Lauren & Matt, The Disney World Story

November 10th, 2015

"I said to my sister about my future husband, "Britt, you should date him…he's cute.""

Lauren & Matt, The Disney World Story

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You could spend an entire year -an entire 365 days thinking your life is going in one direction before coming across a single moment where it all changes. That's all it took for Lauren and Matt. One moment.

Lauren was in Disney World with her family on New Year's Eve in 2013. They planned to spend the last night of the long year in Epcot, so they could ring in the new year after a quick trip "around the world." Before they went to the park that morning, Lauren's sister Brittany decided to do Lauren's makeup… even though they were just going to spend the day at a theme park. When their mother noticed Brittany putting makeup on Lauren, she yelled to them, "Hurry up! It's not like you're going to meet your Prince Charming in Disney!" No one knew Lauren's world would be turned around that last night of 2013 when she actually did meet her Prince Charming. Brittany invited her best friend from home to join them that night -her best friend, Matt, happened to also be in Florida at the time with some friends. Because Matt wanted to do something fun for New Year's Eve, he joined his best friend's family in Epcot, also unaware of how his life would change that night.

On December 31st, 2013, Lauren and Matt met. Lauren thought Matt was so cute. So much so, that she whispered to her younger sister about her future husband, "Britt, you should date him… he's cute." Lauren didn't consider a possibility of there ever being anything between her and Matt. He was a bit younger than her, and was her younger sister's best friend. It just didn't make sense. Matt, though, had known who Lauren was and always said to Brittany, "One day I'll be sitting at your family's Christmas table next to your sister."

Brittany told Matt that if he had a shot it would be right then and there, that night. So he tried. He tried dancing with Lauren, but Lauren found herself staying away and being somewhat standoffish -not because she didn't like him, but because he was her younger sister's best friend! She reluctantly kept her distance.

Lauren and Matt rung in 2014 together, now knowing each other, and both secretly and not-so-secretly liking each other.

On the first day of 2014, Matt and his friends were supposed to go to a Miami Heat basketball game. After meeting the love of his life the night before, he decided to skip the game.

Matt stayed in Disney to spend the first day of his new year in Magic Kingdom with Lauren and her family.

When they got back home to New York, Matt and his friend wanted to take Lauren and Brittany on a date. Brittany asked Lauren if she would consider going out with Matt so they could double… to ease the awkwardness, of course. Lauren agreed.

Lauren and Matt's first date was with Brittany -the reason they met in the first place- at a New York Knicks vs Miami Heat basketball game. They ended what turned out to be the sweetest first date in the sweetest way, at New York City's The Sugar Factory.

After that, Matt was no longer just Lauren's younger sister's best friend. The boy she forced herself to stay away from soon became her boyfriend.

The Perfect Proposal, from Lauren…

"It had been almost two years since Matt and I met in Disney World on that life-changing New Year's Eve. We had been so happy together, and I can't believe I had fallen in love with the guy I told my sister to date!

One day in October, my parents called me at work saying they had a timeshare opportunity in Florida that was going to expire soon. They asked if Matt and I would be able to go. It just so happened that my manager at work had given me days off the exact days the vacation would be. It worked out perfectly. I told Matt to take those days off, so we booked the flights right then and began scrambling to prepare for our last-minute decision trip… or so I thought.

What really happened, I found out later, was that this entire "spur of the moment" trip had been planned for two months. Matt had asked my mother and father for my hand in marriage and then they began planning what he knew would be my dream proposal. My sister immediately contacted my manager and told her to let me have those days free. Yet, here I was, thinking all of these things had magically fallen into place, allowing this trip to happen!

On October 15th, Matt took me and my Minnie Mouse ears to have breakfast with the characters like the young child I really am at heart. After that, at around 11 am, we decided to go to Epcot, where the International Food and Wine Festival was going on. It just so happened that Matt's coworker was in Disney at the time with his son, so Matt suggested we go over to "Italy" to say a quick hello to them. Italy was my favorite spot in Epcot… not only because that's where Matt and I met, but also because it's my dream to get married in the real Italy. Epcot's Italy was the closest thing I had to the real one.

When we got to "Italy," Matt stopped me and pointed to something in the distance. He said, "Lauren, look over there at that sign!"

I looked over and saw a bunch of people holding a big sign that said, "Will you marry me?" I thought it was adorable and was so happy for the girl the sign was for until I saw one of the sign holders slowly roll open the beginning of the sign…

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"Lauren."

The full sign said, "Lauren, will you marry me?" I couldn't believe it. The sign was for me.

I turned back to Matt in surprise and found him down on one knee. He repeated the words on the sign and I immediately yelled "YES!" five times. I was so extremely happy and excited! Matt actually started laughing and said, "Wow, girls don't usually say yes because of their shock!" "Yes" was the only word I could manage to say. What else would I say to the man of my dreams who just asked if I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him?

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I couldn't even contain my excitement enough to look down at the honestly breathtaking ring Matt was putting on my finger. It was a 3 carat round diamond set in a traditional thin band setting by Gerald Peters' A. Jaffe Collection -I could have only imagined this ring in my dreams.

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I didn't cry until the sign holders in the distance ran over to me. They weren't random people. They were my family. Matt made my proposal everything I've ever wanted: just us two alone, in the magical place where we met, and with my family close-by to celebrate with afterward. That's when I broke down in the happiest tears I've ever had in my life.

It's funny how your life can change in a moment.

I met Matt by chance on the last day of 2013, making my future shift gears and turn into something I only dreamed of. All it takes is a single moment to turn everything around.

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This Christmas, Matt will be at our family's dinner table, like he always said he would, sitting next to me as my new fiancé…. and it's all thanks to a single, magical moment.

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