Samantha and Adam

How We Met

Samantha and I first made acquaintance via an online dating app. After connecting with her, I collected my courage and initiated the conversation by sending the first message. A simple hello and exchange of pleasantries and that was it. She disappeared. Come to find out later, she had decided the app wasn’t for her and deleted it shortly after I reached out to her. After several days of no contact, I had wondered if it was something that I’d said. Was “Hello, how are you?” no longer good enough to hold attention? I had made plans to go out in downtown Orlando with my brother and cousin who was in town visiting. Upon arriving to my brother’s apartment to change and get ready, a Jimmy John’s delivery guy entered the apartment complex. After hitting a small speed bump, the delivery guy’s wallet full of cash from tips fell out of his pocket. I quickly jumped out of my cousin’s car to collect the wallet and chase down the delivery guy.

He was on his bike and moving quickly through the halls. I chased him around the building for what seemed like an eternity before finally running him down and returning the wallet. I felt good about the deed and exclaimed to my cousin and brother that tonight was going to be a good night. Believing that karma was on our side, I was secretly hoping to see her out that night. We ventured out to our first stop of the night, a bar called Basement in Downtown Orlando. It was there that I first saw Samantha walk into the bar. My brother and I deliberated for minutes over whether or not it was actually her. I could not help but think it was fate. What were the odds. After exchanging looks for a while Samantha made her way over to our group. My brother, Matt, knew Samantha from undergrad through a mutual friend. He initiated conversation as she passed by. The moment I turned to introduce myself and speak to Samantha, my cousin Sean, inadvertently swatted my glass out of my hand which of course shattered and spilled all over the floor and our feet.

Wedding Proposal Ideas in Marco Island, FL

Engagement Proposal Ideas in Marco Island, FL

Boiling with anger, I thought to myself “well there goes any chance of that.” Luckily, my brother told her to meet up with us at another place a little later on. There was still hope despite my cousin’s poorly timed mistake. We parted ways with Basement and went to a few other places. The whole time in the back of my mind I was hopeful that Samantha would be at the place we agreed to meet. A couple hours had passed and we headed to a bar called Saddle Up which was the agreed location. We walked in and there she was. She wouldn’t have known it then, but I lit up when I saw her. Unfortunately, however, she had already gotten the attention of another willing fellow who was spinning her around on the dance floor. In order to make our presence known, I started dancing with her friend to insert myself into the equation. After the song ended, we all retreated to the back area of the bar where there was a little space to talk. In an attempt to rehydrate a bit and avoid a hangover, I ordered a water like a loser. Samantha seemed to like the idea and we shared our first drink together.

It was then I revealed to Samantha that I’d recognized her from the dating app. She made the connection and we started chatting. This was right around closing time so we made our way outside. I realize my brother was still talking with some friends, so I went back to get him. Meanwhile my cousin struck up a conversation with Samantha which from my perspective sounded as if it was going pretty well. I started worrying that the situation was shifting in favor of my cousin. Finally, I told my brother that we needed to leave, fearing I was running out of time. Thankfully for my sake, Samantha expressed that she was interested in me. We went and had some tacos for a late-night snack and exchanged numbers and thus began our story. Samantha and I would see each other a dozen or so more times including a formal first date before she moved down to Marco Island. I spent a long summer thinking about her before she finally reached back out to me in early fall. From there our relationship blossomed and we started formally dating on November 8th, 2014.

Samantha and Adam's Engagement in Marco Island, FL

Proposal Ideas Marco Island, FL

how they asked

On June 1, 2016 I suddenly lost my father. Knowing this would always be remembered as a sad day for me, Adam hatched a plan to turn a sad day into a happy one. 1 year later he decided he would ask for my hand in marriage on June 1, 2017. For weeks, I had been wanting to return to the coordinates in the Gulf of Mexico where I had scattered my father’s ashes on the day of his anniversary. Unfortunately, I was not able to secure a boat rental in order to accomplish this. As part of a backup plan I asked Adam if we could watch the sunset that night instead thus unknowingly setting Adam’s plan in motion. As part of the evening Adam had planned for us to go out to dinner at a surprise location prior to sunset.

On the way there I could tell he was nervous but couldn’t imagine why. We pulled into the Esplanade Shops on Smokehouse Bay and began walking towards the docks. To my surprise we walked up on a 42′ boat waiting for us with flowers. “We’re going to go to your Dad’s coordinates” Adam stated. I immediately broke down in relief, happiness, and gratitude as this was my dream for the day coming true. In walks Josh Ferris, childhood friend of Adam and now my friend too, to be our captain for the trip. We set out on our evening cruise to Lat: 25° 58′ 40, Long: 81° 45′ 053. Once we reached our destination, Adam and I walked to the bow of the boat to drop a bouquet of flowers in the water in memory of my father, Dick. After doing so, the song “Carried Away” by George Straight, a favorite song of ours, began playing. I immediately turned to Adam and said “Good song” in between sobs. After spending a couple moments in thought sitting there on the bow, I felt I was ready to return to my seat and head back towards Marco Island. As I stood and turned around, Adam remained on a knee and reached for my hand. Right then and there, in the presence of my father, he asked me to be his wife. Overcome with emotion my knees buckled as a sobbed an emphatic “Yes!”

We returned to the helm of the boat where Josh was waiting for us with a bottle of champagne we had gotten together while visiting Asheville, NC that we had been saving for a “special occasion” for over a year now. He turned the boat around to head straight for Cafe de Marco, my mother’s restaurant, where I thought I would be surprising her with our engagement news. Little did I know my mother and Adam had planned a surprise engagement party with all of our family and friends waiting there for us! We spent the rest of the weekend celebrating with them at the JW Marco Island Beach Resort. It was truly a weekend to remember!

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Special Thanks

Josh Ferris | 
Captain of the boat & helped to plan
Sandra Franchino