How We Met
Raphael and I first met on April 4, 2017 – three years to the day before he would propose. I had been working with his best friend Alex for about a year and a half, and it was he who decided that Raph and I might hit it off. Alex set us up by inviting us both to the same magazine launch party in Manhattan (on a Tuesday night, no less!). Raph is a city boy – born and raised in Manhattan – and I’m a small-town girl from Colorado; but Alex was right, and Raph and I immediately connected over travel, movies, family, and a love of old fashioned.
My other co-workers who were at that party swear they saw sparks fly between us, but things ended that night with Raph thinking I wasn’t interested… and to be honest, I don’t know that I was right away! But he got my number and we started texting, and I found him irresistibly charming and funny and smart. Our conversations were effortless and genuine, and by the time we saw each other two weeks later, we were inseparable, falling very hard and very fast. It’s one of those “his best friend set us up” stories that actually worked out, and I have never been so grateful!
How They Asked
As we all know by now, COVID-19 arrived with a vengeance in New York City. Raph had been planning the proposal – and an engagement party which all my friends and family were flying in to attend – for April 4th, the day we met. By mid-March, he knew that things weren’t going to go as he had planned. With the party and original proposal canceled, he got creative because – in his words! – he just couldn’t wait. It was a typical lazy social distancing Saturday when he offered to go on a walk through the waterfront park by our apartment – though looking back, he did suggest I put on “real” clothes (read: not my social distancing sweats) and a little makeup so we could treat it like a ‘date night.’ I should have known!
The park has a beautiful view of the Manhattan skyline and has been especially empty since the NYC lockdown. It was a bit gloomy but there was a touch of orange in the sky as the Williamsburg bridge stood watch over us. We stopped alongside the water and Raph told me he loved me and loved my family and wanted to spend the rest of his life with me. I did NOT take this as a proposal so I just said, “yeah babe mee too love you!” He looked at me and said, “then I have something to ask you.” And it was then that he dropped down on one knee and removed a ring box from his jacket pocket, showing me the most beautiful, sparkly, perfect (custom!) ring I had ever seen.
I essentially blacked out and started hysterically crying and I don’t remember a word he said, but he tells me it was something along the lines of, “I love you Sarah Elizabeth. You make me the happiest man in the world. Will you marry me?” And of course, I said YES YES YES.
It was only then that I heard the few people around – mostly wearing masks and all from 6 feet away of course – clapping and cheering for us, and I looked up and saw our dear friend Frank capturing the moment with his camera. It was all so overwhelming and perfect and wonderful and surreal. I would not have changed a thing. I love that Raph chose to bring such joy to this season of fear and anxiety in NYC, and I love that he is going to be mine forever, officially!!