Lisa and Gilad

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How We Met

We first met at a hoedown thrown by a friend who throws epic parties, JJ McKay.  I had been invited and though none of my friends could go, I had a new suede fringe skirt and I was determined to wear it!

I showed up and knew no one.  As luck would have it, JJ introduced me to the team from Utrip, a local tech startup.  They were a great group of people and I ended up hanging out with them for the whole evening.  A few of them mentioned their founder, Gilad, but I assumed he had to be someone older (you know, an adult).

At the end of the evening Gilad arrived with a couple of friends, one I had actually known forever.  We chatted briefly and then headed for home.

The next week JJ gave Gilad my number and said, you have to call this girl.  He did and the message somehow was unplayable on my phone.  I tried for a couple of days and then gave up assuming that if it was important whoever it was would call back.

Fortunately, he did call back!  This time I missed his call because I was in LA for work.  I figured I would call him back later that day, but forgot!  Now I am normally a very organized, conscientious person, but something else came over me that weekend.

I got home Monday and realized my mistake.  I was horrified that this poor boy had now called me twice and I hadn’t returned his call!  I called him immediately and was relieved when it went to voicemail.  The next morning he texted me suggesting that that may be easier…

How He Asked

I am in the jewelry business and have been honored to help countless friends get engaged, but getting engaged myself was even better than I had imagined.  I am still in shock that we are getting married, that it all really happened, and that I have a beautiful ring on my finger!

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I was sitting at my desk one Saturday and my brother, Marc, walked in to my office (its a family business).

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He asked how the day was going and then handed me a card.

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I opened it and it was a pair of matchsticks hugging and read “A perfect match”.  We were supposed to babysit for our nephew Asa that afternoon, so the card read:

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“Hey Babe, Change of plans for today.  Please uber to the Fairmont Hotel’s Georgian Room for a surprise.  We will see Asa later on.  Enjoy!  Love, G  *Please arrive at 2pm – Fairmont Hotel” I looked up, stunned.  I knew what it meant, but still asked, “What do I do now?”  to which Marc replied, “You should probably put something on for tea”!

I dashed out of the office and hopped in an uber.  They asked how my day was going and I replied “I think I’m getting engaged!”.  They said “That’s nice” and drove on.

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I flew through my house trying to decide what to wear.  I facetimed a friend in Boston to help make the selection.  Being a jeweler, I carefully selected jewelry that had special meaning on this day – a watch from my parents that is engraved ‘Lisa, you are our pride and joy’, a ring I purchased for myself, earrings that have one diamond from my grandmother’s engagement ring and one from my great grandmother’s wedding ring, and one of the first necklaces I designed.

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I made it to the Fairmont, shaking slightly, walked in expecting to see Gilad.  I didn’t see him, but his two closest girlfriends (and now good friends of mine) waved me enthusiastically over.  I sat down, excited to see them and have tea, but a bit confused about what was happening.  They said, “We’re having tea!”.  We ordered tea and then I asked if I should ask them any questions.  They said that I could ask, but they wouldn’t tell me anything.  After about forty minutes they told me that I would have to eat a little faster and eventually gave me my next card.

The card had a fluffy white cat in between chocolate and graham crackers and read “I want s’more of you!”  Inside it said “Hi Babe, I hope you enjoyed the tea and stories.  I can’t wait for our next tea adventure!  Your next surprise awaits you at 1427 5th Ave.  You’ll know it when you see it.  Love, G”

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I walked (or maybe skipped) down the street to Julep, my favorite nail salon.  Does he know me or what?!  I thought.  I walked in and I saw my friend Miranda and my friend Ellen who had flown in from Dallas!  I couldn’t contain myself, it was all happening!  The three of us chatted and got our nails done.  Part way through, another friend, Allie, facetimed to share a memory with me that started the tears.  They handed me the next card.

The next card read, “Congratulations for being sexy and intelligent at the same time”.  It told me that my 30th birthday was one of his favorite nights (we had gone champagne tasting) and that he wanted to recreate a small part of it.  I walked around the block to that restaurant only to find not only a bottle of pink champagne, but my friends Lauren and Laura who had flown in from Los Angeles!

The three of us giggled through our glasses of champagne and tried to contain our excitement for what was happening.  They handed me my final card that read, “You are my bucket list”.

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It told me to go to where we went on our first date, to walk up the stairs and I’d see him.  He couldn’t wait.  Neither could I at that point, I had literally been shaking for a few hours at that point.

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I arrived at the bar, walked up the stairs, and in a perfect movie moment, the bartender asked, “Is that her?” and Gilad turned around with two glasses of champagne.  He walked me in to a room we had to ourselves with perfectly romantic music playing in the background (you can’t beat a little Frank Sinatra and Boys 2 Men).

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He had red roses waiting for me as we sat down by the window.  He looked up at me, with tears in his eyes, got down on a knee and pulled out the most beautiful, wooden jewelry box.

He asked if I recognized the box, I didn’t.  He explained that it is the new special occasion jewelry box for Ben Bridge and I was the very first to have it.  He got down on a knee, told me how much he loved me and how he wanted to spend his life with me, and presented my perfect engagement ring. We celebrated, hugged, cried, toasted the moment and then hopped in a car to tell my parents.

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We got to my parents house and opened the door to find my whole family, Gilad’s family who came in from Spokane, and all of our friends who were a part of the proposal and their significant others.

My parents had planned a beautiful celebration for us (a glittering sign that read “Mazel Tov Lisa and Gilad”, straws with engagement rings adorning them, and of course delicious food) and we soaked in the moment as best we could.

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It’s still hard to believe that it happened.  I look down at my ring and get lost in not only the beauty, but also the symbolism and the promise of spending our lives together, as a loving, happy team.

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