Brittani and Vito

Brittani and Vito's Engagement in The Pittock Mansion in Portland, Oregon

How We Met

The first time I ever laid my eyes on Vito, I was passing through Lumpkin Hall, which is the business department of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, IL. I cut through Lumpkin Hall daily as a shortcut to get to my classes across campus. On one particular day as I was strolling through Lumpkin HalI, I passed the tutoring area where I saw the most beautiful man I had ever seen. He took my breath away. Not only was he handsome – he was smart! He was tutoring an accounting student, and needless to say, I was smitten! I noticed he had a black hoodie on with big Greek letters across the front. He was in a frat. Well, lucky for me, I was in a sorority, and I had a vast network of contacts at my disposal to find out who this hunk was!

Fast forward a few months later, my sorority sisters and I were having a small get together at our house one weekend. My roommates and I were busy picking out our outfits for the night, listening to 2000s hip-hop throwbacks, and getting amped for a night out on town. I was halfway through straightening my hair and finishing up a sloppy smokey eye when the doorbell rang. It was still early, but I figured a few of our guests wanted to get a head start on the evening and come hangout. I ran downstairs and whipped open the front door: VITO WAS STANDING AT MY FRONT DOOR.

He was there with some friends of a guy friend, but I didn’t care about my other guests (sorry, guys). VITO. WAS. AT. MY. HOUSE. I’m sure my jaw dropped to my cheap and battered 7-inch black platform pumps. I couldn’t even utter a “hello.” A few seconds passed, and Vito finally broke the silence, “Um, hi, may we come in?” I gestured for them to come in and get adjusted in the kitchen and then I LEGIT sprinted upstairs to my roommates and tried not to scream, “Vito is in the house. Vito is here. Vito. He is here! What do I do?!” I was sweating. Giddy. Smiley. ECSTATIC.

 

Not too long after, me and all my gals were downstairs and we had joined up with the guys (not sure who else was there besides Vito, but I had tunnel vision). We started to play the game “Racecar,” and had made it a few times around the circle when I thought I’d be cute and “slam the breaks” and “shift gears” when everyone stopped and laughed. And Vito declared, “I love this girl.” I laughed. Not necessarily at my own joke, but at the overwhelming feeling in my heart of knowing that no matter what, I was going to marry this man. And now here we are. Five years later. Engaged to be married.

Brittani's Proposal in The Pittock Mansion in Portland, Oregon

Proposal Ideas The Pittock Mansion in Portland, Oregon

How He Asked

I’m not going to sugar coat it – I was ready for a ring. For years, I told Vito at least a few times a week that I would skip an extravagant wedding to just drop everything and elope. Nothing else mattered. I wanted to be married to my best friend. Wedding or no wedding. Well, my sweet Vito wouldn’t want anything less than perfection for our engagement and wedding, so he made it happen.

We had been wanting to visit Portland, Oregon for months, so we randomly booked a trip one day. We were so excited to explore a new city. The food, the coffee, the hiking – we were ready for an adventure! Vito is a planner, so I wasn’t too surprised when he said that he had a whole day of hiking planned for us during our second day of the trip. As we embarked on our 2-mile hike up the mountain to the historic Pittock Mansion, he pulled me close, kissed me, and let me know how happy he was in that moment. It was the sweetest thing.

As we approached the mansion, we both stopped in awe to admire the city of Portland from the overlook. Still not sure if it was the elevation or the include of the mountain we had just climbed, but my heart rate was elevated. Deep down, I knew what was going to happen. I had butterflies. We made our way to the front of the mansion when Vito asked a random stranger (thank you sir so much) to take our photo.

RED FLAG: VITO DESPISES PHOTOS. In that moment I knew. Before I knew it, he pulled out a gorgeous oval solitaire ring, dropped to his knee and before he could finish asking if I’d spend the rest of my life with him, I said yes, grabbed his handsome face, and kissed him with all my night. I’m not sure what I did in this life to deserve such an amazing, caring, and devoted man, but there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t appreciate how lucky I truly am.