Julianne and Patrick

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How We Met

I was a personal trainer, struggling to keep my quota at Bally’s Gym, I didn’t have many clients and I was grinding daily for more leads and clients. One day, I got a call over the loud speaker to come to my manager’s office. I remember bolting from the front of the gym to the office only to find this beautiful young woman standing with my manager.

At that moment I met eyes with Julie, who was introduced to me as my new client. Prior to this I had really only seen her with her sister in the gym, either on the elliptical or treadmill. I was in shock, freaking out, nervous, excited, every emotion you can imagine all at once. I told my manager yes of course I would be willing to train her. So we sat and chatted for a little bit, at which point I began to feel the nervous sweat build. Realizing the odor and the embarrassment associated, I quickly decided to head out on the gym floor as an excuse for the sweat. Luckily the day went by without any embarrassing moments and I before I knew it I found myself scheduling our next appointment together.

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Our time together was strictly business with random moments of laughter and joy. However at the time, each one of us were in a relationship so we remained loyal. Almost a year later and single, I decided to reach out to Julie to see how she was doing. She answered, so we talked and caught up. She told me she was no longer in a relationship and a few days later I figured this is my chance. I left it all on the table and asked her out on a date and she said yes. We went on a date to a French Bistro called Avenue Le Club, in Long Branch, New Jersey on November 17th, 2015.

Four weeks later on December 19th, 2015 I asked her to be my girlfriend and she couldn’t have been more excited and neither could I. Since then, we have loved each other more than words could say, but the perfect amount for our hearts to give and feel.

How He Asked

Julie has been babysitting this family for quite some time now while managing her college career at Monmouth University. Knowing this and the relationship between Julie and Beth, the mother of Isabella and new born Adriana, I knew I wanted them to take part in this surprise engagement. One evening I got a hold of Julie’s phone, quickly found Beth’s phone number, took a picture, sent it to my email and deleted it off my phone. Later that week I politely asked Beth if she would agree to take part in the surprise engagement. She was totally on board and willing to help any way she could. I decided to make a fictional work event for Beth’s company that would require Julie’s assistance to keep an eye on the kids. Beth even told Julie it would be good for her to meet her clients as it would be a good opportunity to network. I even made up a RSVP flyer for Beth to hang up on the fridge. Once I had this feeling of huge relief, I began to reach out to Julie’s family, her friends, my close friends and family.

Once everyone sent their RSVP, a final headcount was provided to McLoons Pier House, a friendly restaurant that would be hosting our engagement after party. Now, everyone had to keep quiet and act normal as possible so Julie would have no suspicion. At this point I had begun to order things for the special day, from the cake, to the walkway and the picture frames. It was all coming together. Lastly, I had a friend recommend a photographer and when I contacted him, he was in Hawaii on his honeymoon. So a mass google search began for a great photographer that would be available in the middle of proposal season.

After a dozen or so calls with nothing but unavailability, I got in touch with Sal who said he would take care of me and my engagement session. Immediately he wanted to hear about the plan, so I laid out everything and he seemed beyond thrilled to be a part of it. Fast track a couple of anxious days and it is already the day before the proposal, November 10, 2016. I get a screenshot from a friend of Julie’s, basically stating that she had a dream this was all a joke and that I proposed at the event.

Finally, the day of the proposal came. I made it to Pier Village around 10am, had some breakfast, met up with Beth and her kids, and started to set up the walkway with pictures along each side.

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It was that time, Julie was on her way. I got everyone in place and she pulled up. I could see her beautiful smile as she looked out Beth’s car window.

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Time stood still for me in those moments, I saw the love of my life approach me ever so gracefully one step at a time. She finally got to me, we held hands, I got down on one knee and I asked her to marry me and spend the rest of her life with me. She said yes, jumped in my arms and we both couldn’t be happier.
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