Alexandra and Christopher

How We Met

Chris and I met at work! We were both from surrounding towns but never got the chance to meet until both being hired as personal trainers at a local gym after finishing college. We had slightly different exercise philosophies (I taught spinning, he coached CrossFit) but someone had to budge, so I started taking his CrossFit classes. People have always said you should meet your SO someplace like the gym, I just don’t think this applies when you both work there. A few months went by of harmless flirting, and then we coordinated our schedules to ride together to a local brew fest. It was Chris, myself and one of his best friends, yet somehow on the way home, it was just the two of us (he basically told his friend that he’s finding his own way home). Once we got back to his house, his mom was also just arriving and invited me to come for dinner- we didn’t even know this would be our first date, and I was already meeting the family! With the liquid courage I had gained from the Brewfest, I sat right on the couch next to his mom and talked non-stop throughout dinner. Fortunately, she found it charming and shortly after we began dating (incognito to our work friends, initially) and then finally became official a few months later.

How He Asked

The best part about our story is that EVERYONE knew but me… and no one spilled it! Chris, of course, asked my dad for his permission months beforehand. But he also consulted with my best friends. He and my best friend went out to dinner months before the proposal to see if I had mentioned anything to her about how I wanted it to go down. At dinner, they decided that we would go out for drinks and he’d do it afterward. She asked if there was any special place we could go, but he thought it would be too obvious if we just randomly decided to go to a fancy restaurant. She came up with asking one of his clients to grab a gift certificate to the restaurant we had our first-anniversary date, and he gave her the money to pick it up.

A few weeks before the proposal, Chris told me he was going on a craft beer tour with two of his guy friends (a common hobby for New Englanders). I quickly tried to invite myself along as well, but he told me this trip was men only- rude. He left at 6:30 in the morning and didn’t return until after I was already asleep. The next morning he was giving little information about where they went and no one in their party was giving up any information. Fast forward to a few weeks and all the pieces fit together…

We had made reservations to go out to dinner the Thursday before Memorial Day. We had a busy weekend coming up, followed by several weekends of friends’ weddings so this seemed like a good night to have a relaxing dinner out. Now, when you’re 27 and have been with someone for almost five years you assume an engagement is coming- we had discussed it for years! But this day produced waves of emotions! I thought it could be the day, but Chris was so calm that then I would try to tell myself to be calm, and maybe tonight wasn’t the night. We got to dinner and shared a bottle of wine and an appetizer, but when it came to deciding whether to order food Chris said: “we have some meat that expires soon, let’s just go home and cook that”- SO romantic. At this point, I was reminding myself that a dinner date night is a great gesture anyways and it will happen soon enough.

We had to walk through the town green to go back to the car and as we got closer to the end Chris pointed out to me that someone was waiting for us- as we approached I saw one of our friends with his camera in hand and champagne nearby, and as I turned around Chris was on one knee (he had the ring TAPED to his ankle all night, because he knew I would see the box in his pants!). When Chris said he went on a craft beer run he actually drove 6 hours each way to Brooklyn, NY to go to a jeweler a friend recommended. When there, they combined pictures of rings that my best friend had shown him from my Pinterest to design a one of a kind ring, just for me.

When I say everyone knew I mean everyone- my best friend who helped him plan, his two friends who drove to Brooklyn with him in one day, everyone single one of our coworkers and all of his clients! We came into work together the next morning to a room of applause, flowers, and champagne. I gained a few wrinkles from smiling ear to ear all weekend, and truthfully I haven’t stopped smiling since!

Special Thanks

Chris Mazzarella
Photographer