Natasha and Chris

Natasha's Proposal in Rome, Italy

How We Met

I knew ‘of’ Chris in Grade 10 History class. He was often absent and missed homework/assignments; so every now and then he would message me on MSN messenger (good ol’ days) asking me for the homework he missed. To be quite honest, I found him annoying at times. He had a girlfriend and other people to ask, but he chose to bother me instead! I survived with him in Grade 10 History. Grade 11 went by, and I think he still had a girlfriend and I was in a ‘relationship’ if you can even call it that. Chris and I weren’t close or anything. Then finally grade 12 begins. We both signed up for our school’s Biotechnology Program, which meant we would have all 4 periods of class together for an entire semester, with a mid-way Montreal trip. Chris sat in front of me in all 4 classes. It randomly worked out that way. We had a class meeting with all our parents/guardians early on in the semester regarding our future trip to Montreal. My mother made a comment, almost immediately. something along the lines of “who is that cute boy sitting in front of you.”

Like any other 17 year old, I immediately told my her to mind her own business, ew, that is Chris we are friends. After that night we started becoming closer. Competing with our school marks (we were kinda nerdy). Every test was a competition on who scored higher. I think I only won once *rolls eyes*. Our Montreal trip comes along. I roomed with my girlfriends at the time, and Chris was down the hotel hall with the boys. Whenever we had ‘free time’ on this trip a few of us always hung out together. One of our class outings was for dinner and 4 of us sat together (Chris and I included). The waiter was most definitely flirting with Chris. Chris was most definitely not interested, so I opted to help him out and came up with the brilliant idea of ‘pretending’ we were dating. Which really just meant holding hands in the restaurant so the waiter could see. After that we spent every minute of ‘free time’ together, BUT just as friends. When we got back to school in Toronto we became super close. And I really do mean we were just friends.

Wedding Proposal Ideas in Rome, Italy

He was my best friend. And everyone was aware. Along came Valentine’s day which happened to be our school’s semi formal. Typically Grade 12 students don’t attend, because they wait until prom. But, we said what the heck. Let’s go anyways. I convinced Chris to come, which was a huge ordeal because he hates dancing. But being a great friend he came. I helped him pick out his outfit, and I had a new purple dress I planned to wear. That night, I hated my dress and the only other thing I had to wear was a white and black dress…. which coincidentally matched what Chris was wearing. Long story short, everyone started to question our ‘friendship’ after that night because our outfits matched [even though he danced with SOMEONE ELSE; how rude, I know!!]. At school we were still just best friends. Somehow in one of our classes we started talking about Finding Nemo, and I mentioned how it was one of my favorite movies. Chris hadn’t seen it, so he asked me to go over his house and watch it with him.

This was around the start of May 2009. So one night I went over his house and we watched Finding Nemo. After the movie he pulled out a fortune from his wallet, that he got from dinner that night. I wish I remember word for word what it said, but it was something along the lines of “You are about to be surprised.” But it was too perfect of a moment. So I made the first move and kissed him. We started going on walks by the Humber River together after school. Sat on ‘our bench’ and talked, and kissed….etc. One day an old man stopped to ask us when we were getting married, and we weren’t even ‘official’ yet. But I think that old man encouraged Chris to ask me to be his girlfriend. After that it was clear that we were more than best friends.

Natasha and Chris's Engagement in Rome, Italy

How He Asked

For as long as I’ve known Chris, he knows how much I love to travel. I’ve been so fortunate to have visited so many places, all thanks to my parents! Out of all the places I have seen, Rome (Italy) is by far my favorite place in the world. I have been to Italy 4 times, and ever since the first time I was in front of the Trevi Fountain I was mesmerized. I could sit in front of it for hours and hours, just staring. Chris had never been to Italy. He really didn’t care much for travelling. We went on a Cruise down south after graduating from Ryerson together, which was fun. But I was ready to do something big! Like Europe. So after graduating Teachers College and Chris (somewhat) finished up his Masters, we (as in I) planned a 23 day trip in Italy. We left on a day when my parents and sisters were getting back from their vacation in Jamaica.

It was hectic! We had backpacks, luggage, carry ons etc. Little did I know, 30 mins before we left is when Chris told my parents he was going to propose in Italy. The ring was in his backpack. Thinking back to that day, he was so nervous going through security at the airport because he had to empty his bag! (Poor guy). We spent 4 days in Cinque Terre, 4 days on the Amalfi Coast before heading to Rome. We took the train everywhere. He was super quiet on the train, on his phone the whole time. I even asked him what he was doing a few times… “looking at pictures” was his response. But he was actually writing his proposal ‘speech’. Our FIRST night in Rome was low key. We checked into the most AMAZING hotel ever. Right outside our window was the Trevi Fountain, it was a dream come true. I was at my favorite spot in the world, with my favorite person. We went to a very casual restaurant for dinner, and walked around in the touristy area. We went and sat in front of the Trevi Fountain around 1:00 am. Believe it or not, we were not alone.

Around 2:30 am we were 2 of 8 people present, it was great. Chris wanted to throw a coin in and make a wish, so I set up the self timer on my phone, he had it switched to video instead of photo. We stood there, threw the coin in and right as it hit the water he got down on one knee and said his speech!

I am so happy I have it on video because it was such a blur. I started to cry right away! Happy tears of course. After I said yes we had some cheering from the group of teenagers who were watching. My family immediately FaceTimed me because they were live streaming it from back home in Toronto (cool, right?) and were waiting hours for it to happen. On our second last night in Rome, Chris passed out and I had free time on the internet. I had a brilliant idea of finding a photographer who could take some professional photos for us while we were still in Rome. I really wanted pictures by the Trevi Fountain, but to have that done with less than 5 tourists in the background, it had to be at 6:30 am on a Saturday! So I booked it!

Chris was most definitely not amused when I told him, but looking back at the amazing pictures we now have, I am sure he is thankful I planned an impromptu photo shoot for us :) I’ve always wanted a long engagement, so we are taking our time and waiting until April 2019 to tie the knot!

Our Video

Watch more proposal videos & follow @HowHeAsked on Instagram for more stories!

Special Thanks

Dmitry Agishev
Photographer