Well, one year surely did fly by. On July 28, 2016 my Hrag popped the question in our motherland, Armenia. After 15 years of bliss with the one I knew I wanted to spend my life with, he asked me to be his wife!
Actually....it didn't quite happen so smoothly like that.
Let me start from the beginning....circa 2002!
Hrag and I have been friends since we were 13! He was from Philly and I was from Boston, but the various different Armenian youth organization we were both part of kept us close. We would see each other at least once every two months on trips hosted by the youth organizations (camping, sports weekends, etc) and when we weren't on these trips, we would talk on the phone all the time, or AIM (back in the dayyy). At 15, we "dated"- him still in Philly- me still in Boston- and a few months? later (really have no idea how long we dated) I, shamefully, broke up with him on his birthday!! I know, I know, I'm SO MEAN! But my mentality was that I wanted to do it in person and the only time I could do it was on one of these youth trips that happen to fall on his birthday! So to be fair, in a weird way, I did try to do it kindly! Anywho, I bawled my eyes out- I was so sad. Until this day I don't know why I broke up with him !
From babies to babes...
As we got older, into our high school then college years, we went our own ways, but always remained friends. We dated other people, but continued to be each other's confidants- spilling our biggest secrets to each other on the phone, crying and laughing together. Though we were not dating, there was no doubt (in my mind at least) that Hrag had always been and would always be my best friend. He truly knew more about me than any of my closest friends and was always there to just listen to me when I needed him.
Fast forward years later at the age of 21, we found ourselves re-kindling our romantic spark that we left behind in our young teenage years. We were both newly single, vacationing on an Armenian cruise to the Caribbean's (yes, its a thing *chuckles*) with our own group of friends. Fun fact: We were dancing one night on the cruise to one of his favorite Armenian love songs (he's a romantic!) and he knelt down on one knee pretending to propose to me (and of course laughing with his friends and the entire band that was playing that night!) Needless to say, my face turned into a tomato and I physically grabbed his arms and lifted him off the ground- but I guess he knew what he wanted from day one!
We actually don't have an official "anniversary date" of when we began dating- because our friendship just naturally grew into love. About a year? into dating- he moved from Philly to Boston to continue his education and start a new job (but let's be real- the move was really for me bahahah). My parents took him in for the next several years, which we will be forever grateful for, and he quickly molded right into our family. He became the cool older brother to my younger brother, a son to my parents, and the one I knew I would be spending the rest of my life with.
Last July, my entire family took a trip to Armenia with my father's dance group to celebrate the group's 30th anniversary! Hrag and I had both been to Armenia once before, both in 2006- but we never crossed paths while we were there. We were so excited to experience this trip together in our motherland! We spent two weeks on a performing tour with the dance company and all of our friends and family dancing, laughing, drinking, and enjoying every breath of air in beautiful Armenia!
|Since I had no idea what was going on, I insisted on sitting on the rocks rather than standing to take pictures (though the poor kid did try to change my mind), so he never really had to get down on one knee! hahah)|
On the last day of our incredible trip, the entire group visited the Geghard Monastery, one of the oldest monasteries in Armenia, dating back to the 4th and 13th century. After touring all the tombs and churches inside the monastery, we walked over to a creek underneath a beautiful bridge. He had told my sister to record, and my cousin to take pictures. We climbed down the creek to the rocks and flowing water, where he asked me to spend the rest of our lives together....
Actually...... rewind: He pulled out the ring and said "Do I even need to ask?" and I screamed "No!"
I was so surprised (yes, I really was!) and so elated, that the rest of it was somewhat of a blur - we drove with our tour bus to a nearby area in the middle of the mountains that was set up as a huge picnic for all of us to eat and drink and celebrate! It was truly a trip of a lifetime!
Nine month later, we were finally able to celebrate back home in Boston! This past March, we had about 100 of our closest family and friends gather together at my parent's house for an unforgettable night. We set up cocktail tables with votive candles and long linens; we had delicious, mouth-watering passed hor devours and appetizers; an amazing dessert table with a beautiful custom-made fruit filled cake that people could not stop talking about! For favors we had the cutest hand-made"bride and groom" wrapped chocolate shipped all the way from California! Everything was so beautiful! Hrag and I feel so very grateful and blessed to have so many people in our lives that are so very dear to our hearts. We are who we are because of them.
|The official blessing of the rings -an Armenian tradition.|
We will see you all next year at our wedding! Ah!
A very special thank you to the sponsors who made this day so incredibly perfect!
Catering: Gourmet Bae
Chocolate Favors: Moi Et Toi Chocolatier, Burbank, California
Cake and Dessert: Tara Leigh Cakes
Photography: Caroline Winn Photography