Venus and Leonel

How We Met

We both worked at Sears, I assisted the optometrist at the Optical and he was a mattress specialist at the time— I was walking to the break room one day and saw him sitting on one of the mattresses and thought “hot- DAMN!” So when I get back to the Optical from lunch I mention to my manager how “there’s a guy in the mattress department that is super cute. And she immediately asked me who and called over his co-worker who she knew to play matchmaker. She asked her all the things I would want to know about him and his co-worker asked me to put my name and number on a post-it and she will tell him to call me. But before that, I wanted to make sure he was interested so my manager made me introduce myself first. I was so nervous that I literally avoided him for about a week. I was thinking too if he hadn’t called me, he wasn’t interested either. But little did I know he was thinking the same, he wanted to meet me in person first. At one point, I walked in the whole opposite side of the store and he saw me and flagged me down and I just waved and kept walking, lol. I had gone through a pretty bad break up recently so it was scary to put my heart on the line again. Finally, my manager gave me the confidence to go with me and introduce us to each other. He called me immediately after and the rest is history <3!

We even hugged when we met, called each other baby on our first date (he took me to Blue Martini because he saw on my Facebook that this was my favorite place, that’s the moment I realized he was very thoughtful. Hence: the way he proposed) we fell in love so fast and he didn’t hesitate to make me his. We even moved in together 3 months in. We just knew if we were meant to do anything in life, it was with each other. Nothing has ever felt so right :) fun fact: we moved to Orlando a year ago and when we were looking for jobs, he was interviewing to get transferred and promoted at one of the Sears in Orlando and I was applying for any brand in Luxottica (they own Sears Optical, Lens Crafters, Sunglass Hut, Target Optical—you name it) and when I applied for an Optical Supervisor position I saw, it did not specify what Sears Optical it was so I didn’t think it was the same Sears as him. Well, here we are years later and we ended up working at the same Sears again and we get married in 2 weeks! Oh, the feels.

How He Asked

One day we were doing what we do every day, binge-watching on our favorite show f.r.i.e.n.d.s— this has been my favorite show for years and I got Leo just as obsessed and now we literally don’t go a day without watching at least 1 episode and/or quoting a scene from the series. So we were watching the show, and I decided to do some research on the set to see if it was still possible to visit it and that’s when I ran into the Warner Bros Instagram and shared it with him and told him this is definitely on my bucket list and that it will make my dreams come true to sit on the couch at Central Park (where the friends hang out every day in the show) . With no hesitation, he told me to book the flight and make it happen. So in the following 24 hours, I planned our trip to California and this is what we decided to do to celebrate our 4 year anniversary so I booked it for that same week. The day comes, I couldn’t be more excited to go to the set, it was already the best day ever—little did I did know what was about to come. He kept everything under wraps really well cause I had no idea. Supposedly he had been communicating with the assistant manager for months and even tried to get all the actors to be there when he asked but couldn’t get through to their agents (how amazing that he thought of that tho <3) So, we check into the hotel, spend the first day exploring Cali and checking out Universal Studios and some sightseeing. Then the day came, we get to the Studio—we put our things through the security check and he said he freaked out cause he had to put the ring in the basket and he had to signal the security so he wouldn’t spill the beans, LOL. Close call— we get some coffee and he told me he was signaling the assistant manager the whole time without me noticing but since I didn’t even know how she looked, there was no way I would know. We then get directed with a big group to the mini theater they have to watch the intro to the WB Studio that shows its history and all the shows/ movies that have been filmed there which was super neat.

We then got on the cart and went through the tour of the studio, we got to go inside the “Geller Prom Video House” (friends fans will know what that is and how excited I was for that) — then we reach the end of the tour. We finally get to what I was anxiously waiting for: Central Perk! I found out the couch that they had there was the same one they used for seasons 4-6 I believe so that means my favorite actors had sat on it, I was such a fangirl at this point. So then they pick me and Leo to play Ross and Rachel (planned) to act out a scene. I’m shy so I was pretty nervous especially since everyone in our tour group was watching and we had cameras literally recording us like a real show. But I suck it up because #GOALS, I read the lines and once we see ourselves on the screen and everyone’s ready to go toward the end Leo asks me to give him a second cause he needs to ask me something…he then gets on one knee and asks me if I want to be his “Lobster” forever (also from the show) I immediately burst into tears and couldn’t keep it together.

As many brides can relate, it’s like I blacked out. It felt like a dream. He had to take off my promise ring so you can see in the video he has trouble removing it cause I had it for 4 years almost at that point and it didn’t fit anymore lol someone asked from the audience when they realized what was happening if I said yes, I screamed “OF COURSE!” And just like that, we were engaged. It was a perfect way. No cliches. He was so thoughtful to think of that and it made me love him that much more :) and to top off how perfect it was, he didn’t know this but I found out later through the WB Instagram posting it: that exact day made 12 years exactly since the last episode aired. Amazing. I couldn’t have asked for a better proposal or fiancé, what a blessing! <3 :)

Our Video

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Special Thanks

Michelle Gomez
Planning