2016 was a wonderful year from weddings and we were honored and excited to close out out season by celebrating Alyssa and Eric’s wedding at Trump Winery just outside of Charlottesville. Alyssa and Eric met back in high school during their freshman year. One of their favorite teachers, Mrs. Martucci, played matchmaker and held Eric back for a second after their Old Testament class to talk. When Alyssa walked into the room, she introduced the two of them. At first there were AIM conversations (remember AIM!?), a few casual conversations in the hall and run ins at friends’ houses. Finally in February of 2006, Eric asked Alyssa to be his girlfriend.
As they went off to college, both driven by their education and careers, they maintained a strong long distance relationship. Once graduating they were eager to finally be in the same state! Throughout Alyssa’s residency in Richmond, Eric worked in the DC area and they continued their strong relationship, seeing each other every single weekend.
With a relationship that has seen so many years and miles, you can imagine that the engagement story would be an amazing one – one best said in their words.
The Engagement – Eric’s Point of View
My engagement experience started much earlier than the actual engagement day, as it probably does for most people who are doing the “asking”.
My engagement story really started in New York City, when I found myself sitting in a room with Taylor, Natalie and my good friend Kevin combing through diamonds at Salvatore and Co. Fortunately, Alyssa left me “subtle” hints as to the cut of diamond she loves and how she would design her wedding band if she were designing it herself. I brought Taylor and Natalie because I knew I would need a woman’s opinion on the design of the ring and I brought Kevin to control the two of them in New York City’s diamond district (Woody and Nick can thank me later for that). Although, kidding aside, I couldn’t imagine going through that experience without my sister and Alyssa’s sister by my side. While deciding on the diamond and design, I was overcome with emotion; to the point that my sister asked if I needed water. And no, I wasn’t nervous about the idea of asking Alyssa to spend the rest of her life with me, instead I was concerned with how in the world I was going to hide this ring from her until the day I planned to ask her to marry me. Because, as Alyssa mentioned in her story, she can sniff out clues like a detective. At times I joke and call her Sherlock Holmes because I can never get anything by her. Finally, we decided on the perfect diamond and ring design and our Gemologist Terri was going to call me when it was ready to be picked up. So, when that day came, I went with my mother Stephanie and Alyssa’s mother Loretta to pick the ring up. I wanted to incorporate our mothers because my mom is a huge part in my life and Alyssa’s mom is for her as well and I wanted them to share in that special moment. But when we arrived back home to Connecticut, the real fun started; I had to ask Rob for his permission to take his daughter’s hand in marriage. I am not one to get nervous, but for this I was. So I confided in my brother for advice in how to go about it and he said to do what we do best, so I took Rob out for a drink to ask his permission. Fortunately, with only a little pestering from Rob (which he is good at doing) he gave me his blessing with one piece of advice; to laugh with each other every day.
The day of the engagement was a typical spring day in Charlottesville, Virginia, the sun was shining and there was an imminent threat of rain. This threat of rain was weighing on me since the whole proposal was outside at Jefferson Winery. I had already planned the day in advance with the Jefferson Winery staff, so they had it all set up for me when I arrived at 1pm for an engagement to happen around 5pm (yes I was early). I had everyone in Alyssa’s pharmacy giving me a play by play on what she was doing and they were tasked with letting me know when the limo arrived at the pharmacy. Since I had time on my hands and I was a bit nervous, I reached out to almost everyone in my phonebook just to talk. It was then I told my sister-in-law, Tiffany, that I was nervous, she responded, “I would be worried if you weren’t nervous!” So that put me at ease. Then I got the call, “Alyssa is on her way”. I did the final touch ups of the veranda and the table and luckily, no rain! When I saw Alyssa get out of the limo I could barely keep it together. My eyes were bloodshot red, I was sweating and for the first time in my life, I couldn’t find any words to say. I did tell her that I can’t promise you the world, but I promise to make you laugh every day, then got on one knee and asked her the four words I have been waiting ten years to say, “will you marry me?” She said yes and I have kept to my promise of making her laugh every single day and I plan to keep that going forever. It would be cliché for me to say I am the luckiest man in the world, but I can’t lie, having Alyssa does make me the luckiest man in the world.
The Engagement – Alyssa’s Point of View
Not only was this past year a great experience professionally, it was also personally rewarding. Eric and I grew closer together, the possibility of an engagement was on the horizon, and I experienced my first taste of life “as an adult.” As many know, I can ask a lot of questions and in addition, I am extremely perceptive. I knew that Eric had gone to New York to pick out a ring. I knew that he had it in his possession for 3 weeks before he proposed. I knew he took it out of the apartment when I was moving in. The one thing that I didn’t know was when, where, or how.
I can sniff out clues like nobody’s business. One weekend in Charlottesville, I noticed that Eric had picked up wine from Jefferson Vineyards while I was at work. I also picked up on things he was asking – such as if I had been to certain restaurants, as well as commenting on – such as Albemarle Limousine. I was on to him! Putting those clues together, I figured it would happen in Charlottesville, but the questions – when and how – remained.It was my last week of residency and I was on high alert. Especially Friday, June 26. You can say that I dressed for the occasion. I even asked my preceptor that morning, “does this outfit look like I’m expecting something to happen?!” Needless to say she laughed it off and called me crazy. It was mid afternoon and I decided to make Greer’s Goo in the compounding room. In the compounding room, there is a window that looks out into the rest of the pharmacy. I looked up and saw Kevin Williams (a dear friend and director of fabulous videos – which I’m sure you saw me starring in the ones that were shared by my mom on Facebook!) coming down the aisle with a camera and a guy in a suit. Immediately I knew something was up.
Kelly, my preceptor, came into the compounding room and said someone was here to see me and to call it a day. With a nervous laugh, and some tears, I walked out to be greeted by a limo driver who was to take me to an “undisclosed location.”
There were flowers and a love letter waiting for me in the limo. The letter was written in typical Eric fashion – emotional, lovey, and amazing. After a short ride, the limo pulled up to Jefferson Vineyards, the first vineyard Eric and I had been to in Charlottesville.
Eric was waiting on the veranda, with wine (of course!), cheese, and bread. It was there that Eric asked me to marry him. The rest is history!
Now, after all of their hard work, dedication and the power of love, Eric and Alyssa are finally together in the same state, city and home! Congratulations Alyssa and Eric! Thank you for allowing us to be a part of your amazing love story!
Bride’s Attire: Modern Trousseau
Bridesmaid’s Attire: Amsale
Groom/Groomsmen’s Attire: JoS. A. Bank
Invitations: Paper course
Wedding Planner: White Birch Events
Hair + Makeup: Studio FBJ Weddings
Band: A Town A List
Videographer: Ian’s Creations
Cake: Cakes by Rachel
Catering: Glorious Foods