Michelle and Juan

How We Met: We met during my college years at St. John’s University in Queens, NY, through mutual friends. Juan was a social butterfly visiting fraternity friends on campus and I was a shy sophomore navigating through college. I was warned about smooth talking fraternity men, so I steered clear. Life went on….As I approached my late 20’s, I still hasn’t found my perfect match so I turned to God and asked him to put a good man in my life.

Ironically, two weeks later our paths somehow crossed again through the power of social media. Juan pursued me, gave me his phone number a few times and casually asked me out on dates but I never accepted. I was hesitant and thought he still might be the same college guy I met years ago. So I played hard to get! Surprisingly, Juan caught my attention with his charismatic personality and after three weeks of chatting, I finally took up his offer and agreed to have dinner with him.

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I was excited on our first date and noticed that Juan was a complete gentleman, surprised me with flowers, opened doors, held my hand and took me to a romantic dinner in NYC. I was awed at his maturity and growth since our college years. It was the perfect timing in our lives, sparks flew and we had an immediate connection! We both had this feeling that we were going to love each other immensely and I thank God for uniting us. The rest is a fairy tale!

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How He Asked: While vacationing in Costa Rica last year, the resort offered us a professional photo shoot and the pictures came out beautiful. We enlarged the photos and decorated our new apartment with the best shots. Hence, it was no surprise when Juan told me he hired a photographer for our summer vacation in Santorini, Greece. Little did I know that Juan had secretly orchestrated this to be a surprise proposal!

I spent years dreaming about Greece and was ecstatic when we booked our adventure to visit Athens, Mykonos, Paros and Santorini. On July 28, 2015, our photographer captured beautiful shots of us throughout the winding streets of traditional white houses, a historical church, and at Oia, Santorini’s most famous sunset view over the startling blue Aegean Sea.

As we approached the stunning sunset, the photographer positioned us to face to face and said “are you ready to take romantic pictures?” (the cue for Juan to propose). The man of my dreams turned towards me and said I’m the most amazing woman he’s ever met and doesn’t know how he ever lived without me! Smiling from ear to ear, I noticed the tears in Juan’s eyes, my heart pounded and I wondered if this was the romantic moment I had waited my entire life for! And IT WAS! Juan reached into his back pocket, pulled out a gorgeous engagement ring and dropped down on one knee.

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I felt a rush of emotions fill up inside me and immediately started crying. I was completely captivated by the future I saw for us in his eyes and couldn’t believe how enchanting this moment was.

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Through happy tears and shaky hands, I said yes a few times and jumped into his arms! It was the most romantic, thoughtful and precious moment we will cherish for the rest of our lives.

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We returned to NY two days later and were anxious to share the good news with our family. I walked towards our front entrance with luggage and noticed a canopy in the back. To my surprise, my wonderful fiancé had also planned a surprise engagement party with our family and friends in the backyard!

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The amount of time he put into the epic proposal and the engagement party is unbelievable but he pulled it off! I couldn’t be happier to be marrying my best friend, my soul mate and my travel companion for life.

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Photos by: Kristo