From the Groom:
When He Knew
It all started after our trip back home together in July (2013). We had such a great time visiting family and friends, and we saw how natural and right it felt doing it together. I just knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life with my best friend. I began looking for rings mainly out of curiosity and never really expected to buy one anytime soon. It was on one of those searches, though, that I saw the ring that stood out to me. There was something about it that I knew Lindsay would love.
The entire time leading up to Lindsay coming here to Italy for the Marine Corps Ball, Lindsay teased me about how I was going to wait years before I would even consider buying a ring. So looking at the ring in my hand while she was saying that only added to how much of a surprise it was going to be. After talking with some of my friends here about possible places I could take her, I decided on the town of Tivoli. There, they have Villa D’Este which is a huge estate with hundreds of fountains throughout the large garden there. I didn’t have time to go there beforehand so I was essentially taking a shot in the dark. I had heard there was a secluded garden area with a nice flower layout, so that was my goal.
How He Asked
Our journey there was interesting because neither of us really knew how to navigate the train system, so we ended up buying expensive tickets from the kiosk only to end up missing the train. After talking to some train conductors and pretty much being called dumb tourists, we got much cheaper tickets and were on our way. I had never been on an actual train ride before then, so experiencing that with Lindsay was great. It ended up being a beautiful ride through the country side, up through the mountain where Tivoli, was allowing us to see a lot of Italy.
After making it to the Villa, we wandered around a little and then I suggested we have lunch by the large fish ponds there. Being the romantic I am, I packed tuna and crackers-a 5 star meal. After lunch, we headed to the garden. From what I was told, it was down a little alley way which we found, but it seemed a little different. What we found was a kind of an overgrown path with two fountains on opposite sides covered in cob webs and overgrown plants. Lindsay said it was beginning to creep her out so that’s when doubt started to set in. We had thought we had seen it all and there was still no little garden with a sign that said propose here. Lindsay began hinting she was ready to leave so I began to panic in my mind. I suggested we go back to the biggest fountain there because the organ was about to play. Well the organ did start playing.. it began to play the biggest let down of a song. We both kind of looked at each other and said “Really?” After that fail we were really on our way out.
By some act of God we ended up walking down a path that led to a beautiful fountain we somehow missed. It turned out to be the only non-working fountain in the place, but the sculptures and architecture made up for it. It was in a secluded area which I wanted because Lindsay had warned me beforehand that she was going to cry me a river when I actually proposed to her and I wanted to save her the embarrassment. She actually went to one of the walls to sit and rest so that’s when I decided it was time. I told her how much she meant to me and I asked her if she really wanted to spend the rest of her life with me. After that, she told me she thought I was acting strange so luckily I didn’t blow my cover. I suggested we take one last picture with “Flat Stanley” for her little cousin’s school project, so I put down my backpack and knelt down to get it out. Instead, I pulled out the ring and asked Lindsay, “Will you marry me?” She burst into tears and said “Are you bleeping serious?” She couldn’t stop smiling and crying from happiness which is something I will never forget.
Lindsay is the best thing that has ever happened to me. Even though we come from such different backgrounds, the magnetic chemistry we have is unmistakable. The distance has been hard on both of us, but it has made our commitment to each other so much stronger. Not to mention, she’s a total babe!
Brandon shared his proposal story with the blog as part of our #APbling series. Click here to see more proposal stories. If you would like to submit your own story to the blog, please tag #apbling on instagram or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with a summary of your proposal and a zip folder of images.