DMT Beauty Transformation: 5 Coronavirus Engagement Stories To Make You Smile
Elizabeth Gulino featured

5 Coronavirus Engagement Stories To Make You Smile

April 27, 2020DMT Beauty

#DMTBeautySpot #beauty

I love good news. Especially right now, when so much of what we hear is stressful. Staying informed is important, of course, but so is maintaining hope. So maybe that's why every time I see an engagement post on Instagram, I can't help but smile. What's more hopeful that a couple deciding to tie the knot, global pandemic be damned!?

Of course, a coronavirus proposal might look a little different than the two people involved had pictured. There's probably no dinner out at a nice restaurant. Taking a trip to some romantic city is off the table. Many couples have been feeling the strain of being cooped up together for a little too long. But they're still finding creative, thoughtful, sweet ways to get engaged, despite the current restrictions.

In the interest of sparking joy during the pandemic, I spoke to five recently engaged couples and asked them to share the story of their proposals. Swipe through when you need a pick-me-up.

Alex + Lois


Refinery29: How long have you been together?
Lois: "We will be celebrating our three year anniversary on April 24th!" 

Had you been planning on getting engaged before the quarantine? 
"Yes, we’ve been talking about marriage and were forming a general timeline of when the wedding might be. Alex told me after the proposal that he was initially planning on proposing towards the end of March in Los Angeles, but that his plans changed after the quarantine."

How has quarantining been for you, as a couple?
"The quarantine has been challenging in some ways but it's also been a blessing. It’s been more difficult to spend quality time together because we're both staying at home with our respective families, and we aren’t able to see each other as often as we used to. We definitely haven’t had a proper “date” since the quarantine began, but we’ve been spending more time going on walks around the neighborhood (keeping social distance and wearing masks of course!) to get out of the house. Although we’ve had less alone time, we’ve been spending more time with each others’ families, playing games, cooking, baking, and hanging out. As a couple, we’ve been able to communicate more intentionally and talk more frequently throughout the day via FaceTime, so even though we aren’t physically together we can keep each other company while we try to be productive at home. So we’ve tried to find ways to grow and strengthen our relationship during this quarantine, and it’s been going well so far!" 

Tell us everything about your engagement story! How did it happen?
"Although the engagement was something we had talked about and something I knew was coming, I didn’t know whether or not Alex would propose during the quarantine because of all the limitations that came with it. But he did and he did such a great job keeping the entire thing a complete surprise. Alex told me after the proposal that he got my entire family involved to get me out of the house and prepare everything.

"On the day of the proposal, I was out for most of the day because my mom had asked me to go with her to buy groceries and cook food for my grandpa, who lives alone. We got back close to dinnertime and as soon as I opened the front door, my brother and sister greeted me with a handmade restaurant menu and proceeded to escort me upstairs to my room. My small, cluttered room had been completely transformed, with heart balloons and lights hanging from the ceilings and walls, pictures of me and Alex hanging throughout the room, and vases filled with my favorite flowers (tulips). My brother had cleaned my entire room and made it into a restaurant so that me and Alex could have a private, romantic dinner in my room.

"Alex prepared salmon, lobster, and veggies for dinner, with my dad’s help because Alex had no idea how to actually cook lobster. Throughout the meal, my brother and sister continued to act as servers, fetching us drinks and anything else we needed. For dessert, Alex and my sister had prepared a special vanilla cake with toasted coconut, blueberries, and heart-shaped strawberries. I was shocked and moved when I saw this because Alex had recreated the first cake I had ever made for him at the beginning of our relationship, the cake that I had baked for him almost three years ago. It was SO delicious and the whole dinner was so meaningful, as we reminisced on all the memories we had made during our relationship.

