Lauren and Benji's Venice Proposal

How We Met

Benji and I met through mutual friends who I had met when I studied abroad in Strasbourg, France two years earlier. The moment I first saw him, I knew he would one day be my husband!

We went on a couple long walks together while I was in France, but we didn’t officially started dating (long distance) until about a year after we met. Our relationship formed over Facebook and text messages and long talks on Skype. We wrote letters to one another and I was thrilled when I received “the” letter, asking me to be his girlfriend!

He came to visit me for Christmas in 2014 and it was such a magical time! He came again in June and we fell deeper and deeper in love. When I went over to France in September to visit, he had the most amazing surprise….

New York City

How He Asked

When I arrived in France, I already knew he was going to propose (it was me who brought the ring over for him — but I of course hadn’t seen it yet)! However, I didn’t know the time or place, so I spent the first few days just enjoying the time I got to spend with him. After all, 6,025 km isn’t a short distance!

When I got out of the bathroom after getting ready one morning, I saw two notecards on the desk in my room. On one of them it had “Life is an adventure” on one side and “L&B” on the other. The second card read “Travel List” on the front and the back had a list of everything I needed to pack (passport and “robe de soirée” included in the list)! — Needless to say, I packed immediately.

Once I was finished, I ran downstairs and asked him what the cards were about. He simply replied with “I don’t know.” I said “no, but really — when do we leave?!” He told me that we would leave in the morning — I mentioned that I may have already packed and was already ready to go!

The next morning we woke up at 4am so we could catch a flight at 7. I still had no clue.

When we got to the Lufthansa airport in Germany, Benji was having trouble finding the terminal, so we walked up to someone who worked at the airport to ask where it was. He couldn’t find it on the map of the airport so he asked Benji for the tickets. “Oh, this is in the other Frankfurt airport,” he said casually. Other airport?! — There was no way we were going to make it on time. Our flight would leave in an hour and it would take an hour and a half to get there…

Poor Benji was so upset. He had planned everything to the T, so now everything was all jumbled. We walked up to the “last minute ticket” booth and this is where the surprise was revealed. Benji mentioned to the worker what had happened and the man said, “okay, I’ll see what I can do for you. Where are you headed?”

“Venice.”

My heart started pounding and I felt like I was going to jump out of my skin! Venice?! Could that be any more romantic?

After speaking with the man for a bit, we decided that we would take the train instead. (What’s so bad about a 10 hour train ride through the Alps?)

On the train ride, Benji was able to move our reservation to 9 rather than 6. Although we lost a day in Venice, we gained a beautiful tour of the Swiss and Austrian mountains. Absolutely breathtaking.

We arrived at the train station in Venice and were so excited to have finally arrived! The moment we stepped out onto the steps in front of the station, I was blown away. Beautiful cobblestone stairs led into a sidewalk where people were sitting and *being* which led into a busy canal full of boats and gondolas. I felt like I had walked onto the set of a movie!

We found our room and had time to get cleaned up and I put on my “robe de soirée.” We walked the peaceful streets and were right on time for our dinner reservation. (Miraculously!)

We ate slowly and drank the most amazing sparkling white wine. Enjoying each other’s company and taking in the breathtaking cathedral across the canal — laughing as a gondola floats by with a bachelorette party singing their hearts out.

Once we finished the last bite of the most amazing tiramisu we’ve ever tasted, Benji paid the bill and we walked into the calm night. He asked if I wanted to walk around the city and I eagerly accepted.

Finding a bridge in a little cove, we decided to stop and take in the moment. Smelling the salt water, hearing the echo of footsteps in the distance. Everything was perfect.

“I have something for you,” he said, breaking the silence. He leaned down and pulled something out of the small bag he had brought. As he was getting it out, he gracefully shifted his weight and dropped to one knee.

“Lauren, veux-tu m’épouser ? J’aimerai que tu sois ma femme.”

I immediately said yes (and started crying). We hugged and almost slow danced to the sound of the water. Everything was perfect.

When I couldn’t hold it in any longer, I asked if I could see the ring (I had been too excited about the words, I hadn’t even looked at it yet)! It was perfect.

We wanted to celebrate, so we found the one open bar and bought a bottle of wine. We went back to the room and changed into comfy clothes and then went back out and sat on some stairs that led down into the water. We drank and laughed and talked for what seemed like forever.

Engagement Announcement

St Mark's Basilica

Capturing the Cove

lauren-benj-wedding-252

— Now 3 months later, we’re already married! Benji is back in France and we’re submitting the spousal visa paperwork to get him over to the US so we can finally be together. We’ve decided to share this crazy adventure with the world, so we’ve created the Instagram account @itsanadfrenchure. Our hope is that people in long distance relationships will be encouraged by our experiences!

L&B Wedding

L&B Wedding First Look

L&B Wedding Laughs

Special Thanks