Reima and Anwar

How We Met: Everything was left up to timing. I used to go back and forth in believing in love and if it really existed because it just wasn’t happening for me. After years and years of disappointments, being independent, and just seeing everyone around me move on in their lives and take the next step while nothing was changing for me was slowly building on me. I’m not the type to give up but sometimes I had days where I wondered what my future would be like.

Towards the beginning of 2014, I had a feeling it would be a good year but I just didn’t know it yet. I was looking to working internationally and letting things happen when they are supposed to happen. Though I was hopeful for love, I was still looking at my new journey of moving abroad. I had a coordinator help me out and she lined up a job for me to take towards the end of April. Right when I was going to say yes and start packing my bags, something happened….

I went to check out a restaurant out in Studio City called Vitello’s Ristorante. I have a huge passion for food and trying new places. Low and behold, this guy, whom I did not know, approached me and began conversation. His name was Anwar. We immediately discovered we had a lot in common and we started a conversation that we did not know would end up where we are today! The conversation lasted for about 5 hours, where we were so focused on each other, we kept telling the waitress one more minute every time she asked us if we were ready to order!

Eventually, towards the end of the night, I ended up getting food poisoning…which decided it wanted to come exactly around the time he was asking me if I wanted to go walk around the area and bringing up the topic of going out with him the next day! Welp, I got sick and after that I thought that would be it. I was embarassed and assumed that would be it for us. But he did the exact opposite! He sent the waitress to find me and had her bring me soda water! I felt better but the night was over so I could go home and rest.

He drove his car around to pick me up since he knew I parked away from the place and wanted to make sure I was ok. He dropped me off and I apologized for what had happened and told him I would love to hang out again the next day if he was still up for it. He said of course he would see me tomorrow. No question about it! And the next day, he drove down from Orange County, where he lived, all the way to Magic Mountain town, where I lived, just to see me! And that’s how it started! Never thought I’d have a story like this to tell my kids and grandkids someday! We met randomly in a restaurant and I got food poisoning! :-p

It was also interesting because he was just about to book plane tickets to go on vacation and his mom told him to wait. She felt something positive was going to happen to him. Because of that, he held off his plans for a little bit longer and in the end, it was well worth it! Oh and though I wasn’t sure where this would lead, I emailed the coordinator who found my international job right away and let her know I wasn’t going to be able to take the job.

How He Asked: The last week of June 2014, he asked me if I wanted to go to a symphony and he could get us tickets. It was a romantic idea and even though I wasn’t too thrilled about it because he had said it would be a late night show, which meant I’d have a late night drive home following the symphony (we lived a little over an hour apart, separated by two freeways and LA traffic!), I said yes for him. A few days later, he told me the tickets fell through and that we wouldn’t be able to go. I was jumping with joy inside! :-p

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Two days after that, he said he officially got two tickets for us and to save Thursday, July 3, 2014! Shucks! ahahaha I guess I have to go now!! The day before our engagement, I drove down to see him at work and to hang out. He had two gorgeous red roses ready for me when I arrived. He is always bringing me flowers! One time in June, he gave me what I thought were a dozen roses until I took them out to put them in a vase, but there weren’t a dozen. There were 26 roses!! At the time, I was wondering why 26, but quickly let the thought go (this is connected to the proposal). So I spent time with him after work to grab dinner and then we both went our separate ways.

The next day was the day I wasn’t looking forward to but I was going for him and hoping to have a great time at the symphony! He told me to leave early to avoid the 4th of July weekend traffic, bring a nice dress, jewelry, and get dolled up! So I grabbed everything I needed, placed everything in a bag so I could get ready later on in the day, hopped in my car, and headed to his place.

When I arrived there, he had sunflowers, my favorite flowers, waiting for me! He was happy, sweet, romantic, and nothing felt out of the ordinary to me. We cuddled and listened to some romantic music on Youtube that were made by one of his coworkers. He asked me if I liked his voice and I said his voice was so comforting and beautiful. He responded by saying he could sing at our wedding if we wanted him to. I told him, we’ll see! Again, I didn’t think anything was out of place!

He then put his ipad aside and gave me a speech about me being a blessing. That he never thought he’d meet someone like me and feels like he is the happiest guy in the world! He went on and on about how much he loves me and is so thankful and feels blessed that he found me because he felt like he would have to sacrifice things that he loved in order to move on to the next stage of life someday: marriage. And with me, he can be himself and not have to sacrifice anything.

Everything he was saying was making me melt and making me want to cry but he comforted me and made me laugh to keep me focused! ;) Right after that, we got up, got dressed, and ready to go. Before we were going to the symphony, we planned on grabbing a bite to eat before hand near the concert hall. He kept driving around, almost in circles, looking like he was lost. I told him that I didn’t mind eating whereever. Right when he was going to respond, he quickly says we are here! We drove into a parking lot and I looked up and couldn’t believe what I just saw!

