Noelle and Mark

photo 1 (2)How we met: Mark and I met at the Hard Rock Hotel in San Diego at my birthday party. We are both originally from the LA area, but he was there for Law School and I was living in San Diego at the time. The funny thing is Mark was not invited to my birthday party. He crashed it! A good girlfriend of mine came down from Los Angeles and convinced Mark he should show up even though I told her I couldn’t accommodate anymore guests. She was convinced that we should meet! Boy was she right! We didn’t talk much that evening but the following day my good friend and I met up with him for coffee and I was instantly smitten! We struck up a friendship and from there the rest is history! We have been inseparable ever since.

How He Asked: Mark and I have been together for four years. In that time we have often spoken about getting married someday in Italy. I am 100% Italian and we both just really love the country and how beautiful it is!

gondolaOn Friday night Mark told me that we would walk to meet our friend for dinner at the marina in Marina del Rey. When we got to the restaurant Mark told me that our good friends would be a bit late and that he wanted to walk over to the water to see about renting a boat slip.

He told me one was available in the area and that we could possibly store our kayaks there. I was completely fooled. He walked me down the deck to the end and we really looked at boat slips! When we turned around I saw a beautiful gondola sitting in the water.

The gondolier John greeted us and then my boyfriend now fiancé said, “How about we get in here instead.” The gondola was all set up. Mark had snuck over earlier and set up dinner for us. There were roses, chocolates and my favorite foods.

It was breathtaking. We went out on the water and the gondolier started singing in an unexpectedly beautiful voice. He sang beautiful love songs in Italian.

At sunset Mark asked me to go to the other side of the boat. That’s when he kneeled and pulled out the ring. He told me very simply that he loved me and wanted to marry me. I could tell he was super shy and nervous. It was so sweet and magical! After the gondola ride he told me we would be meeting our two good friends at the Ritz Carlton for drinks. When we got there he surprised me by having his parents and a few of our best friends there!