.

She tearfully said yes, and I was filled with joy knowing that I went from being the shy guy who couldn’t even ask her out, to now asking her to marry me.

After the proposal, we had a photo shoot to celebrate our engagement. Olga and her other half made this so special and enjoyable for both of us. Olga knew we were very excited and overwhelmed, so she put us at ease and really helped in capturing the perfect photos for us. She was so attentive to the detail and the lighting to make sure we would have the best photos to remember our special day. The photos she took for us are so beautiful and we can’t stop looking at how stunning they are – neither can our friends and family, from the number of compliments that keep coming!

You are my everything, I’ll always love you Radhika and I Choose You.

Special Thanks

Alpesh Patel | 
Radhika's Brother
Olga Clarke
Photographer