PW Reader Ring: Jessica & Brendan!
The couple: Jessica Gonsalves and Brendan Kerin, Manayunk.
The ring: My ring has an emerald-cut center stone on a white-gold split-shank setting to best show off the diamond he obsessed over picking out. I love it and I love hearing him explain how many hours and days he researched emerald-cut diamonds to make sure he’d choose the right one for me. Brendan’s an engineer, so everything down to how he brushes his teeth has to make logical sense, so I knew that no matter what he chose for me, it would be stunning and display his creative side. He got it at Marks Jewelers in Montgomeryville.
The proposal: Brendan proposed exactly three years, three months and three days from our first-date anniversary, just to show you how much he pays attention to details. We both have very busy schedules, especially between September and January, so we always make sure we have “date nights” that we plan in advance to do something special.
At the time, we lived in Manayunk and I worked downtown. It was a Saturday, and we had planned for him to meet me in the city when I was finished working, and then check into the Hotel Monaco and go to dinner and ice skating for the night. I was so excited! But by 4pm, he called to ask me if I could stop at home first because his sister and niece wanted to stop by to give us our Christmas gifts. I wasn’t happy, and I thought it was weird because we had just seen his sister, but I can never say no to his niece, so I told him I’d be home in an hour.
I pulled up to our apartment complex and saw his sister’s car, so I really didn’t expect to walk into the rest of my life … I opened our front door and heard music playing ( Sarah Barelles’ “I Choose You”), and our hallway was lined with rose petals and pictures of us throughout the years. It was so romantic, but to be honest, I didn’t think I was getting engaged because the best thing about Brendan is that he is randomly romantic in this way, so I didn’t think anything of it!
As I walked down the hallway, I could see our entire living room lit up in Christmas lights and tented off like our own little sanctuary. Brendan was standing there, dressed to the nines. I was in complete shock. He grabbed my hand and walked me through this machine he built for me—a “Rube Goldberg machine” that represented every milestone in our relationship, from where we first met to our first date and me moving from Jersey to Philly … He put the machine to work and at the end popped out a wine cork (which we collect) that he asked me to read. It read: “Will you marry me?” As I was doing that, he was wrapping himself in an American flag (a reference to how we met and another amazing story!), and getting down on one knee. All I could do was hug him, I didn’t even have any words!
He had two cameras hidden to catch the entire thing, and his sister was on our balcony taking sneaky pictures. It was the most amazing surprise I have ever been apart of … He’s my best friend. We had an amazing night in the city afterwards telling everyone and anyone that we came across that we just got engaged! The Hotel Monaco sent us up a bottle of champagne and cheese to our room … It was magical.
The band: I’m in the process of designing it with Marks Jewelers. I’m looking for a rose-gold chevron ring with differently shaped diamonds. I want it to stand away from my engagement ring, but not overpower it.
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