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Amanda & Matthew: The Bryant Park Proposal

July 22nd, 2019

The beginning: Matt and Amanda met unexpectedly at a party in August 2013, one week before her 21st birthday. Amanda was sitting in the backyard (no makeup on, hair not done, thinking it was a girls' night) when a group of guys walked in: Matt was one of them. She was instantly attracted to him, even saying to her friend, "that kid in the red shirt is super cute." Amanda asked that kid in the red shirt his name. "Matt," he said. His friends started laughing so, in disbelief, Amanda asked to see his ID for proof of his name. As it turns out, Matt wasn't lying, he was actually just as nervous as Amanda was, having told his friends "that girl is beautiful." In fact, Matt had his friend ask Amanda for her number in order to get details about where she was going out for her 21st. But it wasn't his friend who texted her the next day. It was Matt who reached out. They talked every day that week, morning to night, and on the night of Amanda's birthday, the two shared their first kiss. She was so excited that she actually came home and told her parents, something she never did before. A few days later, Amanda and Matt went on their first real date. He picked her up, they got Ralph's Ices, and sat on the boardwalk just talking all night. It was so natural. Five months later, on December 19th, 2013, Matt took Amanda to the city to see the tree and go ice skating in Bryant Park. While ice skating, Matt asked Amanda to be his girlfriend. Every year now, the couple celebrates their dating anniversary by going to see the tree and then going ice skating in Bryant Park, a place that has become uniquely special to them.

Since that December night, Amanda and Matt have gone through every major milestone together, supporting one another 100% of the time. In January of 2014, Matt got called for the NYPD academy and graduated in July that same year. Amanda graduated from John Jay that summer as well with her undergraduate degree. Matt started his career while Amanda began work on her Master's Program for clinical mental health counseling, which she graduated from in January 2018. Even so, this couple isn't all work and no play. Before their relationship, Matt never left the country, but over the past five and a half years, the couple has traveled to Mexico and Jamaica - twice! Although Matt does not like flying, he and Amanda both love vacations, relaxing, and having a good time together.

Amanda says, "It was so easy to fall in love with him, I would say it was almost like love at first sight. As soon as I saw him I knew instantly: I liked this kid. And the more I got to know him, the more I loved everything about him. He amazes me every day. He is so caring, selfless, loving and supportive; I couldn't have found a better man!"

The Perfect Proposal, according to Amanda: "For the last two years I would send Matt pictures of the kind of ring I liked. I did not know this then, but he actually saved all the pictures in his phone for when he was ready to propose…I was getting nervous about him proposing. I truly did not think it was going to happen. We had conversations about marriage before, and he would always tell me he wanted to marry me and that he was ready, but I couldn't understand why he wasn't doing it. Little did I know, he was just throwing me off.

Memorial Day weekend was coming and I noticed Matt had scheduled off Sunday before Memorial Day. I figured it would be cool to have a BBQ since it's so rare he has off holidays. I asked my parents earlier in that week if I could have people over and they kept questioning me on how many people I was having. I thought it was odd, since they never really did that before, but I just rationalized it to it being because I got a new puppy and they were afraid of him running out the gate when people come and go. Wednesday before the proposal, my best friend asked me to go to Macys in the city with her since she had to get an anniversary gift for her one year wedding anniversary. I immediately said yes, but after I thought about it to myself saying ?oh I really don't want to do this, I have people coming over later that day, I have to clean my yard, it's Memorial Day weekend the city will be packed plus its fleet week.' I called Matt to vent about it and he basically told me to just go since, with work, he'll need to sleep before coming over and people aren't expected to come until 4pm-ish. Still, I had absolutely no idea because 1) not out of the ordinary for my bestie to want to go shopping and ask me to go with her and 2) I knew he would be sleeping during the day because he gets out at 8am on Sunday morning.

I woke up and was really not in the mood to go. Matt had already texted me his ?goodnight' text saying he was going to sleep with plans to wake up around 2pm to get ready and come over. I woke up and I had so much on my mind with timing and wanted to be sure I had enough time to get home and go food shopping for the BBQ. My best friend picked me up and she drove into the city. We shopped around Macy's but she didn't find anything she liked. She suggested we go to Bryant Park for brunch and I agreed. She picked Bryant Park because they advertised having their summer shops so she wanted to check it out, again not thinking anything of it because she loves shopping. She asked me to look up what time they open so I did and we started to walk over. Once we got there, we realized there were no summer shops. Now at this point, I was pretty annoyed since it was so hot outside, she didn't find anything at Macy's AND there was nothing to do in Bryant Park at that point. We sat down and said we would wait the ten minutes before brunch opened. We were talking and she made this face of nervousness and that's when I got a tap on the shoulder. Being a New Yorker, I figured here are two girls sitting in Bryant Park alone, we're getting mugged or something. I look over my shoulder and BAM, it was MATT! I was so confused I said ?Matt? What? [turned to my best friend] what is Matt doing here?!' She got up smiling and walked away with no answer. I looked back over to ask him why he was there and I see him getting down on one knee. He said ?Amanda, I am so proud of you and all your accomplishments' and the water works came. It was surreal, I was so happy and shocked, I couldn't believe it. In the same place he asked me to be his girlfriend, he asked me to be his wife! My older brother, Jon, filmed the whole thing. My best friend, Jaclyn (the girl I was with the whole time) was in on the whole thing and I had absolutely no idea. Her husband was there too, he drove in with Matt. The five of us went to brunch at Bryant Park and then went back to my house for what originally was a Memorial Day BBQ, but turned into our engagement BBQ. Both of our families and friends came and we had such an amazing day.

The ring: As it turns out, Matt chose the ring that was exactly what Amanda had wanted when she sent him a picture two years ago. He didn't even realize when picking it out until after it was made and he looked back and noticed its exactness. The ring features a beautiful 1.5 carat Round Brilliant center diamond set high in 6 prongs with diamonds on the band. "It is the most gorgeous thing I have ever seen!" Amanda said.

The future: Currently, the couple is enjoying being engaged. Though they don't want to rush the planning process, Amanda and Matt are hoping to be married in the spring of 2021. The planning process is certainly one to cherish. Enjoy it!