Stephanie and Dominick; Getting Married this Weekend!

How We Met: The story of how we met is an old fashioned and traditional tale…that is by today’s standards. It’s a classic romance that began in January 2008 on the World Wide Web, better known as the internet or more specifically Match.com.  It was here that we both created profiles: highlighting our likes, dislikes, hobbies and favorite things; and it was on this site that this Chicago Girl in the Big Apple met Dominick.

There was no doubt that we had a “Match,” with my love for Italy and everything Italian and his love for De Niro and everything Scorsese.  We had our first date after a few email exchanges and we decided to meet at an Irish Bar in Murray Hill called The Banc Café.  It was a very nice date and Dominick was the perfect gentleman.  I knew pretty quickly that I would like to see him again and since he had a connection to Chicago (he frequently traveled there for work), I felt more comfortable about dating him.

Even though that’s how we met, a cordial date with good conversation, it was the second date that was the real game changer.  It was a cold night in January and Dominick had invited me to an evening out in Hoboken, NJ for some live music.  The band was a U2 cover band (one of my absolute favorite groups) and they were called…you guessed it…2U!  The night had all the ingredients to be a fantastic second date, but there was a catch.  We would be joined by his brother Jon (aka Little Brother), his cousin Justin, his other cousin Julie and his old roommate Derek and his wife Caroline…just to name a few.  At first I was completely overwhelmed by the idea of going out with someone I barely knew and his crew.  Therefore, my initial response was no way!  Nevertheless, after much thought and deliberation, I finally decided what the heck; it might be a good time!

As you can see, this turned out to be the best decision I could have ever made. The band was a lot of fun but the company was even better.  As intimidating as it was to meet all of his people, it turned out to be an amazing experience.  From the moment I met Dominick that evening, until we said goodnight, I knew I was with the “real” Dominick.  I was not with a guy trying to do and say all the right things, because we just met, but the guy that his brother, cousins and old roommate knew and loved. Therefore, what could have been an awkward second date turned out to be a genuinely good time with someone I barely knew, but was so excited to get to know better!

Four years later and here we are…on the road to becoming Mr. and Mrs. When I moved out to New York City, I wasn’t sure where life would take me or what I would find.  And here I am…back in Chicago and with the most amazing souvenir a girl could ever want – an Italian/Irish boy from Long Island, New York.

The Proposal: It was a hot day in New York City, Saturday August 7th to be exact, when Dominick decided to pop the question. I cannot say that I didn’t see it coming but I what I can say is that I didn’t expect it to happen the way that it did. To my surprise, he had been planning this day for a few months. He asked my father for permission on one of our visits to Chicago and after he was given his blessing he started the search for the perfect ring. Once the ring had arrived, he stored it at his parent’s house, in New Jersey, for over a month until that special moment. On the day that he decided it was time…he orchestrated the entire day to go a little something like this:

Dominick’s master plan all started by getting me out of our apartment. In order to do this, and to confuse me, he planned for us to go to his sister’s (she lived about 14 blocks north of us) in the afternoon and babysit. It was about 5pm when his sister returned home and since our dinner reservations were not until 9pm that night, Dominick asked if I wanted to stop at a bar and grab a drink and an appetizer to hold us over. Of course I agreed to this wonderful idea and he was pretty confident that I would.

Now NYC is filled with a ton of bars and restaurants. But it just so happens that the Banc Café, which is the bar/restaurant where we had our very first date, is on the way home from his sister’s apartment. Therefore, when Dominick suggested that we stop there for a bite I thought, why not! This was probably the third time we’d been there since our first encounter so I wasn’t too surprised to be going there at this moment (and again, we did not have to go out of our way to go there). Since the weather was nice I wanted to sit outside but Dominick asked if we could sit inside so he could watch some of the baseball game. Since it was Yankees/Red Sox, I figured that I didn’t have much of a choice.

As we walked into the place, he right away started heading towards the back bar where we sat on the night of our first date and still not thinking much of it I followed his lead. Once we got to the back bar and we were standing right in the very same spot where we got to know each other is when he looked at me and said, “I have to ask you something.”

Since he says this to me all the time I just looked at him and said “What?” That is when he got down on one knee and asked me if I would marry him. I was in shock…not that he was asking me but that it was happening at that very moment and in that very same spot where we had met for the very first time! Of course I said “YES” and after he put the ring on my finger the manager of the bar came over and bought us a bottle of champagne…incredible.

One final note, bringing me over to his sister’s to babysit was how this all started and it was a very clever idea. Not only did it get me to the Banc Café without thinking anything of it but it also got me out of our apartment so his sister and his brother’s girlfriend could decorate our place with flowers and more champagne! To see the flowers when we got back was another wonderful surprise. But the final surprise of the evening was our dinner reservation (another thing that he had planned for months). Dominick told me to get dressed up, which I did happily, and he brought me to ‘Daniel’ one of the top restaurants in all of NYC. In case all of that wasn’t enough, after our wonderful dinner he took me dancing…what a memory! As you can see the day of “the proposal” ended up being one of the most amazing days of my life and one that both of us will cherish for the rest of our lives.

Photography by WASIO Photography