Alessia and Marco
How We Met
I “officially” met Marco in September 2010 at York University. I say, “officially” because Marco and I actually went to high school together. We spent all four years under the same roof! Except, we never really shared more than a few words. We had several classes together, mutual friends, attended the same parties, he lived on the same street as one of my friends, and we even sat at the same lunch table. Since he was merely a high school acquaintance, I never expected the story that was about to be written.
But there I was, at 18 years old, walking into our English lecture with my best friend, Daniela. He was there, sitting at the front of the room. We exchanged a quick hello and we spoke very briefly about how our summer holidays were. That was it! I remember my friend mentioning how handsome Marco was, but I was not interested… yet. Slowly but surely, as the school year went by, we made small conversations in passing. We were both majoring in English so we were bound to see each other and/or have the same classes. The first year quickly came and went and that was it. I remember thinking it was nice to see a familiar face in my classes. But I never expected that we would build a friendship, let alone a relationship together.
When the second year began, I saw Marco again. It felt like déjà vu! He was there at the front of that same lecture hall waiting for the school year to begin. We spoke a lot more in our second year; this was mostly because of Daniela. She was always trying to push me to like Marco. I did like him, but nothing more than a friend. We began texting more, mostly about school work. Sometimes he would even text me asking to meet up before and/or after classes. I guess you can say I was blind. I never really picked up on the signs, let alone gave any indication that I was interested. Second-year quickly ended. I gained a new friend, someone I could sit with, in my classes if I was ever alone.
It was now the third year. I assumed I would see Marco again. And I did! Marco and I had another class together – this time, alone. We sat beside one another and walked to our other classes afterward. This time we spoke a lot more and texted almost everyday. Yet again, our conversations were not really interesting – mostly about school work. I honestly have no idea what changed in our friendship or even when it changed. Marco started acting differently toward me, almost more interested. The texting became a routine. I would hear from him every morning until we would go to sleep at night. The conversations became less about school work and more about our own personal interests, hobbies, and families. It was a night in December where things began to change. Marco was out with his friends when he asked me if I wanted to join and grab a drink with them. I think that is the moment I realized that Marco stopped seeing me as “just a friend”. I quickly declined because my nerves took over and asked him if we could reschedule. And so we did… Except there was a bad snow storm and we both decided that it was too dangerous to go out.
January 2, 2013: Our first real date. Marco knew I was (and still am) obsessed with Adele. He suggested we watch the movie, “Skyfall”, and go for drinks afterwards. What better way to intrigue a girl into going out with him than to saying her favourite artist sings at the beginning! I could tell we were both very nervous to be out with one another. It was very different than hanging out at school one-on-one. This was real.
After our “first date”, we still spoke every day; we even went out a few more times. He started walking me to my classes or to my car if I was heading home. He was the perfect gentleman! Since we were hanging out outside of school more often, we knew we had to have the “talk” about what was going on in our relationship. I am a very persistent person and know exactly what I want. When I want something, I go out and get it. Marco is a more nonchalant type of character. From the very beginning, I was itching to ask him what was going to come out of this. But I held back because I did not want to jinx it or put any pressure on him, especially if he was not interested the same way I was. Until one day I could not wait any longer. I brought up the conversation and I regretted it the second it was out.
I guess it was too soon in the relationship to tell what was going to happen between us. Maybe it was because we were both never in a serious relationship. We just had interests or people we dated, never anything with an actual “label”. But it was in that moment, during that conversation, where Marco politely told me that we were just friends and nothing was going to happen. Looking back and hearing Marco’s side of the story, I knew it was because he was nervous to put all of his feelings into one person. I was not heartbroken or sad, but furious. I was upset at spending time on getting to know someone if it was all for nothing. I did not need any new friends. I was tired of going out drinking with my friends, hoping to meet someone. I was ready to start a committed relationship with the person that was right in front of me.
I did what any girl would do in my situation. I pushed him away and became distant. I stopped answering his text messages, avoided him at school, and when he would bring it up, I would say I was busy. This was our new story for about a month’s time. I assumed that was the end of our friendship and once school ended and I graduated, I would not have to see him anymore.
Around April, after my 21st my birthday, was when another conversation happened. This time it was Marco bringing everything up. He asked me why I was being so distant, what was going wrong, and what that meant for us. I had a decision to make: I could either tell him the truth as to why I was blowing him off or lie and tell him everything was fine. I decided to go with my gut and tell him everything. I told Marco that I was not looking to play a game, I was too old to have my feelings played with. I knew what I wanted and if he did not want the same, we would have to go our separate ways. After talking through everything, Marco admitted that his nerves were the reason he was putting the brakes on things. He was scared. So after we told each other the truth on how we were feeling, a conversation that should have happened to avoid these games, we decided that we were slowly heading toward a relationship.
Prior to “dating” Marco, I decided to take two elective courses with the University for the month of June… except they were in Italy. At the time, I was not thinking that I would end up with Marco, so I did what any girl would do – I booked the trip. We never really spoke about what would happen when I was away, or if we would even be official by then. But he knew it was creeping up on us.