"When dinner was over, Alex left the room first and then my sister came to escort me out of my room. The stairs were covered with rose petals and candles and as I made my way down the steps, my brother played a special song for me on the oboe (he is a music major). I was taking everything in when I saw Alex standing in the middle of a rose-petal-shaped heart at the bottom of the stairs, surrounded by more balloons and my parents who were recording the whole thing on their separate phones. It wasn’t until a little later when I noticed Alex’s laptop on a table behind him that showed a zoom conference call with all of our closest family members and friends. And then, Alex grabbed my hands, got down on one knee, and proposed. And I said YES!

"Although it was a proposal that neither one of us had ever anticipated, it was so special and intimate and still something we were able to share with those most important to us."

Ryan + Yuliya


Refinery29: How long have you been together? 
Yuliya: "About a year and a half." 

Had you been planning on getting engaged before the quarantine? 
"Yes! The topic came up six months into our relationship, he casually and 'hypothetically' brought it up (I think I would have said yes one month into our relationship). He had the ring before we even celebrated our one-year anniversary. Ryan had devised an elaborate plan for a weekend getaway in April to go see the cherry blossoms in D.C. He had the photographer pick a perfect spot for us, dinner scheduled, etc. Of course all of those plans had to be cancelled when the quarantine kicked in."

How has quarantining been for you, as a couple? 
"Honestly, it’s been pretty great. We have been cooking a lot, taking long walks outside, watching movies, and finally getting around to finishing Game of Thrones. Ryan is able to work from home, so there is still a sense of normalcy in his schedule. My work is in real estate and since that industry is currently on hold, my schedule consists of preparing for grad school at NYU this fall, riding the Peloton, snacking, and trying to keep my crazy messy hair from making accidental appearances in Ryan’s conference calls. It is nice being able to sneak in a kiss in between his calls throughout the day." 

Tell us everything about your engagement story! How did it happen?
"About two weeks before our DC trip, I slammed my left hand into a cab door, breaking a finger and needing a few stitches (fun night in the ER!). This was right before COVID-19 really took off. Ryan was afraid his proposal plans would be foiled with my mangled zombie hand, but he decided to keep the plan on track instead of rescheduling.

"Then of course, we received the news that we need to shelter in place and all travel is banned. Ryan realized that it could be another six months before we could take a normal trip again, and he had already been holding on to the ring for five months. He says he felt like the Gollum from The Lord of the Rings having to hang onto this 'precious' for so long. So he started jokingly asking me if I would be disappointed if he proposed to me when my hand still looked battered and we were in quarantine. I laughed it off because I did not think it was possible to go ring shopping at the moment, little did I know that it was already hiding in the inner depths of his closet since November. He kept bringing it up and I kept laughing it off.

"A couple of Saturdays ago, we planned a walk to Battery Park and packed a lovely picnic. He had the ring with him the whole time, hoping for that perfect moment. However, it turned out to be a freezing and windy day. Our picnic was knocked over, all plans were once again foiled. When we got home, freezing and exhausted from our 6 mile walk, he said in frustration, 'Dress up, we are having an official date night!' I changed out of sweat pants, we ordered an amazing meal from Carbone and popped open a nice bottle of wine… then he asked me to dance in the middle of the living room. And before I knew it, he was on one knee and we were both crying. It was perfect."

Carly + Haley


Refinery29: How long have you been together? 
Carly: "We met in grad school at Boston University and have been together for two and a half years."

Had you been planning on getting engaged before the quarantine? 
"I had decided a few months ago that I would start looking for a ring and found one right away. My plan was to propose on a vacation to San Diego at the beginning of April, but that trip was cancelled due to COVID-19."

How has quarantining been for you, as a couple?
"Haley and I joked when this all started that this is what we'd been training for. We love being at home with our girls (two Boston terriers) and just being together. We are both Certified Child Life Specialists and work at Albany Medical Center, Haley in the Pediatric ICU and myself in the Pediatric Emergency Department. We are fortunate enough to still be working full-time, but it is in the midst of the crazy. It has been difficult for us to keep our distance from our families, especially since our big announcement. It doesn't feel like the engagement will truly be official until we can celebrate with our loved ones, whenever that will be."

