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1
The First Date
2015: Chris and Giovanna first met online, not knowing if they would hit if off but still wanting to get to know each other they went on their first date in May at the Liberty Tavern in Clarendon – Arlington VA. They instantly hit it off, Giovanna noting how accommodating and respectful he was and Chris seeing how outgoing and full of life Giovanna was. They spent hours talking and getting to know each other and at the end of the night Giovanna told Chris that she was getting ready to leave for a 3 month internship in Minnesota. So Chris took that as an opportunity to secure a second date with her! He knew they both felt something so before they left the first date, he already planned dinner for their second date for when she got back in August! After months of talking and getting to know one another, Chris decided that he wanted to make their relationship official. So on October 3rd, Giovanna had invited Chris to a Science Symposium where she was giving a speech about her scientific research. At the end of the speech there was a paper survey that everyone needed to fill out. Chris put his paper in Giovanna’s bag and when she found it, it said “Why are you here?” and under it Chris wrote “to support my girlfriend.” And the rest was history!
2
The Road to Romance
Chris and Giovanna: This is the year where we decided to create a dating bucket list. Something to keep our relationship fun and exciting! Some of the things on our list included Wineries, bed and breakfasts, Horseback riding, etc. We decided that we were going to put things on this list, no matter what it was, because that is how we created some of our best memories! One of our favorite memories during that year were our mini road trips around Shenandoah Mountain where we always finished the night with an intimate dinner up in the mountains!
3
Not going to lie, this year was hard
Bride: This year was the hardest on the both of us. My job contract had expired and I knew that I had to move back home. We went from seeing each other all the time to having to talk on the phone every day just to see each other. We missed each other so much and that year was so difficult on the both of us. But we made a promise to each other before I left that we would see each other at least once a month, and we did! We made it a point to fly to each other, switching off as the months went by. As tough as this year was, I also believe it was the year I realized just how strong our relationship is. Our love for each other grows each and every day and this year proved to the both of us just how strong our bond is.
4
Chris: On August 18th, the day was full of anticipation. I was excited and nervous throughout the entire day. I had landed at the airport the night before and Giovanna had picked me up. Little did she know that I was carrying something with me that would change our lives forever! I hid the ring in my American Flag sunglasses case knowing she wouldn’t go looking in there and accidently find the little treasure. We went about our day as normal, running errands, all the while Giovanna had no idea how nervous I was that entire day. Later that day, we had plans to go to church so as we were on our way we decided since we were early to stop and get coffee. We were sitting at the table and my hands couldn’t stop shaking and she asked me “Why are your hands shaking?” I kept having to play it off. My plans were to leave church at exactly 7:45pm because her family would be surprising her for dinner at 9pm. But of course, nothing ever goes as planned and we didn’t leave church until 8:15pm!! When we left church, Giovanna told me she wanted to eat right away so I suggested we eat on the boardwalk, which is where everyone was waiting for us, and she agreed. Once we got to the beach, I asked her if she wanted to walk on the beach and she insisted that she was hungry and didn’t have the right shoes on. But I insisted and she relented, the beach was covered in seaweed and she made that known. We kept walking and I was looking for the perfect spot and we came up to a spot that gave us some privacy, so I stopped. One hand was holding hers and the other was in my pocket holding tightly onto my sunglasses case. I was shaking again and she asked me again, if I was ok. I looked at her with so much love and excitement and got down on one knee and signed, “Will you marry me?” Before I even got the chance to take the ring out of my pocket she was signing “YES!” I put the ring on her finger and gave her the biggest hug and kiss! We met her family for dinner after and celebrated the exciting news! This was it! All that nervousness stopped and pure joy and excitement took over because our lives are about to change forever!