My favorite restaurant! The Cat and the Custard Cup! He remembered me telling him about this place right at the beginning when we met! So this was the big surprise! We were going to have dinner here at my favorite restaurant and then go to the symphony! He is so full of surprises!

He made reservations for us and the hostess sat us down at our table. He then told me I could order whatever I wanted! Are you sure?? ;) I ordered two appetizers for us to share and sample. Then we ordered out entrees. I had a huge smile on my face the whole time just because of my excitement for being there and even more with him! He kept telling me my smile was so huge, from ear to ear, and it was making him so happy! Right after dinner, he said, you pick the dessert and we’ll share! I ordered their fantastic bread pudding and he excused himself to “use” the restroom.

He returned and the waitress came to bring us our dessert but I thought it was odd because she was putting the dessert closer to me and not in the middle. We were going to share! :) So I was about to push the dessert towards the middle of the table so we could share, but then another waitress behind her gently placed a dessert box in the middle of the table and they both nonchalantly walked away without saying a word!

Um…I asked him what did he order??? What is this box!! He just calmly told me to open it! I was thinking it was going to be a yummy dessert for us to eat because he is so thoughtful but little did I know, when I just slightly opened the box and peeked in, it said: “Will you marry me, Reima?”

After that, I went into complete shock! He fully opened the lid for me because I froze! Next thing I knew was him getting up out of his seat and I just kept saying “YES! YES! YES! YES!” before he even got down on one knee! All I heard was him saying: “Reima S_____, You ____blessing…..and _______spend ______with you…(he got down on one knee)…Will you marry me?” I just kept saying “YES! YES!” and he was laughing and telling me to stand up! I was so weak in the knees that he helped me up and asked me again if I would marry him and I said ‘YES!” and he quickly slid the gorgeous ring (that I didn’t officially look at until after the proposal!) onto my ring finger and hugged and kissed me! The room went full of cheers and clapping! I still was in complete shock! I grabbed my water and drank it until I felt somewhat normal!

I then looked at the ring and fell in love with it instantly! He said we got the prongs on the ring to cross together to hold the diamond to symbolize us crossing each others paths and coming together as one! Our waitress came up to us to congratulate us on our engagement and let us know our dessert is on them! That was sweet of them to do that for us. :)

As each customer left the restaurant, they came up to us to congratulate us, and tell us where we can get flowers for the wedding, and such when we start planning! Another waitress came up to us and told us it was the sweetest proposal she ever witnessed and she hoped one day she’d have a proposal with meaning with her one true love. The last couple to congratulate us was an older couple who has been married for 30+ years! They gave us incredible marriage advice, wished us the best, and went on their way.

With all the excitement, it was making it hard for us to eat the dessert. :) We spent the next 10 minutes enjoying each others company and of course, me staring at the ring! ;) I told him I wished we got pictures of the engagement and he told me not to worry about it! How are you going to get the pictures??? I found out, he asked someone to take pictures of the proposal and to email him while we supposedly “went to the restroom”!

Right when Anwar was going to ask for the check, our waitress came up to us and asked us if we remembered the older couple who talked to us? We both said yes. She then told us they were so in love with your proposal that they wanted to do something special for you both to help you celebrate your special occasion…

They covered your whole meal! They wanted us to wait for 10 minutes to make sure they were gone before we told you so you didn’t go running after them! We both went into complete shock. Anwar got teary eyed. He had never thought he’d get an amazing gift like this. We wanted to thank the couple and till this day, we still hope we will run into them!

After that, we made a deal that if we ever witnessed a proposal, we’ll pay it forward, and cover them….and we pounded on it! What a beautiful day it turned out to be and one we won’t ever forget! As we left The Cat and the Custard Cup, he quickly turned to me and told me, “One more thing!” He grabbed a single rose and gave it to me.

He then said: “Remember the time I gave you the 26 roses?” I said, “Yes, of course I remember!” Then he said, “Remember when I gave you the 2 roses yesterday?” I said, “Yes, silly!” And then he said: “With this rose I’m giving you now, it adds up to the number 29. One rose for each year of your life that I didn’t get to give you until now!” I don’t know how I held it together, but as soon as I got home, I cried! This amazing person is mine and I am his forever!

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**We got married on December 21, 2014, 5 months after the proposal. He surprised me with this video love note at the wedding and footage of the engagement that I didn’t know even existed! Now I have our engagement to look back on whenever I want and wedding full of love and pictures for the rest of my life!**

Engagement shoot: Amber Cornell