Maia and Sidney's Paris Proposal
How We Met – by Maia: I’ve known Sidney since middle school. He attended the same school as my cousins and was best friends with one of them. I had a crush on him since 7th grade – everybody knew! It wasn’t until college that we became friends and hung out. On Thursday, August 17th, 2006 (the day before his birthday) Sidney and I were together and we had our first kiss. The next day he came to visit me at my cousin’s house. The following Saturday, two days before he moved back on campus for RA training at UMass Amherst, we took a walk around his neighborhood and talked for hours about everything. That Monday he left for training but we still kept in contact. The few days we had been together were special enough to continue to get to know each other. On September 18, 2006 I questioned him about our status and his response was, “I had already been telling everybody that you’re my girlfriend.” We have been together for 8 years.
How He Asked – by Sidney: I knew that I wanted to propose in Paris for about two years before it happened. I was on assignment in the UK and thought of a plan to fly Maia out to London, take the train to Paris on the weekend and pop the question. However, the assignment ended sooner than expected and I was back in the states with no real plans other than knowing that Paris would be the place.
I was browsing Facebook in the fall of 2013 when I came across a status posted by Flavio D Photography. It read “If you are planning to propose anytime soon, let me know. I have a great idea that will make it special.” I quickly sent Flavio a text and got on the phone with him. His idea was to set up cameras in the Boston Common and secretly record the entire engagement so that the intimate moment can be shared with friends and family after the fact. I thought it was a great idea, but I explained that I wanted to propose in Paris, at the Eiffel Tower! We agreed that my idea was better and that I should probably continue with that plan. The problem was I had no plan or timeframe for the proposal. About a week later it hit me, why not do both!? I gave Flavio a call and we got to working on the details. Maia and I had long compiled a list of places to travel and I casually mentioned to her that we should start in Paris in May of 2014. I let her pick the dates and plan the entire trip.
Flavio and I scoped out the area using Google Maps and picked the location where he would set up and where I would take the knee. We agreed to use WhatsApp to communicate and I decided to name him Garret in my phone so that Maia wouldn’t catch on. On the day of the engagement I was awake super early and dressed. I had convinced Maia to get dolled up because a co-worker of mine, Garret, had recently transferred to the Paris office and had agreed to show us around and take nice pictures of us around the city.
Flavio flew in the morning of the engagement and needed a few hours to get set up. Maia and I headed to the Love Lock Bridge first, and then took a water taxi from the Norte Dame to the Eiffel Tower. When the water taxi docked, I received a message from Flavio saying that he needed 20 more minutes. We stopped at a bistro on the walk to get a bite to eat and to buy time. Maia had a baguette and I had a beer. Before she could finish eating, I had another beer. I was a bit nervous, but the beers helped me stay calm. Flavio gave me the go ahead and we headed towards the tower. Once we got to the meeting point all of my nerves were gone, it was just me and her. I said to her, “What if I told you I lured you all this way to ask you to spend the rest of your life with me?”
Photography and Videography by Flavio D Photography