PW Reader Ring: Nicole & Anthony!

Nicole from Manayunk tells us her story.

Nicole's ring!

Nicole’s ring!

The couple: Nicole Cramer and Anthony Alongi from Manayunk.

The ring: My ring is a cushion-cut solitaire diamond with a diamond band and a white-gold setting from Steven Singer on Jewelers’ Row in Philly. Anthony picked the ring out all by himself, after a few (or maybe many) not-so subtle hints I had been sending him for months. (Pic stitches of rings from Pinterest to be exact!) I wanted to make sure he didn’t go in completely blind as to what I wanted, but at the same time I wanted him to have the experience to himself as far as picking it out. Anthony saved for about a year for the ring, and waited until he had the right amount for the perfect ring I wanted which I am more than grateful for.

The proposal: Well, we have been dating since college, so about five years. I am from Ocean City, so I’m a beach girl at heart. Anthony is from North Jersey, so he can take it or leave it—but when he first asked me out in July of 2008, he asked me on a lifeguard stand on an Ocean City beach to be his girlfriend.

On July 20, 2013, it was a little odd to me that Anthony wanted to go to the beach, but I didn’t argue. As we were leaving Manayunk, we hit a lot of traffic, to the point where I looked at him and said, “Do you really want to go to the beach?” Always  the optimist, he said “We’ve driven this far, let’s just go, it’ll be fun. You love the beach.” We finally reached our destination, but it was one of those extremely hot days where it’s about 95+ degrees and you can really only take so much heat. After about two hours I was ready to call it quits, but when I asked him if he was ready to go, again, his response was that this was my favorite place on Earth and that we should just stay, which again left me completely shocked.

Then he asked if I wanted to go down to the water, but when my feet were almost in, I looked behind me and saw that Anthony was still a few feet away, so I asked him what he was doing. He took my hand and at that point I felt him shaking. I immediately asked, “What’s wrong? Are you okay?” but he pulled me in close and started telling me how much he loves me and that he wants to spend the rest of his life with me. As he talked, he gradually started bending down on one knee. I was in complete shock (he has faked me out numbers times before)—I even asked, “Um, are you seriously doing this right now?” but he laughed and said, “Nicole, will you marry me?”

He pulled out the box as I gasped for air, because the entire beach is going crazy: screaming, clapping, cheering. He didn’t even open the box before I was shaking my head yes, and then once he opened it, when I saw the gorgeous ring and that it was everything I had dreamed of, I couldn’t catch my breath. We hugged and kissed and hugged some more. I couldn’t believe what was happening to me, especially in front of all these people.

Back in our chairs, I started calling my mom and all my closest girlfriends, and for some reason I wasn’t getting the reaction I’d always dreamed of. Even my friends who have always been over-the-top were somewhat average in their reactions. I start thinking to myself, “Maybe this is just how people react? Whatever, I’m engaged!” After a few more minutes on the beach, just the two of us, to soak it all in, we drove back to my mom’s house. I expected to see my family freaking out, but as we walked into the house, I saw many more people, including Anthony’s family and our best friends. Apparently those mixed reactions were because every one of my friends had known what was happening! I was so much more overwhelmed but also very excited about everyone being there. We went to the Golden Nugget in AC and had a great celebration.

The band: I think I’m going to try and match the band I have now—a white-gold band with the same size diamonds all around. We will most likely go back to Steven Singer, since Anthony had such a great experience.

{Ed note: Anthony also hired a photographer to be on the beach that day to capture the moment. Below are a few of Kaitlin Noel‘s shots.}

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