Balint and Andrea

How we met

Balint and I met in our MBA program at Wharton; we had many classes together but didn’t interact often the first few months. The first personal conversation both of us recall was when I noticed his cool chambray sneakers and paid him a passing compliment after class one day – “hey, I like your sneakers!” Literally, that was it, and I walked out of class, thinking nothing of it. Balint then ran and told his buddy, “I think that girl likes me!” Talk about a confident (or omniscient) man…

Over time, our occasional chats on campus at school transitioned into afternoon walks home (we would take the longer, more scenic route!) and a few fun evenings out. I was excited to find out that we grew up only 30 minutes from each other in NJ despite taking completely different paths between our high school years and arrival at business school. Balint had attended the US Military Academy at West Point and was a Chinook helicopter pilot in the Army for the next 7-8 years. He lived in Alabama, Germany, Honduras, and deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. Meanwhile, I stayed generally put in the northeast, attending Cornell and working in finance in Manhattan for the 5 years to follow. We expected to have very little in common but fostered a great connection quickly, enjoying each other’s jokes and quirks, and appreciating each other’s values and character.

How he asked

Since moving from the east coast to California together, we have loved exploring the beauty surrounding our new home. We often take weekend trips around the Bay Area (e.g., Yosemite, Napa, Sonoma, Lake Tahoe) and around the West Coast. We hadn’t been anywhere in awhile and were beginning to get stir crazy. Mid-week, we came up with the idea of checking out Mendocino, a cute coastal town 3 hours north of San Francisco.

We booked a last-minute weekend hotel reservation and looked up a few activities. Saturday morning, we awoke to a gorgeous but typical overcast March view of the cliffs and Pacific Ocean. After a waterfall hike in Russian Gulch State Park, we walked through the Mendocino Botanical Gardens and found a completely secluded spot along the cliffs for a wine and cheese picnic. He had set up his Go-Pro on a boulder so we could get a photo together by the cliffs as there was no one around to take it.

As we posed for the photo, he made a little speech and then got down on one knee and proposed! We couldn’t be more excited for our married life together.

Special Thanks

Pinnel Photography
photographer