Youssef and Janice

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How We Met

Janice and I met in the summer of 2019. It was the 2019 NBA finals and the Raptors were playing the Warriors for a chance to win their first-ever NBA championship. Every game was a spectacle in the city and bars across the city were packed with viewers for every game. Game 4 was in Toronto, and a friend had rented out a bar and invited lots of friends to come and watch together. Initially, I had planned to watch the game at a friend’s house but made a last-minute decision to go to the bar instead. God must have wanted me there. Now I had never met Janice in person before, but I had admired her for quite some time. I thought she was cute and would kill at a chance to go out with her.

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Image 3 of Youssef and Janice

Anyways, I get to the bar and it was PACKED. Once I found a seat at the bar, I ordered as many drinks as I could. I then noticed Janice was sitting just a few seats away and thought this would be my shot. So I ordered more drinks. Liquid courage is definitely real. Luckily, I also had a few friends at the bar that were also mutual friends with Janice. They knew I was interested in Janice (and apparently, the feelings were reciprocal).

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So as the night continued, and with the help of our mutual friends, I eventually found myself sitting next to Janice. Being the natural gentlemen I am, I offered to buy her a drink (or 2) to break the ice. We immediately hit it off and spent the rest of the night talking while periodically tuning in to watch the game whenever it was close or when a big play happened. We ended up exchanging numbers and continued the conversation through text and memes for the rest of the night.

That night the Raptors lost. But I didn’t really care, because, I won.

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How They Asked

It was Sunday, June 26, a week after our 3 week anniversary. I had told Janice that as part of the anniversary gift I had bought us a skydiving package. Janice was eagerly awaiting a proposal, but she knew that it wouldn’t be while skydiving since another close friend of ours had recently proposed in a similar manner. I told her that we would go skydiving on Sunday, June 26th at sunrise.

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Image 14 of Youssef and Janice

So, I pick her up at 4:00 AM to go skydiving. The location was approximately an hour away and we were told to arrive at 5:30 AM. Now, we weren’t actually going to go sky diving so I had to think of a believable excuse for the change of plans. This was going to be tricky as I was recently hoping to keep the entire proposal plan a surprise.

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Shortly after picking her up, I tell her that earlier in the morning, the sky diving company called me and told me that we won’t be going skydiving anymore due to scheduling conflicts. They had promised to credit us for the skydiving but still invited us to come for another surprise activity. Janice went silent, and I immediately thought she would begin to piece the puzzle together. Luckily, Janice was still oblivious and was just angry that the company hadn’t informed us earlier.

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On our way to the site, we stopped by a rest stop for a quick bio break. After we get back in the car, I tell Janice that I had just received a call from the company letting us know what the surprise activity will be, a Hot Air Balloon ride. As a consolation, they would even provide photographers to capture our ride, for free. Janice went quiet again, and I once again thought she had figured it out. Luckily, Janice can’t properly think at 4:30 AM, and instead what was going through her head was how she was not appropriately dressed for a hot air balloon with photographers. After breathing a sigh of relief, I comfort her by complimenting her outfit and appearance. That always works haha!!

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At 5:00 AM we arrive at the parking lot to meet the Hot Air Balloon crew and the photographers. We hop into their van and drive to the launch site. It typically takes 30 mins or so for the crew to set up the hot air balloon, so Janice and I used that time to take pictures around the launch site with the Photographers. Surprisingly, she was still clueless, but also tired and sleep-deprived. 30 mins later, and after a short interruption from local authorities, we were ready to take off. We were behind schedule and wind speeds were quickly increasing, so this had to happen very quickly. The pilot gave us a 2-minute warning prior to taking off.

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Before taking off, I pulled Janice aside and told her we should take pics infront of the hot air balloon quickly. I had given the photographers 3 envelopes, each containing different poses they would ask us to do in front of the hot air balloon. The last card would not be a pose, but instead a postcard that said: “Janice, Will You Marry Me?”.

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We didn’t have time to go through all 3 cards, so the photographers gave Janice the last card right away. She savagely opened the card before the photographers even had a chance to get back in position. As she opened the card, I pulled out the ring box, went down on one knee, and proposed to her. It took her a second, but once she noticed what was going down, she collapsed to the group and said YES. In the excitement of it all, I don’t think I ever even asked her. But she knew, I Knew, and just like that, we were engaged.

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We then quickly got onto the hot air balloon and jetted away. The ride was only 15 minutes long since the wind speeds were getting too strong for safety. After we landed, we drove to a nearby beach to take some pictures, before going back to her parent’s place to begin the celebrations. But that wasn’t the end of the surprise, there was 1 more. Once we got home, I told Janice she needed to get ready because we had a party planned to celebrate to occasion.

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I wanted the location to be a surprise. After getting ready and relishing the moment at home with our Parents and families, we headed to downtown Toronto for the proposal party at Champagne, Oysters, and Coffee. The venue was SOO Janice with blush pink interior decorations, champagne walls, and even a speakeasy dining room in the back. We got to celebrate the occasion with our closest family and friends as we begin our lifelong journey together.

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Our Video

Special Thanks

 | Photographer
 | Photographer
 | Planning