Tell us everything about your engagement story! How did it happen?
"I am terrible at keeping a secret, so it was killing me having the ring with no set proposal date once we knew our trip was cancelled. On March 21, I cooked Thanksgiving dinner for just the two of us at home (no turkey because Haley is a pescatarian) and popped the question over dinner. Although it was not the grand gesture at Sunset Cliffs that I had planned and there was no photographer, it was perfect. Just the two of us, and our dogs, at home with comfort food in front of us!"

Lisa + Joe


Refinery29: How long have you been together?
Lisa: "Two years."

Had you been planning on getting engaged before the quarantine? 
"I mean, I had been planning on Joe proposing for a while now, haha, but I know he had been planning something too. A few months ago he asked me some questions about my ring size so I had a feeling it would happen this year. I just didn't think it would happen during quarantine! Initially Joe had plans to take me to dinner and propose after and have our friends and family meet us at the bar in Boston where we had our first date, but you know... social distancing. I was surprised he didn’t wait to propose, but also know he can’t keep a secret for the life of him. I’m shocked he held onto the ring for a week without telling me!"

How has quarantining been for you, as a couple?
"We have been doing great. I hate saying this because it sounds so corny, but we literally never fight. We spent the first year of living together as a couple in a 400-square-foot apartment and we knew if we could survive that, we could survive mostly anything. (Thankfully we now have a 3 bedroom!) I have been working from home since beginning of March, but Joe works in the hospitals so he has still been working daily. It’s nice because it still gives us both a chance to do our own thing during the day, but by the end of the day I genuinely miss him and am excited for him to come home. Not to mention, I’m thankful for his hard work right now and worry about him being out there."

Tell us everything about your engagement story! How did it happen?
"So on Friday afternoon Joe got home from work and was acting a little weird. He told me he was going to shower and then he had to 'set something up' and I had to stay in the bedroom. I immediately began panicking and texting one of my best friends to speculate about that was about to happen.

"I was convinced he would not propose in quarantine during this COVID-19 pandemic while at the same time thinking to myself that there was a chance he would, and I was about to get engaged in sweatpants without my nails done! I sat there anxiously awaiting for him to tell me to come out of the bedroom. My friend was trying to manage my expectations in case he didn’t propose but at the same time we were both freaking out! 

"Joe came into the bedroom and told me he was finished 'setting up' and asked me to come with him. He walked me out out of the bedroom into our apartment and told me I had to pick which country I wanted to go to. He had hung up beautiful posters of France, Greece, Spain, and Italy and led me around to see each of my options. I picked Italy and before I could even realize what was happening, he was down on one knee.

"I didn’t even look at the ring and I forget most of what he said but by his recount, he told me that this wasn’t how he planned to proposal, but in a time of such uncertainty, he was certain he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me. He told me although we couldn’t go anywhere else in the world he wanted to bring the world to me, and then we got engaged “in Italy!” Through some tears, he finally managed to ask me to marry him and through the shock and tears of my own, I finally was able to tell him, 'Of course!'"

Bri + Zachary


Refinery29: How long have you been together?
Bri: "We celebrated our 3 year anniversary at the beginning of January."

Had you been planning on getting engaged before the quarantine? 
"Yes. Zachary had this proposal in the works for seven months. He asked for my parents permission and got the ring squared away way back in September or October. He knew exactly how he was going to do it, he just didn’t have the when." 

How has quarantining been for you, as a couple?
"Quarantine has not been easy as a whole. But as a couple, it hasn’t changed our relationship in the slightest. We are truly each other’s favorite people to spend time with and there’s no one we would rather be quarantined with. While it has been difficult not to have our usual routine and comforts, we have found a nice little rhythm within this weird time and it’s been great getting to spend all the extra time together, without the rush of life getting in the way." 

