We have recently been blown away by all the destination proposals we have been featuring. We stumbled upon a proposal that took place in Paris, France and we knew we had to share this romantic story with our readers. Hilda and Vahe took a luxurious trip to France and little did Hilda know that Vahe had planned the proposal of a lifetime!
Hilda is going to take over the blog and share her story with us!
My name is Hilda Barassamian and I grew up in Marietta, GA and my fiancé, Vahe Koestline grew up in Florida. Although we lived in neighboring states, it took both us a 2000-mile journey west for us to ever meet. We both had moved to Glendale, CA due to our Armenian and family roots, and in fact, lived only a mile away from each other. Despite moving so close to each other, we never met in person. It took a simple dating app, and a pair of matching swipes to bring us together. I wasn’t expecting it, but this is how I found my prince charming and the love of my life.
We had our first date on Thursday, September 22, 2016. We had been speaking for almost a month before we decided to meet. Our first date was definitely worth the wait. The night started at Eden on Brand, where we went for dinner and drinks. After dinner, we wanted our night to continue and decided to get more drinks at a neighboring wine bar. Before we knew it, it was 1:30am and we both had work the next day. Truth be told, I never even made it to work the next morning! We laughed so much, and conversation flowed so smoothly that time flew by.
It felt like I knew Vahe for years. How else could we have had one of those endless late-summer nights? That was the moment I knew he was the ONE. I am delighted to say we now have been together for almost two years, and just recently got engaged on June 18, 2018.
We had been dating for about a year when we went on our first big couples’ vacation to Belize during Thanksgiving break in 2017. We had traveled and gone on small short vacations before, but this getaway of waking up next to each other every morning only helped us envision the paradise we could create together for the rest of our lives even more. It was during this trip that Vahe first had the idea about getting engaged and spending the rest of his life with me.
Fast forward to May 2018, and Vahe had just landed a new job. Prior to starting his new position, he mentioned that he wanted to take a quick vacation. Within two weeks, we were leaving on a plane for a European vacation, stopping in London, Paris, and Ibiza. At first, I thought maybe he might propose, but I knew that he was starting a new job and that it might not be the best timing. I also remembered a conversation I had with Vahe, when he was adamant that he would never propose in Paris as it was too cliché and not that “romantic”. Little did I know, this was all a ruse as he was planning on proposing all along. This worked in my favor because I was truly surprised when I went to Paris as a girlfriend and yet left it a fiancé. I had always wanted one of those romantic, epic photos in front of the Eiffel Tower, so I had already booked a photographer to take some romantic pictures of us. Unbeknownst to me, she would be capturing THE moment.
The photoshoot was bound to be amazing, but it started to rain as soon as we arrived. Vahe began to doubt whether this would be the perfect moment. He thought the raindrops would kill the mood, worried that it wouldn’t be the moment I had dreamt it would be. It had been a tough morning with both of us running on just about two hours of sleep, and now, we were dealing with rain. Vahe wanted this to be the ultimate surprise. Normally, I’m good at guessing his surprises, but this was the one time he was able to catch me off guard. I was so glad as he had put so much effort in his “grand plans”. As the shoot progressed, the rain stopped, much to Vahe’s relief. We then set up a shot to have me in a far-off gaze, facing towards the tower, while holding heart shaped balloons.
Vahe took this moment to whisper to the photographer that he wanted to propose. She said, “Go for it. I’ll distract her and buy you time.” As he rummaged through our day bag for the jewelry box, the photographer said that she needed to switch lenses. Finally, after he secured the ring in his back pocket, he gave her the “ready to go” look and she suggested he join me in the shot and I put away the balloons away. Vahe came next to me and the camera started snapping wildly. Before I knew it, he was on one knee reaching back with his right arm. Confused and bewildered, I shouted at him to get up and stop joking around. There was no way on earth I thought he was actually going to propose in Paris. There he was, testing my skepticism (and patience), still on one knee and not getting up. He just kept looking up at me and smiling, despite my repeated attempts to get him to stand up. He had placed the ring box in his back pocket, and since the box was big, it got stuck and he couldn’t pull it out quickly. Finally, after what felt like forever, he pulled it out. He opened the box and presented to me; the most gorgeous ring I could have ever imagined. This couldn’t be real. It was too beautiful and so perfect. He still wasn’t getting up. I looked at the ring and back to him, back to the ring again, and back to his still smiling face. He smiled and simply asked me “Hilda, baby-jan, will you marry me?” I was lost for words, but in my heart and mind I had already said yes. I reached for the ring and put it on. He stood up and asked, “so that’s a yes, right?” I nodded yes eagerly.
WE WERE ENGAGED!
We kissed, and the camera kept rolling. We changed locations and took some pictures by the Pont de Bir-Hakeim bridge. The morning was perfect. Even the pictures we had taken during the rain ended up looking like scenes out of the romantic movie. Finally after 2 hours, the photoshoot came to an end. We went back to our hotel room and changed and made our way to Montmartre. In the gorgeous basilica of the true sacred heart, we lit candles, gave thanks, and shared loving prayers. We were so excited to tell our parents, but we had to wait until it was morning for them. Vahe’s mom was on the east coast, so we were able to tell her first and she was so excited. We found out later that she celebrated with margarita’s with Vahe’s aunt and grandmother.
We had to wait a bit longer to call my mom in California. Unable to contain my excitement, I called my mom around 6am PST. In hindsight, it was probably a bit too early for my mom. I woke her by shoving my ring finger towards my phone’s camera. She barely had her eyes open as she said, “oh that’s nice” and yawned pleasantly, ready to go back to sleep. Needless to say, a week later when I would return to the states I was able to share the experience with my mom in a much more lucid state and she was full of joy.
Vahe always wanted to surprise me with our proposal, so we never looked at rings together. Whenever I brought up the idea, he always changed the subject. I knew the general style of what I wanted and I had shown him pictures and told him the cut and style of what I liked. One time, I had to get my jewelry cleaned, and while waiting, I took the opportunity to browse and point out what I liked. Although he did not show it, he was focused on learning the style of jewelry that I was pointing out to him. I did not think anything of his interest, as it was still early in the relationship. Little did I know, he would be ring shopping with my sister a few months later. After a number of trips to jewelers in downtown LA, he found THE RING.
He told me after the proposal, that he was so nervous carrying around the ring in his jacket pocket the whole time. I was surprised he was able to conceal it so well during the trip. I even remember a moment when I was cold and asked for his jacket on the train from London to Paris. He gave it to me but asked for it back after 10 minutes saying he was cold. In my head I thought, how weird, he never gets cold. Turns out, he was afraid I was going to feel the ring in the pocket. He had put the ring in a tiny zip lock bag and in the coat pocket for safe keeping until he could propose.
Thank you to Vahe and Hilda for sharing their proposal story with us. We wish them a good luck in the wedding planning process and cannot wait to feature their wedding story on our blog.
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