Krystiana & TJ: The Rooftop Proposal

June 8th, 2019

The beginning: TJ and Krystiana met when she was 17 years old and he was about 21. Krystiana was a senior in high school and her brother, Joe, was a junior looking to play AAU basketball. At the time, TJ was putting together a team and his best friend, Paul, thought Joe would be a great fit. Though Krystiana and TJ traveled that whole AAU season together, they maybe said three words to each other. A year and a half later, that would change.

The summer Krystiana returned from her freshman year of college at La Salle University, she came home to find that Joe and TJ had formed a very close friendship. That summer, Krystiana and TJ formed their own very close friendship as well. In fact, Krystiana even began calling him Thomas (she's still the only one who does!). They truly enjoyed spending time together but, more than that, they had gained a great respect for each other. At the time, both Krystiana and TJ were seeing other people and when she went back to school in the fall, they still maintained a close friendship. It was not until January of 2012 that Krystiana realized she was falling in love with her best friend. Together, they decided to take the next step.

The couple started dating seven years ago, and Krystiana says that Thomas does nothing short of inspiring her every day. She says that "everything I have achieved and he has achieved, we have achieved together - as a team." TJ has been the head men's basketball coach at the College of Staten Island for two years now and the road he took to get there is "a true testament to his impact." He spent a year at NJIT, three years at Baruch College, was a Dean of Students at a Prep school in Harlem, and was the Director of a center in Mariners Harbor. In each place, it is said that he leaves an "unmatched mark." When Krystiana left La Salle, she came back home and took some time off to figure out what it was that she really wanted to do. Through it all, she has had Thomas' constant support. Since then, she has pursued a degree in Psychology that she will finish up in the fall. Woo!

The Perfect Proposal, according to Krystiana: "Thomas told me in December that he had been chosen as one of the top 30 young coaches for Forbes magazine. He told me that they would be doing a photoshoot in April and a write up on him for a digital print on their website and that it was important I be there. I was really excited for him. It's Forbes! Leading up to April, he sporadically spoke about it. He would make comments about how he spoke to the Forbes rep on the phone, updating him as time passed. When February came around, he got very clever, making it as believable as possible (even though I never thought for a second he was lying). He wrote a mock email from a Forbes representative (who he must have Googled because she was a real person) stating the whole schedule of the day from locations to times to the clothes he had to wear. He told me I would be going to the last location to take some photos with him at the Brooklyn Bridge. Two weeks before the ‘photoshoot,' he was in MA for an AAU tournament and was sending me pictures of ‘film crews' watching him coach to help tell his story - it was really luggage of a random person at an airport. The day of the proposal, I met him at CSI where he had a photographer with him who stated that he worked for Forbes and had been following him around all day (he was also in on it all). He drove with us to Brooklyn and when we got there, I kept asking him how he knew where to go. The photographer fake called his best friend and had a pretend phone call…As we walked toward the bridge, the photographer took pictures. I didn't think anything of it and, at one point, Thomas took out his phone to show me a video. He had AirPods on him and once we both took an ear, my brother's face popped up on the screen. Still at this point, I was clueless. It was until about a minute into the video that I grabbed Thomas' arm and said ‘what the hell is going on?' As we walked along the bridge, we watched an eight-minute video of people close to our relationship talking about what they loved about us through the years. By the end of the video, we were on a rooftop. I looked up and there were about fifty people lined up of our family and friends. I grabbed him again and told him ‘I think I am about to pass out' lol. We walked to the end of the people and he proposed."

The ring: TJ selected a beautiful oval diamond for Krystiana. The diamond is set in a stunning Sylvie setting and features the oval diamond in a double halo.

The future: The couple is currently in the process of booking a venue for their wedding and are looking at September 2020. They are also looking to purchase their first house together within the next year to year and half!

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