Tell us everything about your engagement story! How did it happen?
"I grew up by the ocean and my hometown is a huge part of my identity. Every now and again I will get this overwhelming desire to see the water and to go home, even though I haven’t lived there for many years and my parents now live elsewhere. But whenever this urge strikes, I drive down to Mattapoisett and visit all my hometown landmarks — my favorite of those being Ned’s Point Light. This pandemic had been putting me through the emotional ringer and I just needed to see the water, so Zachary and I decided that the first nice weekend we would drive down to Mattapoisett for the day. It would get us out of the house, I would get to see the water and we would still be following all the social distancing guidelines. It seemed like the perfect thing to do during this time and since I had a hand in planning it, I never suspected anything more than a day spent in my favorite place. 

"The first weekend in April rolled around and the weather was as good as we had seen it, so we decided to load up the car with a picnic and our dog, Ramble, and head to the water. Zachary let me call all the shots for the day and was exceedingly patient when I insisted that we go for a (very long) walk around town to see what had changed, which (spoiler alert!) was nothing. I was blissfully unaware that anything was going on. I was just so thrilled to be back in my happy place with my favorite person, a lovely break from the uncertainties of the coronavirus.

"After our walk around town, we had a picnic in the trunk of the car (social distancing and all that), complete with snacks and our favorite wine. It wasn’t until he suggested that we go take a picture in front of the lighthouse that I thought something was strange. Zachary is not the biggest fan of pictures, and although we take them, he is rarely the one to suggest them. But we have been making an effort to document more of our time together, so again I didn’t think too much of it. We took a short walk over to the lighthouse that I had played on and in front of my entire life. Appropriately, I reminisced on my childhood memories of running along the rocks and flying kites on the grass. I sat down at the base of the lighthouse with Zachary standing in front of me. He asked if I had a good day, I assured him that it had been a perfect day but little did I know the day was about to become all the more perfect. In the blink of an eye, Zachary was down on one knee and asked me to spend the rest of our lives together.

"In an antique, wooden ring box was a gorgeous ring that I recognized instantly. It was a family ring that my mom, grandmother, and aunt had picked out together and to me had always symbolized the female strength that runs through my family along with successful, happy marriages. I was so thrilled that this was going to be the ring symbolizing Zachary and I’s next chapter.

"I couldn’t believe it and just kept saying 'Is this really a thing?!' but then I remembered that I needed to actually accept his proposal, so I said 'Of course! Yes!' We kissed and all the cars around us clapped and cheered. We snapped a few quick ring selfies and went to return the car, but not before a kind stranger called to me and said that they had taken a few pictures of the proposal and wanted to send them to me. It turns out that Zachary had arranged for us to have a photographer capture this moment, but days before the proposal he was involved in a horrible motorcycle accident. Thankfully he's okay, but was in no condition to hide in the bushes and snap a few pictures, so these grainy photos meant more to the two of us than we could put into words of thanks to the stranger.

"After shouting my phone number to her, we returned to the car where Zachary unveiled a bottle of champagne that he had strategically hidden in the picnic basket. It was then that the shock subsided and with tears in my eyes I asked for the whole backstory of how this had come to be.

"It turns out that while the day felt completely organic and orchestrated by me, Zachary had been planning this for seven months. He knew that he wanted to propose to me in my favorite place, and so as soon as I agreed to a picnic in Mattapoisett, he knew that he had to pop the question. It would be too suspicious to try to get me to do the exact same thing in a couple of months when the virus had (hopefully) subsided.  It was not his intention to propose in the middle of a pandemic, but it has been this beautiful light in the midst of all this darkness. And if there’s anyone I’d want to walk through life challenges with, such as being quarantined for 30+ days, it would undoubtedly be Zachary."

Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?

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I Had A Virtual Wedding In Quarantine



DMTBeautySpot

via https://www.DMTBeautySpot.com

Elizabeth Gulino, Khareem Sudlow

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