How We Met
Chiraag and I grew up 6 houses apart in Northern California, but didn’t meet until 4th grade when our moms introduced us as ‘carpool buddies.’ We carpooled for a few years, but it wasn’t until middle school that we actually became friends. In high school, we became inseparable; we were part of the same group of friends who did everything together (and still does!!), but we had a friendship all our own. Our thing was late-night hot chocolate at Denny’s and 7 am drives to school in his minivan. I remember feeling like there wasn’t a thing I couldn’t tell Chiraag, and I still do. For college, he was off to Illinois while I went to USC, but we stayed close, catching up over the holidays and planning a group trip to celebrate his 21st birthday. After we graduated, I stayed in LA while he moved to SF. We dated other people but were always in each other’s lives. He’d fly down for every birthday, making sure he never missed a minute of whatever over-the-top celebration I had planned. We always stayed close, constantly texting about our life updates and he was my first call for advice, a good cry, or a ‘what do you think this text means’??.
A lot changed in COVID. Chiraag was living the nomadic life and spent a few months in LA. We started spending more time together, hiking Runyon or cooking dinner. He, along with my sister and her bf, planned a special birthday celebration for me. Then he left for Hawaii for a month. I was so sad when he left but didn’t think much of it.
While he was there, I called him to see if he’d want to take a trip to Tulum. We were both working remotely and wanted a change of scenery, so we rented an Airbnb for 2 weeks… just the two of us. Friends and fam raised their eyebrows when I told them what we had planned, One evening on week 2, we took a walk on the beach and happened upon a 2 one-tequila bar. After a few too many shots, we stumbled into the most beautiful restaurant I’ve ever been to — an all-white candlelight Mediterranean dream called Mezze. Mid a deep conversation about life over hummus and pita told me how he felt about me. How he’d felt for so long. I was stunned, but after getting over that initial shock… I realized I felt the same way.
After we got back to LA, our first official date was a private pasta-making class that Chiraag surprised me with. I was so nervous, but making tagliatelle in an Italian woman’s home kitchen and enjoying our fresh pasta and wine was literally the perfect night. I remember laughing the entire time and feeling so at ease. That night, I went home and listened to ‘everything has changed’ by Taylor Swift on repeat. It was only fitting.
How They Asked
I was heading down to Laguna Beach for a weekend trip to The Ranch with my best friend for our annual girls’ trip. Friday was a spa day and a relaxing evening of girl talk and dessert in bed. On Saturday, my best girlfriends surprised me with brunch at Pelican Hill — but I still had no clue, since Chiraag was texting me pictures from back home in SF. I then took a limo to the proposal spot, Crescent Bay Point Park, where we had gone on a trip to Laguna about 3 months in; I thought I was meeting my girlfriends at the Harry Styles concert.
When he opened the door to the limo, I started bawling. It all hit me. The setup was all white florals and tall candles against a beautiful ocean backdrop — simple, elegant, and very me. It was a perfect SoCal day, 72 degrees and sunny. Chiraag walked me to the center of the setup and got down on one knee. The proposal was a blur, but I do know that Chiraag said he had dreamt of this moment for most of his life, and we were both simultaneously laughing and crying the whole time. After I said yes, we spent an hour just talking and admiring the sunset, taking selfies, and finishing an entire bottle of Moet.
We then took the limo back to the house in Laguna Hills he’d rented for our families to stay in. They surprised me at the door and I was so happy to see them. He then walked me out to show me the pool in the house, and I turned a corner to see all of our friends screaming ‘CONGRATS!!!’. I immediately broke down and started bawling again.
I gained my composure and ran upstairs to change into a gold Shona Joy dress and Gucci shoes my mom and sister had brought for me. The evening was a sheer joy — dancing, cocktails, impromptu speeches, cake, and tons of photos!
I later found out that Chiraag planned the proposal for months with a minute-by-minute spreadsheet that’s now legendary. He coordinated to have both of our immediate families there, along with 40 of our closest friends. I still don’t know how he pulled off a proposal that was so meaningful, and so US. I’m so grateful.
Ring details 3.63 carats round brilliant diamond with a hidden halo and 22 pave diamonds, to symbolize the 22 years we knew each other before we started dating.
We dated for 1 year and 8 months before getting engaged.