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Kelly and James: The Proposal on the Sand

Kelly and James love hiking, surfing, the beach, and anything outdoors, really. Being in the ocean or surrounded by mountains makes this couple think about what's truly important. It's only fitting that James included family and the beach when he proposed. Check out Kelly's surprise and more of the couple's story here!

The beginning: About 10 years ago, Kelly and James were both athletes at Paramus Catholic High School. She was a freshman and he was a sophomore, and their paths first crossed during summer workouts when Kelly caught James’ eye. He yelled “Hey #7!” which made Kelly blush, unsure if this good looking football player was actually talking to her. He was, and after months of high school cliches, of texting, and of smiling in the hallways, James finally kissed her. Before Kelly walked away from the kiss, James said, “I hope you know, now, you’re my girl,” and she said that this moment is where their story truly began. Throughout the course of their high school careers, James and Kelly were on and off. Hearts were broken and their love was surely tested, but they always found their way to each other. Kelly said that “Deep down, I think we both knew it was the endgame for us when we started dating. We always joke around and say we have dated as three separate people: as kids who knew nothing, as young adults who weren’t ready, and, now, as people who want to be the best for one another and to build the most amazing future and family together.” Two years ago, the on and off again stopped. The couple laid everything out on the table and decided they were all in, for better or worse.

On a side note: If you’re familiar with Gerald Peters’ Perfect Proposal posts, you might remember the cool couple from “Alyssa & Shaun: The Ibiza Proposal.” Kelly is actually Shaun’s sister, and writing this next section gives me similar vibes. Kelly talked to me about family and the importance of it to her, and I loved seeing the passions this family will continue to share together.

Back to Kelly and James...they love the beach, more specifically surfing, and being outdoors. Two of their favorite trips together have been Nosara, Costa Rica and Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Kelly explained that the Costa Rica trip solidified everything for the couple. It set their relationship in stone. These surfing trips, she said, are immeasurable because they “allow you to get so far away from the chaos of the Tri-state and work, and to really sit with yourself. Paddling out into the ocean, as the sun falls beneath the shore line reminds you of how small you are and what is truly important. You look at your life and you think about who’s there now, and who you want to share this piece of paradise with.” On this trip, Kelly and James discussed what truly matters to them: “love, life, and family.” Three things they want to continue to build with each other. Steamboat Springs, Colorado is another trip that the couple says reminds “you of how small you are as you drive and hike through these massive mountain ranges, and stand next to waterfalls the size of skyscrapers.” This trip allowed Kelly’s family to get closer to James, to see the guy she falls in love with each day. She said, “It was everything for me, getting to see them truly bond like that.”

The Perfect Proposal, according to Kelly: “So the weeks leading up to the proposal, I flirted with the idea that it was happening 4th of July, because our families were coming together and it seemed like such a good moment. However, so many factors came into play that steered me away from the idea. Not only have we been in quarantine since March, but he’s pretty much with me, working out, or going to work. Therefore, I was like no shot. I don’t even think this kid has had the chance to ring shop because nothing is open! Plus, my sister acted as though they’ve never even conversed about what style I like, so I was like Oh god. They haven’t even talked? It is not happening. Fast forward to the fourth of July morning. I really thought nothing of it. We were down at James’ shore house in Lavallette. We had woken up and James seemed so cool and collected. I woke up early, like I always do, and had my morning coffee with his cousins, Jenn and Kelly. We set up like 15 chairs on the beach to prep for our family beach day, and then I began to get a migraine (which isn’t surprising, unfortunately). I tried to distract myself, so I made blueberry pancakes for the family. I gave James a 30 minute warning, until my cousins were getting to the house, so he had to wake up. As I finished up making breakfast, Jenn had told me James was cleaning and reorganizing the whole garage. To me, this is very James. So I was like, well that’s cute that he’s preparing for my family to get here. James hopped in the shower and I threw on my bathing suit and cover-up. I hung out outside with my cousins for about 30-40 minutes, just talking while the rest of the house was beginning to get ready for the beach. James finally came out and then we continued to talk, as we waited for my parents, my sister/her boyfriend, and my brother/his fiancé. Once everyone arrived, I was antsy to finally get up to the beach. Everyone seemed to be moving like snails or just continuously running in and out of the house. My sister’s boyfriend, however, lightened the mood by throwing together a massive flag pole, with a big American flag (Super ‘Merica). We walked on the beach and everybody loved it. Our beach day had officially begun, with our big crew of 20 people. The day continued to be super chill, in my eyes. We ate sandwiches, shared some beers, and enjoyed the music on the beach. I dug a hole for the little cousins, and sunbathed for quite a while. As the day progressed, I was just loving the families being together, at my favorite place. Then, my sister and her boyfriend got up to take a picture, I watched from afar, calling out some posing cues for my sister. She basically ignored them all, which led her to yell at me, ‘So you take the picture then.’ Rolling my eyes, I got up, posed her, and took a lovely picture. James then said, ‘Hey babe, why don’t we take a picture?’ So not thinking much of it, I was like ‘yeah, sure.’ As I turned to prep myself in front of the big American flag, James got down on one knee. Utterly shocked, I immediately started shaking and tearing up. He said such sweet words, opened the ring box from Gerald Peters, then asked, ‘Will you please marry me?’ I just about blacked out, out of pure joy, but got out the words, ‘of course!’ It was the most perfect moment, surrounded by our family, with the waves behind us. I swear, I’m still on cloud nine.”

The ring: James picked a stunning ring for Kelly! He selected a beautiful Pear Shaped Diamond showcased in a diamond halo setting. The halo and the Diamond make a gorgeous combination. It is truly a ring that catches the eye!

The future: Right now, the future Mr. and Mrs. are soaking up all of the excitement that comes with being engaged. Kelly’s brother is getting married (hopefully) in September, so she and James want to be really present, and fully enjoy those moments before they begin planning their big day. Kelly said that her and James are looking forward to what’s to come and they’re hoping to keep the beach vibes theme for their wedding. Here at Gerald Peters, we have no doubt that you will. Congrats to the newly engaged couple!

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