Q: When did you first meet and how?
A: Sam - We first met in 2016 thanks to a mutual friend, Zander, that John met on Bumble BFF. I had gone to trivia one Monday night with Zander and our friend Stephanie and he was telling us about this guy he met who has these gorgeous blue eyes and works in the financial district. Just that morning I had decided I was going to be alone forever and get a couple of dogs and just save up for my own place. Stephanie suggested that Zander introduce me to this guy, and I just laughed. Zander ended up inviting him to come out dancing with us that Friday. I decided that maybe I should actually look nice, so I went out and bought a new outfit and got my nails done but, of course, John ends up canceling and telling Zander he has a coworker’s going away party to go to.
When I heard this, I figured he was probably lying and didn’t actually want to come out, so I decided whatever, I’ll still get all done up and have a great night anyway. Zander had also decided he wasn’t taking no for an answer, so as soon as he got to my place on Friday, he told me he was making sure John came out with us.
When we get to the bar, Zander immediately starts taking pictures and videos and sending them to John, who after a couple of these, decides he’s going to come meet us. He finally gets to the bar a little after 11pm (I think) and doesn’t have any cash on him, so Zander had to go pay his cover. Zander introduces us and, apparently, I grabbed on to the back of John’s shirt and never let go. We ended up spending the entire three day weekend together and have been inseparable ever since.
Q: What about the design made you choose this ring to be the one?
A: John - Sam made it pretty easy for me by sending me a list (months before I proposed) detailing so many different features of the ring that she wanted. I took all of these details to the Fire & Brilliance team (With a few changes of my own + example pictures of other rings I found online) and their initial rendering was so close to perfect that the only detail I changed was adding scroll work in the empty space between the halo and the lower band. It came out absolutely perfectly! I expected the design process to take a couple weeks, but we did it in 3 days!
The ring is incredibly symbolic of both of us. It is giant and sparkly which is so Sam (simply put, she made her own boots that are covered in crystal panel that are the most sparkly things I ever saw...well, until this ring). The ring also has blue sapphires on each side which are my favorite color (And remind Sam of my eyes).
Q: In each your own words, can you describe what the days leading up to the proposal were like? Can you tell us about the proposal?
A: Sam: So John and I actually booked our Disney World vacation in February, and just about every day since we booked it, he made me promise that I wouldn’t be upset if he didn’t propose at Disney. He kept saying Disney was too cliché and that he wouldn’t propose in a restaurant either. We left on Saturday morning for Disney World and I was just so happy to be going to my favorite place with my favorite person.
On Sunday, we had an amazing brunch (our favorite meal) and went to the Star Wars event that night (which John was so happy about since he LOVES Star Wars). When we got back to the hotel room after the event, there was a gorgeous bouquet of red roses in a beautiful vase waiting for me! John said it was a thank you for going to the event with him, which I told him was completely unnecessary, but I loved the roses anyway!
So Monday comes, and we have breakfast with all the princesses and pizza for lunch at Via Napoli. After all of the walking and the heat, we decided a nap was a great idea before our fancy dinner. When we finally woke up, John got ready first and insisted on wearing a suit, which we argued about because I knew he was going to be way too hot (the weather was humid and like 90 degrees, typical Florida weather). He wouldn’t give in though, so I gave up, showered, and started to do my hair, meanwhile John is trying to rush me to get ready (which he never does). So I ended up going to dinner without makeup, but thankfully my hair looked decent! We had a few hours until our dinner reservation (hence why I was so confused that John was rushing me), so we rode the monorail around to the various hotels and traded pins with the cast members.
We finally ended up at the California Grill, our favorite restaurant in Disney World. It’s at the top of the Contemporary Resort and you have the absolute perfect view of the Cinderella Castle and Magic Kingdom. As we were coming off the elevator, I heard one of the waitresses say how there had been two proposals that night. Since I never miss an opportunity to give John a hard time, I told him this and added “maybe we’ll be lucky number three!” He just gave me that look and said, “Really?”
