Takara and Michael

How we met: My fiancee and I have a VERY unique and truly unbelievable story. Michael and I have known each other since I was born, I kid you not.  Our families have been friends for decades and we have seen each other several times over the years with pretty large gaps in between (I have always lived in NY and Michael has always lived in Sydney, Australia).

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Ironically enough I used to refer to him as my “cousin” because “family friend” didn’t seem strong enough. As adults, over the past several years we have seen each other but each time, the timing was off for both of us.  I was either in a relationship or vice versa and I think I needed a bit of time to “live” so to speak as he is nine years my senior.

In October of 2013, Michael visited New York for work and we have pretty much been inseparable ever since. Shortly after he returned to Sydney, I visited him and the rest is history. I think it is a huge advantage for our relationship that we truly started off as just friends. We built a solid foundation without trying and I feel very blessed and just so fortunate to have him in my life as my best friend and my partner.

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How he asked: To say I was surprised, is an absolute understatement.  For the duration of our relationship prior to our engagement (which was only eight months), we both made huge sacrifices having an international relationship. We both went back and forth between NY and Sydney and it was very stressful at times to say the least. I find this hilarious because as a Manhattanite, I wouldn’t even date someone who lived in Brooklyn because I considered that to be long distance and too must of a hassle…

We had just landed from our food coma induced vacation to Italy and I was still unfortunately recovering from a broken ankle and was walking around in a boot! Michael suggested that we go for a long walk in Central Park which ironically annoyed me at the moment because I was still struggling to walk. I HAD ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA. We kept going deeper into the park and he knows my most favorite place, probably on earth is the quaint bridge overlooking the water.  We started talking about our relationship and him going back to Sydney without me, having quite the sentimental moment (still no idea.) He then he proceeded to get down on one knee and ask me to marry him! I think at the time I blacked out! A few people screamed and I was just speechless, I sort of thought he was joking! To this day, I have never been more surprised by anything genuinely in my entire life. It was the most beautiful, simple, and memorable moment.

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He had hidden champagne and glasses in the woods in Central Park, how they were still there is beyond me. We “cheersed” to the present and the future overlooking the bridge.  It was a beautiful moment just between the two of us.

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Michael told me he wanted me to design my ring and that I could have “whatever I wanted.”  Isn’t that music to my ears?! Following the proposal we had drinks to celebrate in Tavern On The Green which was a restaurant we went to together as kids. It is still so surreal to think that he of all people is my future hubby.

Several months later, I returned to Sydney and finally designed my ring. I went through the whole process from start to finish and could NOT be happier with the result. To surprise me, rather than having me pick it up, we went through a beautiful walk in the Botanical Gardens in Sydney which was apparently proposal #2, and AGAIN, I had absolutely no idea. It was pretty creative to do this in two of the most beautiful parks in polar opposite parts of the world. We sat down on a bench overlooking the magnificent Sydney Opera house and he got down and one knee and proposed to me with my ring, finally. It was absolutely exquisite and I still was slightly surprised as I hadn’t seen the final ring. It was another spectacular moment and one I will treasure forever.

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