Nicole and Derek
How We Met
Her Perspective: Derek and I significantly crossed paths three times in our lives. First, when we both unknowingly vacationed in the same neighborhood in Cape Cod for our entire childhood. Second, when we sat a few desks apart in our design geometry class at Wentworth Institute of Technology. Third, almost three years later when on a whim we both happened to attend a Design Museum Boston event last minute in November of 2011. It was this third time that after being introduced by a mutual friend and spending a mere few minutes talking, sparks flew when we realized how much our lives aligned. We knew it was something we could not ignore and wanted to explore further. The very first things that stuck with me about Derek were his politeness and sparkly green eyes. He treated me with respect and I knew he was special. I’ll personally never forget the moment as I was leaving the event that night and I looked back to see Derek waiting in line for a beer (as one does), and thinking… “I bet I just met my soulmate“. That moment will stick with me forever.
His Perspective: It was my first semester at Wentworth, fall 2009. I was heading to my geometry class in my trusty-rusty Jeep, no doors and no top, lumbering through the hectic AM traffic on Parker St. on Wentworth’s campus. Being slightly distracted looking for a parking spot, I looked up and WOW crosswalk! I then abruptly slammed on the brakes in an effort to avoid running over a group of freshman girls who were crossing the street to the Annex Building. This is when I got my first glimpse of Nicole, and thought, “Who is that girl!? Hopefully she is in my class…” And sure enough, she was. Although we didn’t get to know each other well then, two years later at a Design Museum Boston event which both of us went to last minute, we truly connected. Having been informally re-introduced by a group of mutual friends, we carved out a few minutes amongst the noisy crowd to have a chat. I knew there was something special about her, mainly because of how she looked at me, but also by all of the common interests and experiences that we shared…it was a real magical moment, one that only a true soulmate could evoke.
How He Asked
His Perspective: It wasn’t long after the dust had settled from College that I knew I wanted to marry Nicole, but it then became a matter of waiting for our lives to evolve and transition into the next chapter of post college life together. This would involve Nicole’s graduation from Montserrat, me leaving my roommates and the “warehouse” in Charlestown behind, and us getting our first apartment together – which would prove to be the true test. The following spring after moving in together in Gloucester, we were fortunate enough to take a trip to Naples, FL to visit my grandparents – Grandy & Grampa Stan. It was at this time that my mom hinted towards a rather unique ring that Grandy often times wore during special occasions. She told me that this ring was my great grandmother’s engagement ring from the turn of the century and that maybe, just maybe, it could be passed down and kept in the family. This was of course pending I had someone in my life whom I thought was deserving of this honor, and of course, I had someone in mind!
Having my great grandmother’s ring in the back of my mind, I knew that I could now begin to think about asking Nicole to marry me. About 8 months after our trip to Florida we purchased our first home together on Cherry St. and began the daunting task of completely renovating the entire interior, moving, settling, and coming to grips with the new responsibility we took on together. I knew that it wouldn’t be right to propose during such a hectic time, so I waited until the Spring to re-visit the subject. It was at this time that I was able to sneak down to Naples during a business trip in Florida to visit Grandy to talk about marrying Nicole, and how she was deserving of the family ring. Once I returned home from my business trip, I had to start the rather sneaky task of working with Nicole’s mom, Lynn, restoring the ring, getting it sized, and planning the proposal.
Ever since marrying Nicole first crossed my mind, I knew that Eastern Point in Gloucester would be the place I would pop the question. Eastern Point was the first place that Nicole and I went when we began to date. It was here that we spent our first full day together taking pictures and frolicking around on the rocks nearly four years ago. It was here that we spent many gorgeous summer evenings enjoying the cool ocean breeze while watching the sun set. It was here that we passed countless times on the boat as we were coming and going from the harbor. It was the perfect location. It is quite challenging to plan a proposal in an outdoor location in New England given the variability of the weather, compounded by coordinating with my sister Anne to be an undercover photographer who would capture the entire event on a digital camera. I chose the seventh of June because by then the weather would be more stable, and I wanted to kick-off the summer in such a way that would never be forgotten. When June 7th rolled around, I played it cool. Nicole had been asking weeks prior when we could take pictures together (a tradition we have once the winter is over) so I used that as the perfect excuse to head out to Eastern Point that evening for the first time of the season. It worked out perfectly because Nicole, knowing that we were going to be taking pictures, spent some time “getting ready” to be sure to look nice for the camera.
Around 6pm, we headed out to Eastern Point in my car. I had pre-arranged with my mom and Anne to have a vase of peonies (Nicole’s favorite) set up on a prominent spot up near the lighthouse, and for Anne to be in disguise wielding a camera. As Nicole and I approached the lighthouse, she immediately noticed the bouquet, and began asking questions. It was at this point that I began panicking inside because I did not want to answer her questions and potentially blow my cover. It was at this point that I told her to go stand by them so that I could snap a picture, while she turned around to walk towards them, I reached into my camera bag and grabbed the ring box. I gave Nicole, the love of my life, one last kiss as “boyfriend and girlfriend” and assumed the position down on one knee. Before I could even speak I could tell that Nicole was in total shock, and then, on the most scenic point in Gloucester during the “golden hour” of sunlight, I asked Nicole to marry me.