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Samantha + Joe’s Central Park Proposal

I always love hearing all of the crazy, beautiful, wonderful proposal stories that my friends and Beautini brides pass along.  It seems like proposals have gotten more and more elaborate… grander declarations of love that showcase the personality of the couple, and I couldn’t love that more.  In the interest of sharing these stories with my lovely readers, I’ve decided to host a five part series, featuring some of the most beautiful proposal stories that I have heard.

This week I am extremely excited to share this proposal story because this couple happens to be two of my best friends! I am Samantha’s grand little from our sorority at Babson College and I had the privilege to experience first hand Samantha and Joe’s relationship since almost the very beginning. What I absolutely love about this couple is that they always prioritize their family, friends and themselves as individuals in addition to also being a wonderful couple. Their love for one another is very raw and authentic and they don’t try to create a certain facade to others, which is a true testament to their relationship. I deeply admire what Samantha and Joe have and being able to watch them go through so much and finally be at this stage is one of the most exciting things to witness. I have learned so much about love and relationships from these two and I am sure once you read their story you will be just as inspired as I am!



Name & your to-be Hubby’s Name:
Samantha Cooper + Joe Nixon

Instagram Handle:

City where you guys live:
New York, New York

Engagement Spot:
Central Park at Bethesda Fountain

How long had you been together?:
7 and a half years

How did you guys meet?:
It was only a few weeks into our freshmen year at Babson College when Joe and I met. We were randomly assigned as partners on our first-ever school project called Rocket Pitches. You come up with a business idea and present it to the class Shark Tank style. I came up with the business idea and Joe presented it to the class. After our presentation, Joe and I walked back to our dorm room (we happened to live in the same dorm, right down the hall from each other) and it started to rain. Joe held an umbrella over my head and in that moment, for no particularly significant reason, I thought, “This man is going to be my husband one day.” I felt silly for thinking it, having known Joe for a few short weeks, but it was obvious we had an instant connection that was unexplainable. Over the next year we would do homework together and instant message each other over AIM during class. After a summer apart, we reunited back at Babson for our sophomore year and made it official when he asked me to be his girlfriend. Meeting someone when you’re 18 is never easy, we’ve certainly had our up’s and down’s, but as Joe said during freshmen year, “we’re like magnets”.

Engagement details:

Joe planned the most picture perfect, truly magical, dream come true proposal; however, the morning didn’t start off the way you’d think. I’m a business owner and needed help setting up for a trade show that was starting the next day. If you know anything about setting up for a trade show, it’s usually a nightmare. Especially at the Javitz Center in New York City, a huge convention center. We had to carry 3 duffel bags and 4 boxes from my office to the Javitz which is no easy feat on a snowy day in NYC! Joe lugged the bags and boxes down the non-working escalator in multiple trips, just to find out we were on the wrong side of the building. Major fail. We couldn’t find our booth and poor Joe had beads of sweat dripping down his face as he carried over all the bags and boxes across 4 city blocks. He might’ve been a little less sweaty if he had taken off his jacket, but little did I know he had an engagement ring in his coat pocket the whole time. 

Earlier in the week Joe had told me his brother Brian was flying from Florida to visit New York for work. He was bringing his new girlfriend Cira and he wanted me to meet her. So, we made plans for lunch for Saturday afternoon after the trade show set up. On Friday, the day before the proposal, Joe told me had gone for a run in Central Park which wasn’t that unusual since we live so close to the park, and he always works out on Friday mornings. He said the park looked beautiful from the dusting of snow that covered the city. He suggested we walk through the park on our way to lunch with Brian and Cira so they could see how beautiful NYC is. I thought it was a great idea, but come Saturday morning it was snowing a lot. 

After we finally finished setting up for the trade show, I thought, “I really do nottt want to walk through the park in all of this snow”, but I didn’t complain. Joe had just done so much work for me, so if he wants to walk through the park, I’ll walk through the park. He could’ve asked me to climb Mt. Everest and I would’ve said yes. Looking back, this moment says a lot about our  relationship. We’re always willing to support each other even if it’s not exactly what we want to be doing 😉 We hailed a cab and arrived at Central Park, but Brian and Cira weren’t there. Joe called Brian and said that Brian and Cira were lost and we’d have to go meet them in the park. In reality, this was the cue to set up the proposal. I went along with it and we began walking across the park as the snow came down.

