Misty and Nando

How We Met: I had heard my friends Dan and Aaron talking about this guy Nando for months. Since I had known Dan and Aaron both for several years it was weird to me that they had a new friend out of the blue that I had never met. On Aaron’s 40th birthday, I happened to be on Facebook and saw that Dan had posted some new pictures and tagged Nando in them. Aha! I could finally at least see what this guy looked like. I spent a few minutes flipping through his profile pictures and thought he looked pretty interesting. He had a really sweet smile and more than anything, he liked to TRAVEL! I didn’t think much of it until I got to Aaron’s birthday party that night. Lo and behold, who is the first person I walk into? Yep. Nando. I introduced myself and he said his name was Fernando. I said, “oh, Nando?” He looked a little surprised that I knew his nickname, but leaving out my Facebook stalking, I just told him that Aaron and Dan had mentioned him in passing as Nando. We started talking and I was right about him. He WAS interesting. VERY interesting actually, and to top it all off he had the cutest Australian accent which I had never heard from an Asian guy before.

He asked what I did for a living and I internally groaned because no one ever understands when I tell them I work in automotive telematics. I said it and waited for the “what’s that?” that was sure to follow. He just stared at me and I was pretty sure I had lost any interest he had in me until he said “I did my undergraduate thesis in automotive telematics.” He then told me he was on an automotive telematics email newsletter list and if I gave him my email address he would be happy to forward it to me. I found out later that was his way to get my contact info because he was too nervous to ask for my phone number. :) We ended up talking for the entire party and then went out to the bar area and closed the bar down. During our conversation we had talked about how much we both liked karaoke so when we got kicked out of that bar we headed to a karaoke bar near his apartment. The place was empty, but I got on stage and sang Black Velvet with Nando watching me from right in front of the stage. When it was over, I stepped down and Nando said “that was beautiful!” and kissed me. We’ve been together every day since! :)

How He Proposed: We met in February 2011 and knew very quickly that we were going to be together forever. After only a few short months, we found out Nando was going back to Australia. He called my Dad to ask for his blessing and we set the date for our legal marriage – just 5 days before we had known each other 6 months! Being the complete romantic that he is, Nando still wanted to propose to me. He had exactly 5 weeks before our legal wedding to propose and I assumed there was going to be absolutely nothing he could do to surprise me – which completely stressed him out.

Two weeks before our civil ceremony, he still hadn’t proposed even though we had already put down a deposit on the venue for our public wedding in November! I was starting to think that we weren’t ever actually going to be officially engaged when he asked me to go to Portland, Oregon to go wine tasting for the weekend. Aha! Unfortunately though, I kept him SO busy that week with appointments for cake tastings and meetings with DJ’s that I didn’t think he could have possibly had time to go pick up my ring which I knew was being sized. The morning we left, he jumped out of bed and ran out of the room to throw clothes on. He walked out of the bathroom wearing the strangest outfit – hiking pants and a dress shirt. It struck me as odd but I just figured he wanted to look good in pictures, but still be comfortable on the 3 hour drive. The whole day was just relaxed for me – I had already written off the proposal since I didn’t think he’d had time to go and get my ring and I knew he wouldn’t propose without it – but in every photo I took, I kept having to tell him to smile!

Around 4:30, Nando said we had an appointment to get to, which I automatically assumed was for another wine tasting. Since I’d been to literally all of the wineries around there, I started grilling him about which one it was. As he started driving further and further away from wine country, I started telling him he must be lost because there were no wineries around there. After an hour or so of me nagging him, he pulled into the parking lot of an elementary school, drove up to the soccer field and said “we must be early.” I must have given him the weirdest look when I asked, “we’re late for a wine tasting in a soccer field?” He got on the phone and all I heard was “yeah, we’re here. At the soccer field. Okay, see you in a few minutes.” He then got out of the car, walked to the boot and pulled my tennis shoes out and told me to put them on. By this point I was completely confused – especially since he was now filming me as well. As I started to put the pieces together, he filmed my realization that we were about to go in a hot air balloon – one of the biggest things on my bucket list!

My first thought was how excited I was, followed closely by awww…this would have been a great way for him to propose. Too bad he didn’t have time to get my ring! The balloon showed up as I finished tying my shoes and we spent the next half an hour helping them fill it with air. We jumped into the basket just in time for it to lift off the ground and start floating away from the launch point. It was an absolutely stunning view made even more perfect by the silence of the flight and the warm sun just starting to set behind us. As I stared out across the landscape Nando tapped me and said my name. I didn’t want to miss a minute of the flight so I didn’t turn around but just muttered something like “huh?” He tapped me again and said, “Misty, I have some words for you…” I turned around in shock not believing that he was actually going to propose to me. He had written the sweetest poem for me about the night we met and it ended with the line, “I ask you Misty, will you marry me?” He got down on one knee in the basket and pulled my ring box out of the awful hiking pants he’d thrown on that morning – which I finally found out was actually to hide the ring box! Completely unable to believe he had managed to surprise me, I was in tears and had my hand over my mouth so I just nodded yes. We got married in a civil ceremony 13 days later!

The Saturday after Thanksgiving was our public ceremony and reception with family and friends from all over the world. Two weeks after that we left the United States and traveled for 6 weeks before arriving at our new home in Melbourne, Australia. This Friday, February 17, 2012 will be the one year anniversary of the day we met. I still can’t believe what a whirlwind the last year has been, or how lucky I am to have found Nando.

Photos by Amelia Soper Photography