May 23, 2013: It was the night before my departure. My passport was ready and my bags were packed. This was it. I was leaving for an entire month. Deep down I knew that we had to decide if we were going to stop seeing each other or if we were going to make it official. Honestly, I did not want to bring it up in case he was okay with us ending our dating relationship. I remember we agreed to see each other right before my trip. We both did not want me to go without saying a goodbye. We were supposed to grab a coffee and catch a movie. Except we were so deep in conversation about “us” that we decided the movie could wait.
We spoke about how our lives have been since we began getting to know one another. We knew we were both happier since we decided to take this leap. And so, the night right before my trip… We became official.
How He Asked
Since the very beginning of becoming “official”, we knew early on that we were going to get married. We did not know when, but we knew. I was always the hopeless romantic sending Marco different proposal pictures and diamond rings. I will admit, I become a little obsessed! I was potentially planning a wedding that could be years away.
I already knew what my color scheme would be, how I wanted to propose to the bridal party, and what songs I wanted to include. Marco would sometimes ask me what type of ring I liked. From time to time we would stop into jewelry stores and check out different designs. I am a very indecisive person so I could not even limit myself to one type of style because I had no idea what I liked!
Around our 5th year anniversary, Marco and I had a talk about when our wedding would be. We figured, it is already May 2018 so 2019 is too early and definitely out of the question. We agreed on 2020 being our year. After becoming so obsessed with wedding details, I decided to let Marco know that I was done with asking, “when”. Whenever and however he did it, it would be perfect. I know this elevated a lot of pressure, especially with knowing that I would be happy with anything. I guess that is when Marco began to plan…
It was a week or so before the actual day. Marco told me about a place his friend, David, went to in the Spencer Gorge Conservation Area called Dundas Peak. It is an enclosed area within Dundas, Ontario, with various trails to follow and two waterfalls close by. It is a beautiful location and even more beautiful in the autumn. I will admit I was a little suspicious that it would happen, considering we never go to places like that. But I kept quiet and made sure I did not ruin his moment or planning.
It was a cold Saturday morning. I, of course, had no idea what to wear. I needed to dress warmly for the weather but also had to dress nice enough in case it was the big day. I opted for a pair of jeans and a plaid shirt – appropriate for both weather, season, and possible occasion. When I was done, Marco picked me up with some bagels and coffee from Tim Horton’s and we set out for our adventure.
When we arrived at the location, we were told there was a shuttle to bring us to and from the area. We started at Tew’s Falls and made our way from there. Tew’s Falls was beautiful! A quiet little area hidden between the trees. I thought, if it happens now, he chose a good spot. But nothing happened. We continued along the trail and made our way up onto the lookout of Dundas Peak. What a spectacular view! You just have to look over the peak once and will be amazed at how beautiful the autumn colours are at this time of the year. Based on all of the people, I knew this would not be our spot. If there was anything I knew about Marco, the big question would be asked just between the two of us. And that is exactly what he did.
We continued back down the trail to stop by the falls again. Marco told me to stay at the top of the hill so he could snap a few photos of me. When he was done, he told me to turn around and face the other way. I did not think anything of this because that is Marco. He is always taking pictures to ensure he catches every moment whether they are posed or candid. When he was done taking his “picture”, he invited me to meet him at the bottom of the hill. I was expecting him to show me his camera so I could approve of the photos. Instead, he handed me a Papyrus card (for the entire relationship we have only ever purchased Papyrus cards for one another) and told me to take a look at the tree stump in front of him.
This was it. This was the moment.
Sitting on the tree stump was a lightbox with the words, “love you to the moon and back”. I began to open the card with shaking hands. Then I stopped the second the card was out because inside the envelope was a sentence that caught my eye.
He wrote, “Take a breath… I LOVE You!” Cue the waterworks…At that point, I did not even want to open the card because I was afraid of crying all over it. But he encouraged me to and I did.
He wrote about the last five and a half years together, our adventures, the highs and lows, and about the moment he knew he was going to marry me. I had to reread the card again afterward because everything was a blur. But one particular sentence mentioning my Nonna caught my eye. For anyone that knows me, knows that I was very close with my Nonna before she passed. Her death was and still is something that is too difficult to speak about. Standing there reading the card, I realized it was her birthday. In the card, Marco mentioned that October 27th will now be an even more significant date. It is not only my Nonna’s birthday but a date we will always remember.
At the bottom of the card were four very important words, “Will You Marry Me?” Between all of the tears and sobs, I put the card down and looked up at Marco. There he was with the ring box in hand. He looked at me and asked me the question I have always been waiting to hear…
Close to my 25th birthday, we went out looking at diamonds – this time for real. We went to an actual wholesaler, Lucio’s Gold, and Diamonds, in Markham, Ontario and looked at different diamonds. Originally I thought I had wanted a round shape. But being there in person and at that moment, that is when I fell in love with the oval shape. There was something about the way it looked in a solitaire setting, especially paired with the wedding band I have always loved. It was beautiful! So I told him that oval is what I want and that was my final answer. Marco went back to Vince and told him exactly what we both wanted. Vince worked his magic and the rest is history!