Tara and Steven

Tara and Steven's Engagement in Sorrento, Italy

How We Met

Steven and I met in high school, through a mutual friend. I had always thought he was good looking, but most importantly he was hilarious. He was the class clown who left everyone in hysterics. He gave off such a humble vibe and the sense that he never took himself too seriously. I never told him this, but because we never had any classes together, I often looked forward to bumping into him in the halls. One year, he and his family were travelling to Ontario for a wedding and he had some bright idea to tell everyone that he was moving there. To this day, I’m still not sure why, but this completely hit home. I remember coming home from school and crying to my mom about how he was going to be moving away. I even forced our mutual friend to walk me to Steven’s house so that I may say bye to him before he left.

It was like something out of an 80’s movie – you know, that scene from “Say Anything” where John Cusack holds a boombox over his shoulder and blares music into the night in order to serenade his love interest? I looked like him – except a little less romantic and little more hysteric. I’ll never forget how Steven walked out onto his gallery, trying to stifle his laughter and I still wonder how he was able to keep it together knowing very well that he wasn’t moving anywhere.

After saying what I had been led to believe were my final goodbyes, my friend and I began to walk back home and all of a sudden he burst into laughter. He then went on to explain that it had been a prank all along. Well, needless to say, I wasn’t very fond of Steven from that point on. We only reconnected almost 10 years later when he reached out to me on Facebook and we decided to go for drinks. That first date, was without a doubt the best date I had ever experienced. So comfortable yet so exhilarating and yet so RIGHT.

The more I got to know him, the more I fell in love with him. I mean, it wasn’t hard. His smile had caught my eye when we were just kids. Learning how intelligent, respectful, family-oriented and dedicated he is, well, that captivated my heart. Steven held my hand in my hardest moment: losing my mom. And he has been beside me in all of my happier times. I love how well we work together, that we share the same morals and values and that we are humble in our relationship but as well as individuals. He is always encouraging me to be the best person that I can be, to find happiness in the simplest of things, to remain positive even when the going gets tough and to never give up on myself. For these reasons and a million more, I cannot wait to marry him.

How He Asked

After a crazy roller coaster of a year that we both endured, we planned a trip to Italy, which was primarily where he would begin his culinary apprenticeship. We’d planned to visit Rome, Sorrento, Amalfi and Positano, Bari, Florence, Rimini and then return home. It was both of our first time visiting Italy so we were incredibly excited, full of adrenaline and ready to take on all of the beauty, culture and incredible food it had to offer. While in Rome, we stayed with some of Steven’s family and visited a lot of the more touristic monuments, piazzas, etc. Needless to say, we were excited to explore on our own.

We arrived in Sorrento to find that our apartment was in the midst of a lemon tree orchard. If that wasn’t amazing enough, when we walked around the property, we were left completely breath taken to see that mom’s favorite flowers were growing in our backyard. It was a beautiful sign to feel like she was with us in that moment and during our trip. That being said, while in Sorrento, we planned a day trip to Capri. A full day spent on this gorgeous island – exploring under the blistering sun – indulging in vino and fresh fish from the ocean surrounding us. We returned back to our apartment in time for supper – where we decided to eat on the rooftop terrace overlooking the ocean. It was very casual, we cut up some sausage, cheese, fresh bread and of course, made some freshly squeezed lemonade.

As Steven came to sit down at the table, I noticed that he was fidgeting with the food on his plate, the speaker we had our music playing on, etc. Looking back, I should have known something was up when my chef boyfriend wasn’t eating. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw him reach for the other half of the lemon and attempt to discreetly roll it off of the table. When he got up to pick up the lemon off of the floor, he got down on one knee. However, because this was something he often pretended to do while we were dating (I told you he is a joker!), I didn’t even lift up my head to look at him – until, of course, I noticed a sparkle. I turned my head to look at him and realized this was really happening. I was so overcome with emotion that I cant even remember what it was he said, to be entirely honest. But of course, I said yes … YES a million times and I would say yes over and over and over again.

Special Thanks

Franco | 
Helped him pick out the ring