Bernard and Denisse

How We Met

Denisse has been living in New York City for about 4 years after moving from her hometown Miami, Florida, as I had just moved from Abu Dhabi after 3 years, and had wanted to live in NYC my whole life. Dating in New York City is not easy. All you see are fleeting faces of people that are there and gone in an instant with no time to remember a face or catch a glance. I remember my Mom telling me to get serious and go online and put in exactly what it is that I was looking for. A little over a month of being in NYC, I decided to follow my Mom’s advice. It was my first week of being online and I entered in all that was important to me, most importantly what type of person would match exactly what I’m looking for. The very first person that I took a real notice of was Denisse. She blew me away with all of the amazing values that she possesses. I honestly felt I had zero chance seeing how amazing her profile was, but gave it a shot anyway by messaging her. I checked and checked after a couple days, and nothing. The evening I was about to give up because of all the other profiles that seemed to not hold a candle to her, she messaged me. We talked for a couple weeks and then decided to meet up to see if there was the chemistry that we heard from each other. The night of our first meeting was the night I canceled my membership because I knew that there was no need anymore to search.

Where to Propose in Paris, France

The funny thing is, I come to find out through our conversation that she had initially canceled her membership and through some “error” (God’s Grace), she was extended another month. She was very unhappy about this and called before our conversations to cancel and they couldn’t. So she just kept it for another month…and then she received my message. It was August 27, 2016, New York City. I’m waiting in the corner booth at this wonderful little French restaurant in the West Village for an hour and a half contemplating if I’ve been stood up, or if the New York City traffic is just That Slow! I wanted to believe the latter, so I waited. I had nothing to lose, and the two old fashioned’s I had while waiting, calmed my nerves and eased the pain of a possible third drink.

To my delight, this stunning and confident woman walks in as I stood in attention and gives me a handshake and an embrace. We talked for hours and never ate a thing at that restaurant. We apologized to the server and I said that we’d be back to eat next time, never knowing that a year later on the exact date, in the exact spot, we would finally eat there. Little did I know that Paris would stick with us in every occasion as our relationship grew from that moment on. Ever since that day, we’ve never been apart. We built our relationship on a foundation of faith first. I remember, seeing her praying so intently, with her eyes closed so tightly, and her hands held out, at that moment I fell completely in love with her. I didn’t know that a woman that strong, could show so much faith and vulnerability amidst the chaos that was outside those church doors. We frequented Central Park on Sunday’s and danced to our favorite song “La Vie en Rose” every time we heard it. It didn’t matter where, I took her by the hand, twirled her around and started dancing.

How He Asked

After Denisse and I been dating for awhile, we decided to book a trip to Italy. I had the proposal all planned out with Venice being the perfect backdrop for my proposal. The day before we were to leave to Italy, Denisse and I had to make a decision on whether to go or not due to her coming down with an unforeseen health scare a month back. The Dr’s advised against it and did not recommend her to go just in case she was to get worse overseas. So we made the sad decision to put Italy on hold. We were both devastated but knew it was the right decision. I canceled everything and came up with an alternative plan that turned out to be the truly perfect backdrop. On one of our Sunday’s at the hospital, we decided to book a trip to Paris for a brief holiday. After receiving blessings from all family members to ask for her hand in marriage, we were on the next plane to Paris with a ring in my carry-on and my future on my left side, we walked through the city of lights. The morning of the 19th of November, I played it calmly as I could without giving away any inclination of the life-changes we will be going through. We visited the Eiffel tower on a beautiful early afternoon and waited in line to see the city from above.

As we were about to enter, I came to discover that there were 2 security checks that we must go through in order to enter the tower. Here’s where I started to get nervous. I had the ring in my coat pocket and had to somehow, without her noticing, let the security guards know I had a ring on me. Luckily with a little finesse and sly messaging, the security guards let me slide through without Denisse even noticing. After the Eiffel, I told her that we had a reservation at a restaurant at a certain time and that we couldn’t be late. At the bottom of the Eiffel, we took some pictures, but me knowing what was coming, I had to rush us through. Denisse wasn’t too happy about that. We left the Eiffel and walked from the replica of the Statue of Liberty at the far end of Ile aux Cygnes to the Pont de Bir-Hakeim where I had a photographer and violinist awaiting our arrival.

Approaching the Eiffel Tower from a distance on the bridge, the violinist saw us walking up the steps and began to play our song as we approached. Funnily, we heard our song three times that day! Now, it’s nothing new to us hearing our song wherever we go, so she didn’t really think anything of it. She saw a photographer taking pictures of the violinist with the tower in the background and thought that it was just a photo shoot. I walked with her over to where the violinist was playing and I twirled her around and we began to dance. As we were dancing, she looked at me as my eyes were filling up with tears of joy, and she asked me what was going on? With her eyes also full of joyful tears knowing that somehow this dance is different, I twirled her once again, took a knee, and poured out my heart.

Special Thanks

Stephanie Trouve
Photographer