Shea and Renzo
How We Met
Renzo and I met through a friend at the beginning of 2015. I had all but given up on dating after suffering through many bad dates in West Hollywood. My friend had started asking me if I’d want to be set up with this great guy she knew. She’d show me pictures and I’d always tell her he was cute but not my type. That all changed when I happened to work at a beauty trade show that he was also at… I saw him across the pink carpet and knew that he was going to be important to me! We were introduced through my friend and we all ended up hanging out together the next week.
When I was with him, I immediately felt comfortable and we talked to hours and hours. One of our first dates happened to be on Valentine’s Day. He picked me up from work and gave me a big basket of chocolates! We decided to skip the restaurant scene, so we went grocery shopping and made lasagna together. He had never really cooked before and he was so adorable slicing tomatoes for me. We danced in his kitchen and I accidentally told him I loved him after going out for about a week! Luckily everything worked out for us and two years later he proposed!
How He Asked
At the beginning of the year we planned a Summer vacation to Italy. We arranged to meet with Renzo’s cousin in Venice for a few days at the start of our vacation. I had been dropping hints that I wanted to be engaged for some time. But Renzo was adamant that it wasn’t the right time, so in my mind I was patiently waiting until it was the right time. We work and live together, so it’s pretty hard to keep secrets from me! A few days before our Italian vacation, Renzo kept saying how he was going to the mall for some Summer clothing. By the third time he said he was going to the mall to look, I was annoyed because I was there with him that time and I kept thinking to myself that he’d already been to the mall twice why was he having such a hard time deciding on a pair of shorts!
He never ended up buying anything. We manage to make it to the airport with time to spare and then our plane is delayed by over three hours on the runway. Our connecting flight is the only one out that night and of course I am in a mini (ok, full-blown) panic that we will miss it and it will ruin all of our plans. I didn’t even know what Renzo had planned! We managed to make it to the connecting flight which was also delayed, thank goodness, and arrive in Italy according to plan. We spent a day in Rome and the next day took an early train to Venice. When we are on the train Renzo was trying to change all of our plans, I had already booked hotels, trains, etc and he wanted to rearrange the whole trip which was getting a bit annoying since I had spent a lot of time on it already.
I had never been to Venice before so we spent the day wandering around and lounging in Piazza San Marco. Renzo was acting so strangely I was starting to think maybe this vacation wasn’t such a good idea. He had an upset stomach all day and we went to about three different pharmacies for different medicines for his upset stomach. That night Renzo told me that we were going to meet his cousin’s friend who had arranged a gondola ride and dinner for us. He said it was a busy weekend in Venice since there was a festival, so his cousin knew someone who could get us on a gondola. I kept seeing all different areas where there were gondolas available and I pointed them out saying how it didn’t seem that busy! When we were getting ready to go, I think the jet lag was really starting to set in, as Renzo really had to convince me to wear my heels that evening. We walked about a mile to get to Piazza San Marco where we were meeting his cousin’s friend “Linda”.
She was there when we arrived and Renzo went to speak with her and came back saying his cousin took care of the gondola ride for us. The whole gondola ride I don’t think Renzo said two words to me! He asked the gondolier how many bridges there were in Venice and there are over 400. We took a different turn than everyone else and started slowing down…I looked over and saw Renzo reaching in his pocket and he said “it’s time…”. I was soooooo shocked and completely taken by surprise.
He asked me to marry him and I said YES!! He then handed me the box with the ring and said “here take it!”… and I said something like “I think you’re supposed to put it on my finger”. He did and then told me a photographer was about to jump on our gondola and take photos. He started to tell me the whole story as we finished our ride.
It really started to set in then and I started crying and couldn’t stop! After the gondola, we walked around Venice taking more photos. All the times Renzo claimed to be at the mall he was picking out my ring and he had planned the whole proposal while keeping it a secret for days before our trip. He was afraid I would feel the ring in his pocket while we were on the gondola, so that’s why it wasn’t the coziest of rides.
And, he was supposed to be on the lookout for a certain bridge and but was afraid he’d miss it since there are so many! While we were in Piazza San Marco someone handed me corn and I was literally covered in pigeons for a quick minute. I asked Renzo if that was part of the proposal since he had kept so many secrets, but it wasn’t. Whew! Overall, it was the perfect proposal! We went to a beautiful dinner overlooking the Grand Canal and FaceTimed and called our families to share the exciting news! That night was a blur now and I am so happy we have the photos from that day to look back on as we plan our wedding in Sicily!