Lara and Richard
How we Met
Richie and I first met around nine years ago at a mutual friend’s birthday at The Ivy. I recall Richie coming up to me and trying to start a conversation, but I was really not interested and just trying to have a good night out with my friends. I never spoke to Richie again that night and did not see him again until another two years later, when a mutual friend brought up Richie’s name in conversation. She told me he had seen photos of me on her social media and was asking about me. My friend asked if I would speak to him and I said “sure, why not!” (I am pretty sure she showed me a photo of him finishing a marathon with his shirt off, haha). I turned to my best friend who was sitting there at the time and when I asked her if she thought he was my type, she responded to me by saying “long term, yes!”
Richie started texting me and asked if I would meet with him for coffee. I agreed to meet with him and when we did, we just hit it off and did not stop talking for five hours, when the cafe started packing up their tables and chairs around us! Five years into our relationship, Richie received an incredible job offer in San Fransisco and relocated from Sydney to take on the job. For the past 1.5 years we have been managing a successful long-distance relationship which has surprised our friends, families and even total strangers, who seem to think that all long-distance relationships are doomed! We have passed one of the biggest relationship tests of all and I believe this is a testament to our unwavering commitment, loyalty, trust and respect towards each other.
How he Asked
Richie flew back to Sydney for a work trip and was traveling back and forth for a period of 3 weeks. The morning he was due to fly out we had breakfast before together before he had to go to the airport and before I headed to work. He had his bags packed and placed in the boot of the car, his passport was sitting on the table and the dropped me off to work. Richie texted me when he got on the ‘plane’ saying it was a mad rush but he made it, and would call me once he got back to the US.
Meanwhile, earlier on in the week, my best friend had texted me saying her boyfriend had been given a dinner voucher to go to Icebergs Dining in Bondi, however it was expiring next week and he couldn’t make it, so he suggested we go together and enjoy a girls night. A couple of days later, I received a phone call from my hairdresser saying I had won a competition to get a free cut, wash and blowdry, but the only catch was I had to come in on Saturday. I thought this all sounded great and I head to the salon on Saturday. My best friend had been texting me during the day saying she was excited to get dressed up and have cocktails- I thought this was all totally normal! I received an email from Richie on Saturday telling me he was having the worst day- his flight was delayed so he missed is connecting flight, and his US sim card wasn’t working so he could not turn his phone on. He told me he would call me once he got to his hotel.
Saturday evening arrived and my best friend came past to pick me up and head over to Icebergs. As we were approaching, we could see some cameras and lights and were stopped by a woman interviewing for ‘Bondi Singing Festival.’ She asked us a few questions and following the interview, we started walking towards the restaurant when a man in a suit started walking next to me singing Michael Jackson’s I Need You and trying to pass me a rose. I started laughing and didn’t think anything of it, and as I accepted the rose, more and more singers in suits started passing me roses and singing! As I was getting gently led by what was now 30 acapella singers, I realized I was not just here to have dinner with my best friend!
The singers led me down to Icebergs pool and I started to look around, overwhelmed with what was happening, when Richie appeared out of nowhere with a big bunch of red roses. He turned me to face the acapella singers who were now singing on the steps of Icebergs pool, when I could hear the sound of his air drone (his most newly acquired gadget)! buzzing behind my head! I turned around and could see the air drone hovering with the ring box dangling and tied to the drone.
Richie pulled out a pair of scissors from underneath his suit jacket and cut the cable, before getting down on one knee and asking “Will you marry me?” Of course I said yes! I could see a large sign saying ‘Marry me’ light up on the other end of the pool.
By this stage, the choir and all the restaurant patrons were standing on the balcony of Icebergs clapping and cheering, before I saw Richie’s best friend (who was hiding and controlling the drone), sister and friends come out from behind the rockery! It was the most indescribable experience and magnificent night of my life. I was overwhelmed by thousands of different emotions running through me, I remember just crying the entire time it was happening!
After the proposal, we headed up to the restaurant, toasted with champagne and had a beautiful first dinner together as an engaged couple! During dinner, Richie was telling me about the 6 months of planning he put into the proposal, and the 12 months of searching he put into finding the perfect diamond, and I was truly blown away by what he had done for me. Richie undersells and over-delivers when it comes to every aspect of life, and our proposal was the absolute epitome of this! I really felt like the luckiest girl in the world, and cannot wait to start this exciting next chapter with my best friend, better half and love of my life!