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Lori & Stephanie, The Inspiration Story

March 10th, 2016

"She called us an inspiration… It truly was a beautiful night."

Lori & Stephanie, The Inspiration Story


It was a night in 2011 when Lori went to see the country rock band Antigone Rising at the Stone Pony in Asbury Park, New Jersey that her life changed. Lori was standing in the crowd with a group when one of her friends walked in with a cute girl. She was drawn to her, and she had to find out who she was.

Her name was Stephanie. She was Lori's friend's sister -so friendly and sweet that throughout the night, Lori had a better time talking to her than she did listening to the music. There was an immediate, obvious attraction and connection between them. They wasted no time in friending each other on Facebook that night and began messaging each other nonstop until they went on their first date.

One date led to another, and the other led to more. Soon enough, they fell in love.

Stephanie, although originally from Staten Island, was living in New Jersey at the time… once things got serious between her and Lori, she moved back to Staten Island just to be with her. She couldn't stay away.

Things eventually became so serious between Lori and Stephanie, in fact, that 5 years after the night Lori asked who Stephanie was, she decided to ask another very important question…

The Perfect Proposal, from Lori…

"Stephanie and I were home on Valentine's Day when her business partner at the salon she co-owns, Marucci Hair Design, sent her a picture of her hand with an engagement ring on it! Such a coincidence that her friend would get engaged on the same day!

The ring was burning a hole in my pocket.

I found a beautiful engagement ring online and brought a picture of it to Gerald Peters. Alana was the associate who helped me find the perfect one that I could only dream of. She understood the style and design of the ring I was looking for and exceeded my expectations so much! She helped me pick a stunning platinum Quilted Collection simple setting from A. Jaffe -everything and more than what I hoped I would give to Stephanie.

I couldn't wait for Valentine's Day -the perfect day to propose.

Before heading to the city where we had dinner reservations, I gave Stephanie a fake Valentine's Day gift so that she didn't suspect anything else was coming. I chose a beautiful steakhouse we love called Valbella in the Meatpacking District -it's special to us, making it the perfect spot for one of the most important moments of our lives.

I called the restaurant ahead of time to tell them I had planned to propose that night and asked if they could write "Will you marry me?" on our dessert plate. They were so helpful, and I was ecstatic that I could excite and surprise Stephanie with a cute way of proposing. I also had set up another adorable surprise to go along with that. Stephanie has three little nephews who call me "Aunt Wori" because they can't pronounce their "L's." We both adore them, so I asked Stephanie's sister to have them pose in matching pink shirts, holding up signs that said "Marry Aunt Wori." I saved the cutest one on my phone and planned to show it to Stephanie as soon as she read the writing on the plate. I had the perfect plan set up.

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We were seated in a small romantic corner of the restaurant that night and I felt the weight of the ring under the napkin on my lap grow heavier and heavier with every bite. I didn't know if it was because I was nervous, but I also kept noticing two girls stare at us from a table nearby throughout the night. Between them staring and it being Valentine's Day and just the pressure of it all, I got so nervous that I began to count the minutes until dessert came out!

When the waiter finally did bring it out, I took a deep breath and prepared myself to ask the most important question of my life. I looked into Stephanie's eyes and down at the plate where "Will you MERRY me?" was written! Will you merry me. Great.

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I looked back up at Stephanie only to see a shocked and slightly confused face. I mean, it was only a one letter typo and still pretty clear, but I still, in between heavy, nervous breaths, asked her, "Stephanie, will you marry me?" and then showed her the picture of the boys.

I gave her a few seconds to put it all together before she finally got through her shock, understood what was going on and said yes! I put the beautiful ring on her finger and made her my fianc?e. Her happiness and excitement overwhelmed her so much, and I couldn't help but laugh at how the plate said "merry" and how long it took her to understand that I was asking her to marry me. It was the funniest, most nerve wracking, yet most incredible moment of my life, and I was overjoyed that she said yes.

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A few minutes later, one of the girls who spent their night staring at us came over to our table and asked if she could take a picture. She called us her inspiration. She confessed that it was because of us that she decided she was going to gather all of her courage and propose to her girlfriend on Valentine's Day of next year at this same restaurant. Not only did Stephanie and I get the happiest day of our lives thus far that night, but we opened the door for another couple to get the happiest day of theirs, too.

It truly was a beautiful night.