Rachel & Chris: The Story on the Pier
June 1st, 2017
Rachel and Christopher met in May of 2011. It was Cinco de Mayo and Rachel, who was living in Staten Island at the time with her friend Laura, was invited to a party being thrown by Laura's company. Staten Islander's take their holidays quite seriously and the party didn't end with the first event- the girls later went to meet with Laura's boyfriend and his friends. The night was going well until an uninvited stranger tried to dance with Rachel… Cue Chris, who saw how clearly uncomfortable Rachel was and saved her from the awkward situation. He stuck around to dance with her and the two had hit it off. Before the night was over, they exchanged numbers and to Rachel's surprise, she woke up with a text from him the very next morning. As it turned out, they had a lot more in common than just their mutual friends from the other night- they had both gone to Wagner College and even had a class together! Chris told Rachel that he had even tried to sit near her in the Child Psychology class a few times before actually meeting her. After that, Rachel and Chris spent nearly every weekend together, even after Rachel had moved back to New Jersey. Though there was no clear moment where they actually declared themselves an "official" couple, Rachel looks back on a specific moment that summer when Chris was away in Peru without any cell phone service (remember, this was 2011- smart phones and iMessage had not yet taken over and when people traveled they were pretty much off the grid.) He had walked over a mile to an internet cafe in Machu Picchu just to email Rachel. When he returned from the trip, Rachel picked Chris up from the airport and the rest is history. Six years and half a dozen Cinco de Mayos later, Chris and Rachel are still celebrating together.
The Perfect Proposal, according to Rachel:
It happened at the end of the pier at the La Concha resort in San Juan, Puerto Rico on May 5th, 2017 (our met-a-versary.) We were in Puerto Rico for one of my best friend's wedding- the same friend, Laura, who basically introduced us. It was the day before the wedding and I woke up at 9:15am to a text from her that I NEEDED to do my hair and makeup and be at the pier in a sundress by 10:00am. Talk about short notice! Frantically, (and grumpily because I hadn't had my coffee) I woke Chris to complain and proceeded to send a complaining text to my friend Kristina about my crunch time hair and makeup woes. Chris and I had originally had originally had plans to get breakfast and hit the beach, but Chris didn't seem to mind and told me to just do it to make Laura happy… after all, she was the bride. I continued to get ready and sent Kristina a picture of myself, hair not done straightened, and in a messy bun who also told me to stop complaining and that I had to do it. I asked Chris if he was going to walk over to the pier even though he wasn't in the bridal party or required to take pictures but to my surprise, Chris said that Laura had already invited him and our friend Ethan to be in the pictures. Finding this out made me more willing to take the pictures, knowing that Chris was coming and we could snag a nice picture of just us in honor of our six year anniversary.
On the elevator ride down to the pier, I gave Chris a kiss and said "happy 6 year anniversary!" not knowing what was in store as we headed to the lobby to meet everyone. When we got to the lobby, no one was there, which I attributed to us being late so we headed straight to the pier. Clue one that something was happening: when we got to the park near the pier, only 3 of our friends were there and everyone else was dressed casually. Our friend Ethan was in a tank top and bathing suit and I remember pointing out that he was very under dressed. The other girls there, Christie (maid of honor) and Lauren, were also dressed very casually. I made a comment how Laura said I had to be dressed up, and said they were lucky they got to dress so casually. No one else was there yet (or so I thought), and Chris asked if I wanted "to go take a selfie on the pier." You would think with all these signs of something happening, I would've caught on but the distraction of it being Laura's wedding weekend kept me totally clueless.
To make matters more suspicious, Chris and I have a running joke of "1 picture a day or event" because he hates posing for pictures, so the fact that HE was the one asking to take the picture should have been the dead giveaway that something was going on. The pier was a long walk, and Ethan said to give him my phone and he would take our picture if we took his and Lauren's picture. They followed us but walked a little farther behind. Chris and I were walking to the end of the pier, and I remember noticing his hand was in his pocket the whole time. Chris never walks with his hand in his pocket, but I still thought nothing of it. I walked a little ahead of him, my usual rushing self, and kept asking if I was in a good spot for the picture. When I got towards the end, I turned around to ask him if this was far enough, and he was down on his knee. I still didn't know what was happening. I even said "What are you doing?". It then hit me- my best friend was proposing. He was on his knee and started saying "6 years ago today we met". The tears started flowing and I took my sunglasses off and he got choked up. He didn't need to say anything more. I knew how much he loved me and how nerve wracking all of this must have been for him. He simply said "Will you marry me?" He opened the ring box and I said "oh my god" and I bent down and kissed him and then shook my head yes- I still can't remember if I actually said the word yes. He got up and my reaction was "so this is why Kristina made me straighten my hair!" At that point Chris still had the ring in front of me and I was so nervous and shocked I grabbed the ring out of the box and tried to put it on my own finger. We were both laughing and he said "Wait, I think I'm supposed to do that". I said "I'm sorry" as I laughed and cried, and he put it on my finger. Our friend Ethan was filming the engagement, and screamed, "wait, did you say yes?" and I said "Yes I said Yes".
Chris and I turned around and all of our friends were running down the pier to congratulate us. Apparently, the original plan had everyone there at the pier for the proposal, but he couldn't wait. When they saw him get down on one knee and began running from the park. Afterwards Chris had a breakfast arranged for us on the rooftop restaurant at the hotel, alone on the balcony overlooking the water- but all of our friends wanted to go and celebrate, so we went and cancelled our breakfast alone in exchange for a celebratory champagne breakfast, followed by a day at the beach. Looking back, I couldn't think of a more romantic story- it was 6 years to the day we met, and we were in PR for the wedding of the couple who introduced us. Everything had come full circle.
In my head, I've been engaged to Chris since we first moved in together and I even joked that I would propose to HIM if he didn't do it soon. We had many discussions about when, and this Christmas he wrote in my card that he â€˜promised this was our year' so I knew it was going to happen in 2017 at some point. I always said that he would never be able to surprise me, as I basically handle our social calendar and there is rarely anything scheduled by him that I don't know about. Having the wedding already in the calendar really threw me off and made for a good surprise. As it turns out that for the past few months, any time he said he was golfing with friends, he was really in Staten Island doing something in regards to getting the ring. Apparently EVERYONE knew Chris was proposing. Before I left for our vacation, my Mom asked me why I was going to Puerto Rico and I said to be a bridesmaid in Laura's wedding. She said "soon enough we will be planning yours" and I laughed and walked out of my parents house thinking nothing of it. He had gone through a lot of trouble to align schedules with my dad to ask for his blessing - my dad was traveling a lot that month and Chris is a commuter who parks at a rest top to take the bus, and ended up meeting my dad in his truck the day before we left just to get his blessing. And of course Laura and her now husband Nick were in on the plans- Chris asked their permission and they were super excited and all for it, and made sure everyone else knew about the plan so it would go off without a hitch."
Though Chris and Rachel had never gone ring shopping together, he had a good idea of what she would like. Rachel had many photos saved of rings and dresses she liked from instagram and she even texted him one she had liked about two years ago when Chris first moved in with her, noting that she was just giving him style advice and wanted him to be the one to pick the ring. When getting a ring sized, she had the jeweler measure her finger and left the post it with the size for Chris for "whenever he was ready." Chris selected a stunning platinum Tacori petite crescent with a sparkling round diamond center.
Chris and Rachel plan to tie the knot at the Gramercy in Hazlet, New Jersey in July of 2018 and they couldn't be more excited to start the next chapter of their lives together!