How We Met
The Leadership Program I was in was hosting a fundraiser for the American Heart Association on the green (the center of the campus lawn where the “university seal” is with paths going in all different directions). A few of my friends and I volunteered and were selling bracelets for $2. I had spotted Vinn walking towards the green and instantly turned to my friend and said “Omg, that’s him! I’m going to try and sell him a bracelet. You have to get a picture of me talking to him!” You see …we briefly spoke once before where me being the not-so-shy girl that I am introduced myself to him but hadn’t seen him on campus since. Sure enough, he bought the bracelet (after his class though because he had to get another dollar from his car) and we got our first picture together. Little did we know just how significant that picture was going to be 7 years later.
How They Asked
On November 14, 2020, I was getting ready to meet my former coworkers from the Leadership Program (the good old work-study assistant days) at lunch to celebrate the retirement of our dear friend and Program Director, Michael Reuter. A few weeks prior, one of them had reached out about this get-together. I suggested we do a surprise joint gift so we sent money and the plan was set. We agreed to meet at Jubilee Hall on campus at 11 AM before heading to lunch. It was also Diwali so an earlier lunch meant I could spend the rest of the day and weekend with my family, even though it would be a little different this year due to COVID.
When I mentioned these plans to Vinn, he suggested we go to campus together because he had been talking about meeting up with the Seton Hall Athletic Director. This didn’t seem strange since about a month ago, I was in the car when the Athletic Director had called him about something. I just assumed he was capitalizing on this
opportunity to also get back to campus.
Once we got out of the car, Vinn decided to come with me so he can say hi to Michael and my coworkers since it had been some time. No problem but in typical Vina fashion, I was talking miles a minute and rushing us to get to Jubilee because the clock was ticking and I had to be there by 11 AM!
As we started approaching the center of the campus green, Vinn stopped me and began talking about how 2020 had been. Again, typical Vina fashion, I was questioning why he was bringing that up now when he knows we have to get to Jubilee at 11 AM!! However, while he was talking, I noticed he reached inside his jacket. Now, I had a million thoughts running through my mind.
Remember the picture I mentioned above? Well, here I was staring right at it in a beautiful gold frame standing in the same exact spot. As he continued to talk, he reached in his pocket AGAIN. Here I am thinking “Is what I think about to happen, happening?” Still a little confused though. This time, he pulled out the $2 bracelet I sold him! As you can now imagine, I was tearing up because all these years, he has kept it!
Then, he took my hand as we walked onto the university seal and this time when
he reached for his jacket, he was on one knee and pulled out a beautiful ring.
I was shocked. I was stunned. I was excited. It all just happened so fast. I gave him a kiss and hug and then the most beautiful thing happened. It must have been 11 AM because the bells went off! I guess it didn’t matter where I was at 11 AM after all because I was right where I needed to be.
Still taking it all in, I suddenly heard claps and cheering. I looked up and right there on the balcony of the 4th floor of Jubilee Hall were our beloved family and friends who had front row seats to the most special proposal. He managed to get them all there without me knowing. If I wasn’t crying already, you can bet this was when I lost it. Once the tears were gone, I turned to Vinn and said “So there is no lunch?! What
about the $50? I sent $50!” (In case you were wondering, I did get it back, LOL)
We got to take pictures – even Taco (pictured below) witnessed the proposal and then we were off to a lunch at Don Pepe II restaurant.
(Rewind a little bit back to 2014. Vinn told me how he worked at Don Pepe growing up with his high school buddies and always said he would take a special girl there. On December 22, 2014, Vinn took me for the first time and so every year on the 22nd, we go for dinner and keep our annual tradition alive).
As we walked through the doors of Don Pepe, there was another surprise! More of our beloved family and friends were there surrounded by beautiful engagement décor (thanks to the best friends!) to celebrate us. We could not be more grateful.
Later on, I learned all about the planning, strategizing, overcoming last-minute obstacles, the secrets so many had to keep from me (someone who likes to know everything and didn’t make it any easier), and the list goes on. But all along, Vinn was planning the most special and heartwarming proposal. It was beyond perfect.
This spot at Seton Hall was special to me 7 years ago and now forever will be. Blessed to be marrying my best friend and excited for the future. The best is yet to come!