Stefanie and Anthony

Image 1 of Stefanie and Anthony

How We Met

Anthony and I went to high school together. Anthony was 2 years older than me, so we had many of the same friends and acquaintances, but never really spoke to each other in high school other than the occasional ‘hello’. After college, we both moved back to our hometown and went to support a friend at an event they were DJing at. I went and introduced myself to Anthony and he quickly said “I know who you are.” I felt awkward – I knew who he was too! We just hadn’t ever officially met and it had been 5 years since high school. We laughed it off and went our separate ways that evening. We then connected online and messaged each other often. He soon asked to meet with me again. We met for frozen yogurt one night and sparks flew. We didn’t want the night to end so we went to get dinner after our frozen yogurt. We have been inseparable from that night on.

Image 2 of Stefanie and Anthony

how they asked

We had been planning a trip to Ireland around Thanksgiving and our year a half anniversary. We were extremely excited and planned to fly into Dublin and drive around and see as much of Ireland as we could in a little less than a week. When we got to Ireland we had reservations at a wonderful hotel in Dublin and we explored much of the city. We didn’t have concrete hotel plans for the rest of the trip because we didn’t know what city we would be in. This stressed me a bit as I am a very thorough planner, but at Anthony’s insistence I decided to roll with it. We saw and did so many wonderful things, we went to beautiful Cork and ate the best vegetarian meal of my life, took a romantic horse drawn carriage ride around Killarney National Park, did a hawk walk with Killarney Falconry where a regal hawk would fly and land on our hand and we would get to feed him, we explored the grounds of Kilkenny Castle, kissed the Blarney Stone, trekked around the Dingle Peninsula, stayed on a sheep farm with a lovely Airbnb host and were awe-inspired of the Cliffs of Moher. It was a trip of a lifetime.

Image 3 of Stefanie and Anthony

After the Cliffs of Moher, Anthony told me that he had plans for dinner and told me not to worry about it. I thought, how on earth does he have plans and how did he even know where we would be? We drove for a while through gorgeous Irish country side and arrived to what seemed to be a lone security hut in the middle of no where. Anthony gave his name and we drove in. All I could see was green grass all around me and I had no idea where we were going. Then suddenly I saw the lights of Adare Manor, it looked like Highclere Castle from Downton Abbey in the distance.

Image 4 of Stefanie and Anthony

After insisting Anthony watched Downton Abbey with me, it became one of our favorite shows so seeing this in the distance felt like a dream. It was stunning. I sat there in shock and asked, ” We can eat in THERE?!” Anthony just smiled. We walked into a beautiful foyer and Anthony went to sit at a lone standing desk and he simply said, “checking in.” I continued to stand there speechless. We checked in and went to our gorgeous room and got ready for dinner in the Oak Room within the manor. I was shocked but we had dinner reservations early so I couldn’t ask him a million questions on how he found this gorgeous place.

Image 5 of Stefanie and Anthony

During what turned out to be one of the best meals I’ve ever eaten, Anthony started to tell me sweet things. How happy he was and how he loved our life together. How he feels when he’s around me. How we fit together so well. I got teary eyed, but didn’t read too much into it. We are an affectionate pair and how could we not be affectionate and mushy in such a gorgeous environment? After dinner Anthony insisted we walk around the grounds. The estate sits on 840 acres and belonged to the Earl of Dunraven. I was eager to explore. The castle was thoroughly decorated for Christmas making it even more grand and magical. We found a library off to the side, and I was so excited.

Image 6 of Stefanie and Anthony

I love to read and a library in a castle made me feel like Belle in Beauty and the Beast. It was beautiful. In the library there was a fireplace going, books everywhere, and a beautifully decorate Christmas tree in the room. Suddenly – the theme song for Downton Abbey started to play. “This is so crazy!” I thought to myself. Anthony again started to say sweet nothings, but this time, it was deeper more passionate statements of love and happiness. I was getting teary eyed listening to all these beautiful sweet words. He started to get choked up as he said, “Our life together has been nothing but perfect. This night has been perfect. Should we make it more perfect?” My stomach dropped and I instantly started to cry. Anthony got down one one knee and asked me to marry him.

Image 7 of Stefanie and Anthony

I mustered up the word YES through my sobs and tears. It was the perfect end to a perfect trip. We hugged and kissed and I felt in shock that I was engaged to the best man in the world! The next day we explored the castle some more, and were in such a state of euphoria and excitement that we decided to take our own engagement photos around the castle together. Who needs a photographer when you have giddiness, two people in love, a camera, and a tripod? I’ve never been happier and Anthony never ceases to amaze me with his grand romantic gestures and lovely sweet words.

Image 8 of Stefanie and Anthony