Will McGivney was just 15 years old when he met the most beautiful girl he’d ever seen. He had been introduced to Jessica Melendez through mutual friends but found himself intimidated and always ended up resorting to clownish behavior to make up for his shyness. Eventually, they became friends, but he recalls, “Never once would I have ever dreamt I would one day be able to call her my girlfriend, let alone my fiancée.”
For the next few years, fate seemed to be toying with them by throwing them together at parties and events, but always when one of them was already in a relationship. Finally in August 2014, they were both free and had the chance to see where their friendship might take them.
Things blossomed from there. Will says of the time, “The more I got to know her, the more I found we had so much in common. It was as if we were made for each other.”
The First Date
Their official first date happened in September. Over a memorable meal of steak and lobster, they spoke all night about the things in their lives that they didn’t already know, despite their many years of friendship. At one point after he made her laugh, Jessica asked Will, “Where have you been all my life?”
Without a moment’s hesitation, Will responded, “Training for this moment.”
Since then, they both still rave about the meal they ate that night and the incredible connection that they finally recognized. That connection is what has taken them through the thick and thin of their relationship.
The Turning Point
About two years ago, a series of difficulties plagued Will with his health, family, and work life. Through it all, Jessica was by his side. Not only was she supportive and encouraging, but she was brave enough to tell him the truth when he needed it.
“She showed me how these events were transforming me into something I never wanted to be – a grump. She put me in my place and made me appreciate her for all that she’s done. That was the moment I knew I had to marry her.”
Finding the Perfect Ring
Once he made up his mind to pop the question, Will got down to finding the perfect ring. Up to that point, the only thing he knew about diamonds was that they were a girl’s best friend. So, like any good millennial, he googled everything he didn’t know.
During his online research, he chanced upon Ritani’s diamond education section and learned important things like the 4 Cs, diamond shapes, and diamond anatomy.
And as luck would have it, when Will reached out to another close friend for help, he was delighted to discover that this close friend’s niece, Tiffany, actually worked as a wholesale manager at Ritani. With her help and the few hints he had picked up along the way from Jessica, Will chose a beautiful platinum micropavé diamond engagement setting with milgrain finish. To include a piece of himself, he selected a gorgeous 1.01 carat pear-shaped diamond (his favorite shape).
When it came to the proposal, Will wanted to do something incredible for Jessica. In the end, it took weeks of preparation and even a little subterfuge.
“I went to great lengths to keep it all a surprise. I was excited for her to know how much she truly means to me by just blowing her mind with something she could never have expected or even imagined.”
Will recruited a mutual friend to invite them to a double date for brunch at the Arlo Nomad hotel in Manhattan. Upon arriving to the hotel, the bar manager (whom Will had met with the day before) greeted them and showed them to a private bar where they could meet their friends.
In the center of the room, there was a sitting area marked with a ‘Reserved’ sign. The chairs looked exceedingly comfy, so Will insisted they have a seat there while they waited. Jessica was reluctant to do so, but he assured her they wouldn’t be bothering anyone since the place was empty aside from four people hanging out in the corner.
They sat down and Jessica called their mutual friend to see where she was, but the calls went to voicemail (as planned.) Will suggested they should just give their friend some time to arrive and mentioned how his phone was dead and then placed it on the coffee table in front of them.
That was the cue!
The four strangers in the corner got up with three of them holding roses. They started singing “Photograph” by Ed Sheeran while Will gave an Oscar-worthy performance by acting just as shocked as Jessica.
One by one, each of the singers handed her a rose. The last singer handed a framed picture of the couple to Will. It was the first picture they had ever taken together.
Will placed the photo on the table in front of them and the group got quiet. He took a deep breath and said, “This is the first photograph we ever took together. What do you say about taking millions more with me for the rest of our lives? Will you marry me?”
And Jessica gave him exactly the reaction he was looking for.
“She let out a loud yes (mainly because she was holding her breath during this whole event). Once the acapella group heard this they continued their song. And afterward honored us with an encore of ‘Thinking out loud’ by Ed Sheeran just to allow her some time to soak everything in.”
Watch the beautiful moment here:
The Best Proposal Advice
When asked what advice he would give another guy thinking about proposing, Will had this to offer:
“Make your proposal a story worth telling. It doesn’t have to be extravagant, it doesn’t have to be expensive. It just has to be from the heart.”
Ready to write your very own proposal story? It all starts with the perfect ring.