Rajh and Alyssa's Puzzle Piece Proposal

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How We Met: Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.” Our beginning started when a mutual friend introduced us at the gym and after talking for a few minutes we saw how much we had in common and how compatible our personalities were. “I was instantly drawn to Rajh’s sense of humor and he seemed to enjoy my compassionate nature. When we first met our connection felt magical, yet simple and I was able to be myself.” –Alyssa “I loved watching Alyssa talk, smile, laugh and stare at me. Sometimes I would see this sparkle in her eye that made me wonder if this was too good to be true.”-Rajh

We decided to test our connection outside of the gym and meet up at a local bar with friends. When the bartender said last call we found ourselves wishing the night would never end. “Walking into the bar, I didn’t expect to see how beautiful Alyssa would look outside of gym clothing, Boy! Was I happy to see her standing at the bar with her friend. That smile drew me in closer, and before you knew it things were going my way.” – Rajh “I saw the way Rajh looked at me as he entered the bar and couldn’t help but smile. A few drinks later I found myself lost in the moment and I realized this was more than a friendship. By the end of the night, as Rajh was walking me to my car, he asked if he could take me on a formal date. I happily accepted.” -Alyssa

Before our first date he surprised me with a trip to the Weehawken waterfront to see the city lights and share a special moment. One date quickly turned into many and Rajh began exposing me, a country-music-loving kind of girl, to his love of New York City. Rajh carefully planned each date to ensure I was experiencing different parts of the city and always took a picture to capture the memories. Before I knew it, most of our photos had the NYC skyline in the background, which brings me to the proposal…

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How He Asked: What I thought was just a girl’s brunch turned into the most memorable day of my life, a day which Rajh had been carefully planning with both my family and his for a long time. At the end of the meal, the event coordinator stopped by my table and offered me a tour of the restaurant, which I thought nothing of as Battello’s executive chef, is an acquaintance of Rajh’s.

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Once I walked into the wine room, the first thing I saw, amongst the rustic décor, was rose petals in the shape of a heart with two puzzle pieces in the center. The puzzle pieces had the words, will you marry me?

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“Who would have thought the big day was finally here! The suspense of planning a surprise proposal was one of the most difficult, but enjoyable experiences thus far. It all started when I asked Alyssa’s father for permission to marry his daughter a few weeks prior.” -Rajh

This brings me to the day of the proposal. Batello, in Jersey City, seemed like the ideal place to pop the question as it sits on the Hudson riverfront and has panoramic views of the big apple. I knew that the setting was perfect and she would be blown away by the food and the views, but I needed to know that I could involve Alyssa without giving her any clues as to what this was for. I asked my cousin to set up a “fake” girls-only brunch. What Alyssa did not know was it would be only one of my female cousins that planned to attend and surprise her. I had contacted the event planner through a mutual friend, who happens to be the head chef and partner of the restaurant. Now all I needed to do was make sure she would go. I told her I would be away that morning working, so she had no idea I was only a few feet away from her in the wine cellar the entire time.” – Rajh

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“When I walked into the wine room, Rajh was on one knee. I was so overwhelmed with happiness and excitement that all I could muster up the courage to say was “oh my god” repeatedly and then finally YES.”- Alyssa

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The best part of it all, besides being able to marry the love of my life, was having the hidden photographer Rajh hired, take us outside for engagement photos with the backdrop of the river and the NYC skyline. It is a story that has just begun, but we look forward to the next chapter and to new beginnings with no end.

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Photos by VeroLuce Photography