Toni and Zack

Toni and Zack's Engagement in Cinque Terre, Italy

How We Met

Zack and I are high school sweethearts. We had been together for 6 years when we talking about getting engaged sometime within 2017, but no specific time. We had looked at rings for fun here and there, and he definitely had a good idea of what I liked, but there were almost zero signs that it would be anytime before the end of the year. In April (2017), right before we left on our trip, Zack and I were at dinner when he told me that he didn’t want me to expect a proposal any time sooner than Christmas. He told me that he was waiting for “something to happen” before he could do it and that he had a plan in the works for the end of the year. I didn’t believe him in my head (lol) but nodded and smiled when he told me that. Then, two days before we left for Italy, my Dad said to me, “I’m surprised Zack hasn’t come and talked to me yet. I mean, I would’ve thought he’d propose in Italy”. My Dad is funny, but not one to play along with a joke / lie , especially if it was about his daughter getting engaged. So when HE told me Zack hadn’t asked for his permission yet, I knew in my heart of hearts it wasn’t happening, and I’d be lying if I said that didn’t crush me a little. 😂🤷🏻‍♀️

How He Asked

We had been traveling Italy for 4 days in Florence before we arrived in Cinque Terre, a beachy / coastal town on the side of a mountain that’s just about as gorgeous as it gets.

The night before Zack proposed, he asked me if I’d want to wake up tomorrow morning around 6 AM to catch the sunrise and get some pictures of us on the GoPro. This was weird to me for 2 reasons:
1. Because Zack will sleep in until 3pm if given the opportunity, and
2. because he hates taking pictures!!

But, I wasn’t gonna question it! I’m always down for the photo-op. 😂
So, we decided to get out and take a walk to the look out point high above the town. I was in yoga pants, a sweater, no make up, & a messy bun on my head. I was ready to walk out the door when I realized Zack was dressed… kinda nice? He was in a button-down shirt, nice pants & dressy shoes. He grabbed a SUIT JACKET (didn’t even know he packed that) out of the closet and asked me, “jacket or no jacket?”. After asking him why he was dressed so nicely, he basically told me I should wear something a little nicer and put a little more effort into my appearance (ha!) so I did the bare minimum and we were out the door.

We walked all the way up to this gorgeous lookout point on the edge of the mountain. We were up there for a little, taking in the view and talking as we waited for the sun to break through the clouds. Zack put his arms around me and started talking about how special the trip was for us, how memorable it was, and how much he loved me. He often says random sweet little comments like this, so again, I didn’t think much of it. I was standing on the edge of the look outpoint staring out at the ocean when he said,
“Let me get a picture of you looking out like that. I’m gonna go set up my GoPro and phone”.
I stayed facing outward as he set up the cameras. I distinctly remember looking down on the town and thinking what a perfect place this would be to get engaged. BUT I knew there was just no way he was going to propose in Italy if my DAD said he wasn’t going to. I was staring out at the ocean when all of a sudden, things kind of started to click. Why in the world would Zack want to see the sunrise on a cloudy morning, all dressed up, and have the cameras angled at me from a perfect location!? Literally, the very moment this thought shot across my mind, I heard Zack’s voice from behind me say,
“Turn around, babe. Is the camera okay where I have it?”

I turned around and saw him on one knee, holding a box containing my ring. With the biggest smile on his face and a shaking voice he asked me to marry him and before I could say a word, I covered my face, literally almost fell to my knees, and started to SOB. He pulled my hand in closer to him as I was barely able to whimper out a “yes”. As he started to put the ring on my finger I said suddenly,
“DID YOU ASK MY DAD?!” he laughed. “2 months ago”.

He had his iPhone set up & recording the whole proposal, and his GoPro taking pictures every few seconds so that the whole thing was captured on video and in photos.

I think we must’ve hugged and laughed and cried for five minutes straight. “Holy cow, WE’RE GETTING MARRIED!” is all we kept saying. Just then, the sun started to come out. The entire town was still asleep with the exception of two other tourists who just happened to walk up to the view point right after I said yes. They stopped and congratulated us and asked if they could take some pictures. So grateful they did because I will treasure them forever!! We called our family from the top of the mountain and then friends when we got back into town. The whole morning was just full of tears and screams from my friends and so much love pouring in from our families. After a couple hours, we put our phones away and went cliff diving in the town over, Riomagorre. When we came back from Italy, we were bombarded by love and congratulations. I came home to a house full of decorations, desserts, and surprises from some of my closest girlfriends, and my sweet sister who had already planned an engagement party for us + our friends. It was, and still has been, such a sweet, sweet season. I have always imagined that when we would get engaged, that it would be the most love I have ever felt from Zack. Never did I consider that it would also be the most love I’ve ever felt from everyone in our lives as well. This is a day I will never forget and a feeling I will always remember. We are now a little more than 5 months out from getting married and I simply cannot wait for that day to be here, and to be Zack’s wife forever.

Proposal Ideas Cinque Terre, Italy