Arianna and John

How We Met

John and I did not meet the old fashion way. We both swiped right! Yep, that’s right, Tinder! After chatting on the Tinder app for a week, John finally asked for my number. I can remember waking up almost every morning for a week to a “good morning” text. How sweet right? Those good morning texts eventually led to a “would you like to meet?” text. To be completely honest, I was scared. I had never been on a blind date before, especially with someone who I had never met, but of course, I agreed. The date was set, Friday, September 19, 2014. Meeting location set for Lola’s in Providence, RI (unfortunately they have closed their doors for good). I mean who says “no” to nachos and margaritas… but in my mind, I was going to! When Friday morning came around I thought it would be best that I cancel. I then texted my friend Nicole, a current Tinder user at the time, and asked if she would be willing to come along with me just for some moral support. You know maybe sit somewhere at the bar and spy. I was just plain nervous. Nicole, unfortunately, could not make it because of a Yankee game that night in Boston. By that afternoon I had found some confidence to just go and meet John at Lola’s. a major step out of my comfort zone! Fortunately, when I got there, there was a parking spot right in front of the restaurant, something that never happens in the city of Providence. There was some luck in that I felt. As I glanced at the door, I could see a man standing with his back against the building. Heart beating and hands shaky I approached him and asked if he was John. It was certainly him as he came in for a hug. We decided to talk and get to know each other over a mound of nachos and $5 margaritas. The topic of conversation that dominated the night was the fact that we were both FBI, aka Full Blooded Italians. What were the chances?! As we talked we kept discovering that our families, in fact, share all the same traditions. I knew at that point this was not going to be the failed first-date. We actually talked so much we never finished the nachos (If you know us well, that is something that never happens). At the end of the evening I drove John back to his car and to my surprise, there was no kiss, just a hug. I questioned if he even liked me, but I figured, how respectful. At the time, I had just graduated college, therefore I was still living under my parent’s roof trying to piece life together. Every weekend after September 19th, I would say “I’m going out with the girls” but that excuse only lasted so long before my parents caught on. I actually did not tell any of my closest friends about John until several weeks after meeting him. 4 years later, we continue to celebrate September 19th as the first night we met and found forever love in each other. John likes to joke and call it “the night I almost stood him up”. The best part of this Tinder success story is that I downloaded the app not anticipating finding a husband. John happened to be my first “swipe right” and our first (and only) date using the assistance of Tinder.

How He Asked

One of the best features of Rhode Island has to be its scenery. It definitely gets the title the “Ocean State” for a reason. On November 10th John chose our favorite spot at Beavertail State Park in Jamestown, RI for a picnic. This State Park is completely surrounded by the glistening ocean with shared views of Newport and Narragansett, RI. As a URI graduate, Narragansett is very near and dear to my heart. There is a particular spot we usually choose at Beavertail from time to time that faces an oceanside community in Narragansett, called Bonnett Shores (I lived there for a year). That same spot is where we had our pre-engagement picnic.

The day called for high winds but that didn’t keep us away from bringing our Nikon camera to shoot some pictures of the fall foliage at Beavertail with an ocean backdrop. To my surprise, during the week John had purchased a tripod for our camera. While sitting and admiring the sunny fall day, John asked for me to stand and take a photo with him.

I wasn’t fond of what the wind was doing to my hair, but I got my bottom up off the chair and stood beside him. John began to hug me and fall deeply into some heartfelt words while one hand continued to sit in his coat pocket. As the hand came out of his pocket I could see that he began to lower and take a knee. I, at that moment, thought it was a great idea to get low with him… and that’s when I knew “it” was happening. Being Italian we like to cry of course, but we can also be extremely loud, so it was fitting that all I could do was scream and JUMP!

Where to Propose in Beavertail State Park

This is all without even seeing the ring! Insert more screaming and jumping as I lock eyes with the brightest diamond I had ever seen. John then goes over behind my chair and picks up a bottle of Champagne that read “The Future Centonze’s” on the label. The best part…the entire proposal was recorded on our camera that sat on our new tripod. This particular weekend is very special to us as it happens to be the Greenvale Vineyard Harvest Festival every year, something we have been attending for the past 4 years.

This also happens to be the place I believe I fell in love with John four years ago. Wine is very dear to us as we make our own homemade red wine each year, so it was important to incorporate vino with this engagement.

Post engagement celebrations began at Greenvale with a bottle of their “Stepping Stone” wine while FaceTiming our family & friends. The night ended celebrating with our family at a new local Italian restaurant (of course). The smiling and jumping still continue today. Salute!

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