Ariana and Clayton
How We Met
Ari and I first met in the USA Track and Field athlete lounge at the 2016 Rio Olympics in the athlete village. She and a few other athletes were playing Uno and joined in to play. I’m pretty sure she probably beat me and however, they were playing with slightly different rules than I was used to in my defense. Ari and I hung out a few times in the village with our friends getting McDonald’s or enjoying the Rio nightlife post competition with other track athletes. Following Rio, we stayed in touch as friends until the day came when we decided to start dating.
How He Asked
Proposing to Ari for me was a challenge for me as we had discussed marriage, dates, location, and even hired ROQUE Events as our wedding planner. So she really knew it was coming and began asking me on a regular basis trying to get me to slip when I may do it. However, with the help of ROQUE Events, our family and closest friends I was able to pull off a complete surprise of a proposal. It was about 5 weeks in the making from the day the plan originated, and I had to stick to my story for 5 weeks that I had no time to shop for a ring and that I wanted to really make it perfect so with my travel schedule I was really unable to put in the time I wanted to. Ari completely bought this story up until the minute I got onto one knee.
The proposal was set in Napa Valley, where we plan to get married, yet she thought we were there just to enjoy time away and look at wedding venues. I worked closely with ROQUE Events and the vendors they recommended to make the day perfect, romantic and keep it a complete surprise. We started our day with a wine tasting tour in the morning followed by lunch in downtown St. Helena. After, Ari and I visited Schramsberg Vineyards where we were able to take an ATV tour around the winery and taste their wine with the winemaker, thanks to ROQUE Events and Napa Private Tours. Ari was getting tired during this tour and I began to worry if she was going to make to dinner without being too tired.
As we went back to our suite at Las Alcobas to get ready, the nerves began to set in, I knew she had no idea it was coming but my plan was so close to being perfect I didn’t want to mess it up. I began thinking and rethinking about what to say how I was going to do it, what hand to put her ring on, to what knee I was going to put on the ground. Our driver picked us up from our hotel and took us to Auberge du Soleil for what Ari thought was a 7:00 pm dinner reservation, yet everyone but she knew it was really an 8:00 pm. After the hostess told Ari and me that our table wasn’t going to be ready just yet, we went on a walk through the resort. Ari was actually pretty upset that our table wasn’t ready and again I was worried she wouldn’t want to walk all the way to the pagoda that was completely decorated for the moment. But without tipping her off I got her to walk down all the stairs and to the “spot.”
As we walk up to the spot I kept her distracted by drawing attention to a sculpture that we argued whether it was an elk or a moose or a something else. Until she finally saw the balloons that spelled our Will You Marry Me” and even then she thought we were walking into someone else’s proposal. EV Floral filled the room with rose petals and beautiful arrangements under the balloon sign. Once I finally got her inside, I got so nervous I got on one knee and tried to recite my lines I had practiced, rethought, and rewrote a thousand times.
The moment was perfect, she had no idea, looked stunning and the setting couldn’t have been better. Christina from c.m. elle studios was hiding behind the trees to capture the special moment! A special thank you to everyone who made that day so special for us and one we will never forget! Raquel and Carly of ROQUE Events were such a huge help and I could not have pulled that off without them! We are excited to work with them again as they plan our luxurious wedding set for December 2019.