We actually walked past one of the newly engaged couples on our way to the observation deck and there was an empty table for two next to them and all I could think about was how if we were to sit next to them, I would go out of my mind all night (terrible, I know). We enjoyed some alone time on the deck and got a text saying our table was ready, which John seemed weirdly reluctant to go to, but we went anyway. We ended up getting a 4 person table right next to the window with the perfect view of the castle (all I could think was how lucky we were since we could just watch the fireworks from our table!). What was weird about the table was it was sprinkled with Mickey confetti. I thought it was just because they didn’t clean up the table enough beforehand, and John started teasing me asking what I did (since I made the reservation).
The waitress came over and asked us if we were celebrating anything and I said no, we’re just on vacation and celebrating life, took our wine and appetizer orders, and let us wait for the fireworks to begin. I told John he should come sit next to me, so he could have a better view so he moved and brought his bag with him. Just as they were starting, she came back with the wine, and for the first time ever, I had her change mine to be the same as John’s, which caused her to have to come back to the table. Meanwhile, I’m just excited about the fireworks, and start getting emotional as always.
I notice John is fidgeting with his bag and definitely heard him throw his sneakers under the table, but I just assumed he needed his phone for pictures or something. I decide to grab a piece of bread because 1. I’m hungry and 2. I figure it will help keep me from crying at the fireworks like I always do. I manage to get a piece of bread in my mouth, start chewing and look over at John, who is now down on one knee. My brain basically blacked out at this point. All I could think was “Oh my god, I have bread in my mouth. He’s down on one knee. Did he ask me the question? Did I shake my head no by accident? Omg, he said this wouldn’t happen here!”
After what felt like ages, he asked me to marry him (even said my full name correctly!) and all I could do was nod my head yes because of the mouthful of bread. Immediately the tables around us start to clap, and John had to put the ring on my finger because as of that point my brain hadn’t even registered that he had a ring! The fireworks finished and the manager of the restaurant came over with champagne and a platter for me to uncover, and there on a bed of rose petals was a glass slipper and a sugar scroll that read “Will you marry me?”
The glass slipper even had our names and the date engraved on it! I was completely overwhelmed and kept shaking and laughing and smiling and could not process everything that happened. We went back out to the observation deck to call my mom and tell her the news, but we were stopped at first by this sweet elderly lady to tell us congratulations and she wanted to see my ring, which she said was beautiful! We called my mom and John’s parents and sent them pictures of the ring and they were so happy for us! The rest of the meal is a bit of a blur since I was too excited to actually eat! John wasn’t finished with the surprises however. When we got back to our hotel room (just after midnight), I opened the door to find our room covered in rose petals and candles and a beautiful platter with a bottle of sparkling grape juice, two champagne flutes, and a large box with a note. This all made me start crying all over again. The note was beautiful and the box contained a beautiful wand and a gorgeous bracelet (that I’ve worn every day since)!
Q: How was your overall experience with Fire & Brilliance? How did you first hear about us?
A: Sam: I first heard about Fire & Brilliance when I was doing research about moissanite. I always knew I wanted a large ring, but I didn’t want us to spend a fortune on a ring alone. My grandmother and my aunt both had moissanite jewelry, and I wanted to do a bit more research, so I Googled and up came across the videos from Fire & Brilliance! They were so informative and helpful that I knew they would be a great option for my ring. I told John about them about a year ago when I sent him a list of the things I liked in a ring (stone cut, size, a halo, metal type, etc.).
Lastly, we wanted to ask something of each our clients (for yourself or for both of you to answer) to be featured a question that is unique to their story.
Q: What is/was your favorite place/destination to travel to together?
A: Sam: I mean, I’d have to say Disney World. We’ve already been twice together (one of those times was with my family) and plan on spending Thanksgiving there with his family. It’s a place that allows us to forget about the stress of the real world and to just be kids again. And, to top it all off, we plan on having our wedding there next year (which means even more trips)!!