PW Reader Ring: Cassandra & John!
The couple: Cassandra McFarlane and John DiMartino, Jr., from Philadelphia.
The ring: My ring has a round-cut diamond with a diamond cushion halo set on a platinum band. It’s truly a work of art, and just what I wanted
We had gone ring shopping at a few places a year before we got engaged, and I had found the style, diamond and setting of my dreams. John knows just how particular I am, and he wanted to be sure he had a clear understanding of what expectations I had. He ended up getting the ring from a small jeweler that we have a personal relationship with.
The proposal: I am very hard to surprise. Even at Christmas when I was a kid, I would snoop and find the gifts. I am so in-tune to what’s happening and typically nothing surprises me.
I had been hoping and anxiously awaiting the proposal, so I thought on numerous occasions it could have been it! John ended up proposing at my one of my most favorite places, The Giant Panda exhibit at the Smithsonian National Zoo in Washington D.C. I have an obsession with pandas, so I couldn’t imagine a better suited place for the occasion.
It was the weekend following my birthday, and we had a birthday dinner planned where my mom was meeting his family for the first time, and then the next day we were going to go to D.C. (He said we were going to go see the pandas after we had cancelled a trip there earlier this year.) I was convinced that no proposal was going to happen since my mother was adamant that her and my dad were going back to Scranton for a brunch. (I knew he wouldn’t do it without family there)
The next day, when we arrived in D.C. we had lunch and drinks on the W Hotel rooftop, the location of one of our first D.C. dates (I lived there for the first six months of our relationship). After that, we headed over to the zoo, where I was pumped to see the pandas. When we got there, I made a beeline for them and was completely infatuated with watching the pandas—so infatuated, in fact, that John attempted to get my attention, which I turned down, multiple times! (There’s even a video here to prove it!)
He was finally able to pull my attention away and turn me around, where I saw that not only was he down down on one knee, but all of our family and close friends were there! It was one of the best surprises I’ve ever gotten. They were all hiding behind us and taking photos and videos of the event. His best friend during the whole thing was trying to get people out of the way, and even in the video you can see him trying to shove people out of the way. It was truly amazing, and I was quite surprised—my mother put on a great pokerface.
The band: I’m thinking of going with a sparkly band. Something thin with diamonds that compliments my engagement ring.
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