Picture Perfect Italian Marriage Proposal
How We Met: The story begins from when I moved to Los Angeles after law school. I had spent my whole life in Connecticut and I was really excited to have a fresh new start in a big city. I spent my first summer in Los Angeles studying for the bar exam. While I was studying one night, I decided to take a break and up saw an ad for an online dating site. I decided to try out the free trial to see what was out there. As I was going through the profiles, I came across Vivek’s profile. I sent him a quick little message and then went back to studying. We ended up exchanging a few messages on the dating website and I told him that my free subscription would be ending soon and that he could find me on Facebook.
We reconnected on Facebook and a few days later, he asked me out. For some reason, I was so nervous that I barely spoke throughout the whole dinner. At first we didn’t see too much of each other in person because he was a junior resident and I was studying all the time. Somehow, as the weeks progressed, we ended up talking on the phone more and more. He ended up giving me a lot of really good studying tips and the short chats were just what I needed to cheer up after a tough studying day. He took me out to a beautiful dinner the night that I finished my bar exam. When I found out that I passed the bar exam in November of that year, he was the first person I wanted to share the exciting news with. It was in that moment that I realized how important he had become to me and that he would be the one that I would want by my side for all of life’s little hurdles and joys.
How He Asked: Dating a resident was not easy with his long hours and nights in the hospital. About two years after we started dating, Vivek told me that I would need to take a week off of work for a “surprise trip.” He refused to tell me where we were going, but would give me hints in the month leading up to the trip. Some of the hints were actual hints and others were meant to throw me off. I had no idea where we were going until we got to the airport. Once we got to the airport, I found out that we were going to ITALY for a whole week.
Once at the airport, we walked up to the counter and started to check in. I gave them my passport, and it turned out to be fine. Vivek handed them his passport and they said “Sir, you are not flying to Italy today.” It turns out The Schengen Borders Agreement mandates that passports be valid for 3 months beyond the return date (anyone out there planning a european proposal, please keep this in mind). We begged and pleaded for them to let us on the flight– unfortunately, it did not work. We immediately tried finding a passport office that would update his passport right away. It turned out that there were no openings for appointments for another three weeks. Defeated, we picked up our bags, left the airport, and took a cab to In-N-Out.
While at In-N-Out, Vivek and I researched the law that was holding us back from flying. Vivek noticed that the UK was not a part of the treaty and was exempt from the Schengen Agreement. In that moment, we decided that we would try to fly to London and then take a flight from London to Italy, hopefully bypassing the law, hoping not to end up in jail. We hailed a cab and made our way back to the airport. We found a last minute ticket to London and ran to our gate. Initially Relieved we had a plan and were at least going to get to London, Vivek started getting very nervous on the last few hours of the flight. Our plan was working well and we boarded for Italy and landed in Rome and braced ourselves as we prepared to meet the borders/immigration officer. It was late at night, he seemed tired, and we tried to look as innocent as possible, holding our breath, thoughts of being placed in a holding cell for international criminals. Miraculously, the guard let us through with no problems. We were so excited to finally be in Italy and that too, only 8 hours behind schedule!
We spent a night in Rome and then took a train to the Amalfi Coast. It is the most beautiful place that I have ever seen in my life. We spent a day on Capri and another day just walking around the gardens in Ravello. One night, Vivek told me that he hired a photographer to take some pictures of us around Ravello on our vacation. I thought it was a fun idea, so the next afternoon we got ready and took pictures all around town. She took pictures of us by the church, eating gelato, and strolling through the gardens. At that point, the photographer suggested we change our clothes and take some pictures around our hotel. We changed into our next outfits and started taking pictures around the hotel. She then suggested that we try taking a picture on the ledge behind the infinity pool.
We slowly made our way to the middle of the ledge and I heard the camera snap and I told Vivek that we should get back to safe grounds.
He told me he wanted to tell me something and read a poem by Tagore called Unending Love. I started crying immediately and he got down on one knee and popped the question.
I was overwhelmed with happiness and excitement. I remember him telling me that I had to say something and I finally said “yes!” He found the most stunning place in the world to propose to me and I will never forget that day!!