How She Asked: Dani and Nicki's Proposals to Each Other
The Background: We met as sorority sisters (big and little) just about six years before we got engaged, although we instantly knew that our connection was more than sisters (we’re close). We knew the engagement was a long time coming, and wanted to ring it in with an amazing proposal and story or two.
We both graduated from law school in New York in May 2013 and took the bar exam in August. While we were studying for the bar exam, we went on an atypical study break brunch. In the middle of our meal, Dani announced that she wanted to propose in Europe on our post-bar trip. The rest of the day we researched rings online and and by the end of the day picked out exactly what we wanted. Two days later we hit up the diamond district in NYC with Nicki’s mom. We hopped along 47th street looking for a store that would be able to create what we had envisioned. The easy part was done.
For our entire third year in law school, we had been planning our one-month long post bar backpacking trip to Europe. Nicki has never been to Europe so we wanted to make sure to see all of the highlights. Dani always wanted to have the backpacking experience so we planned to travel across the continent by car, train, and cruise ship. We were away for one month exactly. We landed in Paris, road tripped with three friends from Paris to Marseille, made our way to Barcelona for a few days before catching our twelve-day cruise of the Mediterranean, saw Greece, Turkey, and concluded with a week in Italy.
Dani’s proposal: I had reserved the right to ask first, so that was settled. However, Nicki, having a type-A personality, naturally did not enjoy the uncertainty, and was concerned that if I did not propose right away in Paris that the rings would get lost or stolen. Moreover, we wanted to enjoy being engaged on the majority of our trip. I had not had the best experiences in Paris in the past so I knew the Paris proposal was not happening, but I wasn’t going to make her wait too long.
After an awesome and whirlwind 48 hours in Paris, we met up with my best friend from law school, a France native, her boyfriend, and another friend. The plan was to visit my friend’s relatives in three different towns on a 5 day road trip to Marseille. I planned to propose during this part of the vacation because I wanted my friend to take photos of the engagement, but I was just waiting for the right moment. That moment came the very next day.
After staying the night in Annecy, a beautiful city in the Alps, we all decided to go visit a castle nearby. I knew there wouldn’t be a better opportunity, so earlier that morning I hatched the full plan and snuck into my backpack to retrieve the ring. I was so nervous and excited, but I knew what I was going to say. As soon as we entered, I quickly scanned the area outside the castle for the perfect spot and found it. A low stone wall overlooking a beautiful alpine lake with a village reminiscent of Beauty and the Beast below. It was definitely a fairytale location.
I easily maneuvered Nicki into the spot, exclaiming about the beautiful view. When she was least expecting it, I pulled out her ring and launched into my proposal. Needless to say, she said yes! I mean how could she not, I proposed at a castle in the French Alps…nailed it.
After my part was done, I eagerly awaited my turn. I wasn’t sure when Nicki would pop the question, or as we call it now…counter-offer, but I had a feeling it would be when we were in Barcelona because she knows how much I love the city!
Nicki’s counter-offer: My priority was asking her before we set sail on our 12 day cruise from Barcelona to Venice. That gave me a week to come up with something as awesome as Dani’s proposal. I knew that Barcelona was Dani’s favorite city in Europe, so she would have to wait at least a few more days.
Our first night in Barcelona did not go as planned, as we discovered that our Airbnb apartment did not have air conditioning or a fan and Dani did not sleep at all. We had to do a bit of rearranging and, I knew I would have to wait until we felt settled in the city.
While we got our bearings, I had a little bit more stage fright and nerves than I thought. I chickened out the few times I carried the ring around the city and the timing was never right.
It was finally getting down to the wire. It was our last night before the cruise and we planned to go out to a nice dinner in the Plaça Reial to have paella (one of Dani’s favorite meals) at a recommended restaurant. We got dressed up in our nicest backpacking clothes and headed down Las Ramblas. We had a lovely table outside on the perimeter of the square where we were greeted by unique street performers while we took in the scene.
I’m fairy certain she knew it was coming after we ordered two glasses of cava (Spanish version of champagne). I couldn’t hold it in much longer and finally pulled out the ring and giggled and wore a cheesy grin. Dani asked “Aren’t you supposed to ask me something?” Duh! Well I asked, and she of course said yes.
Looking back on the pictures, I thought it would have made for a much better story if I had put the ring in the giant bowl of paella.
It was a great end to the first leg of our trip and a great beginning for the next part of our adventure.