AJ and Nikki's Proposal in Playhouse Square
how we met
AJ and I were introduced to one another back in 2009 by one of my very close friends. He would come into the salon I worked at and she would cut his hair. Little did I know, she was actually trying to play match maker. So we were finally introduced at her birthday party and hit it off immediately. Soon to follow that we had our first date on May 5th 2009. Cinco de Mayo! Which we would later come to realize our mutual love for margaritas and Mexican food!
He gave me the option beforehand of doing something causal or a bit fancier. I picked casual. He took me to dinner first and then took me to a park. I thought, “oh boy, this is interesting…” It was actually a Nature Preserve and it was beautiful! We talked, laughed and walked around this path for hours. I learned so much about AJ, about his family, goals, ambitions, dreams, his past. It felt so nice being able to really get to know someone and feel so comfortable. The end of the date approached and he leaned in for a kiss. I remember thinking how that was the most perfect first kiss and feeling the instant connection. From that point on we were pretty inseparable. A couple months passed and he asked me to be his girlfriend. He has a tendency to draw things out and take his good old time with making things official! But later I would find out…it was so totally worth the wait!
how he asked
Now fast forward to 2015, 6 1/2 years have gone by and things have never been better!
I was busy working at the salon making sure everyone looked their best for the holidays. AJ had said that we should have a date night that Wednesday before Christmas. I was a little hesitant because I had so much to do before Christmas! But I soon changed my mind and I am so glad I did!
I was supposed to be working late that night and I had told him I would be out much later than usual. He kept insisting I get off work earlier, which isn’t out of the usual! By luck my last appointment was unable to make it so I was able to get out much earlier! He was very excited to hear that! So we head out to our date and he is keeping it a secret as to where we are going. (Still isn’t anything unusual) We make it to Tremont, right outside downtown Cleveland and eat at this Louisiana Cajun style restaurant. Fabulous! We love trying new things. Dinner was great and afterwards we head to Downtown Cleveland to Play House Square to look at the Christmas lights. (Which he had been saying how he would like to go do previously, still no red flag) We walk around the Christmas tree and admire all the lights. We had the whole place to ourselves! We head back to the Christmas tree and AJ gives me all the information about this Christmas tree and how each business buys a strand of lights and that is how the tree is lit. (I love how he does his research, he is always so informative.) So at this point I’m kind of like, “Ok, let’s go do something else now”. I start to walk away and I feel a tug on my hand. The next couple seconds are a blur!
I turn and see AJ down on his knee. He tells me how he doesn’t want to spend another Christmas without me and a lot more but I can’t remember I was so surprised! I kept saying to him “are you serious”? Yes, yes he was! So of course I said yes! I have waited 6 long years to say YES!
With all this excitement I turn around to see a photographer there! Loren was there and captured this beautiful moment! She was so excited and so kind! She snapped a few more pictures of us and then we all talked about the whole evening and how I had NO idea! Then Playhouse Square was suddenly filled with all the people from the Cav’s game that just let out. Right after we finished thanking Loren and saying goodbye it started to downpour rain. AJ and I ran over to a little pub and celebrated! Luck was truly on his side that whole evening. Had my last appointment not canceled I would have got out later from work and we would have been standing there in the rain with a huge crowd of people!
I just knew after that first date and that perfect first kiss that this was my guy. He is always surprising me. He is the most thoughtful and romantic man I have ever met and I am so grateful to have such a wonderful man in my life. I cannot wait to begin our next chapter together!