I had never seen the park more beautiful and I couldn’t help but take photos, post to Snapchat, and I even forced Joe to take a photo with me under a canopy of snow covered branches. I was wiping the snow off the dedication plaques on the benches, reading everyone’s love stories and was instantly in a romantic mood.

I was taking my sweet time to say the least and Joe probably wanted to kill me knowing what was about to happen next! We turned a corner and suddenly we were by Bethesda Fountain. I gasped at the sight and said, “This is the scene from Elf!!!”, our favorite movie. I asked him if we could take a picture in front of the fountain and he smirked and said, “Of course.” Teasingly I asked, “A kissing picture?!” 

We made our way to the front of the fountain and as I look around for someone to take a photo, I see people up on the terrace holding letters that spell out, “Will you marry me?”.

I said, “Joe, look! Someone’s getting engaged!” I looked around to see who it was and when I turned back around I saw Joe on one knee. I realized it was me who was getting engaged and I started to shake and cry with excitement. Even though we have been together for over 7 years, I was completely shocked. Joe looked at me and said, “I want you to remember this. Take a deep breath and let me know when you’re ready.” He is always so thoughtful and his speech was no exception. When he asked me to marry him I screamed, ‘Absolutely!!” and literally jumped for joy. He told me to look up and it hit me that it was our friends and family who were holding the “Will you marry me?” letters.

Down the stairs came running my four best girlfriends, his three best friends, our old roommate, Joe’s brothers and parents, and of course, my mom and dad. They were all in on the proposal for months, except for my bestie Edlyn and my mom who found out the night before. Joe knows those two couldn’t keep a secret from me! 

As I ran into the arms of our family and friends, we all cried and laughed with excitement and joy … the snow continued to fall, adding a magical touch no one could have ever planned.

Joe had a photographer on site to take photos and lucky for us, a stranger who happened to be in the park captured the whole thing on video. Immediately after the proposal, Joe planned a get together at a local bar where 50 of our friends and family were waiting for us. That night we had dinner with our families and danced the night away with our friends. He planned out the entire day and night, putting thought into every detail. The entire proposal was more than I could have ever dreamed of and I truly feel like the luckiest girl in the world to not only have the most thoughtful fiancé, but to have friends and family that love and support us and our relationship.

When is the wedding?:
We are still enjoying the engagement bliss and have yet to pick a venue. Our “date-iversary” is September.  We’ve always gone away for weekend trips to celebrate and love that time of year. Ideally, we’ll have our wedding around the same time to keep the anniversary tradition alive. Soon we’ll start looking at venues in New York and Boston and see what feels right! 

Did anyone help with pulling off the proposal/how did they help?:
One of the sweetest aspects of the proposal was the “Will you marry me?” letters. A few weeks before the proposal Joe told me he was going to the Rangers game with a co-worker, but he actually met up with my sorority little sister Kate and my best friend Ester to make the lettered signs. During the actual proposal, our best friends and immediate family members held up the signs including Joe’s parents, brothers, and step mom, my parents, my 4 best girlfriends, our old roommate, and Joe’s best guy friends. I never cried happier tears of joy than when I realized it was our loved ones holding the signs. It’s a moment I’ll never ever forget!

On top of that, Joe even ensured I had the perfect mani before the proposal by telling Ester to ask me for drinks and manis 2 days before he popped the question. Later on Ester told me she was secretly dying inside trying to keep the secret from me. 

Also, major shout out to Brian, Joe’s brother, who flew up from Florida and coordinated the day-of details while Joe worked with me to help set up the trade show that morning. 

SO many people helped with the proposal which made it that much more meaningful and special. 

Ring details:
Just like our relationship, the ring is completely unique and one-of-a-kind. Joe custom designed it with the assistance of two of my best friends and his mom. A few months ago I grabbed brunch with my sorority little sister, Kate and Ms. Brittany Lo herself. We’ve been best friends since college and they both jokingly call Joe and I their mom and dad. After brunch, Kate said she had to head back to her house in Connecticut and Brittany said she had to work, but in reality, they were meeting with Joe to look at engagement rings! Joe worked with Guy Volozinsky from William and Henri ( William and Henri typically manufactures diamonds for high end retailers such as Tiffany & Co, but lucky for me, but Brittany was able to put in a favor on Joe’s behalf. I feel so extremely lucky that Joe was able to work with such an incredible manufacturer and designer.  The ring is a radiant cut diamond on a yellow gold, micro pave, graduated band. It’s perfectly dainty, delicate, and feminine and I’m absolutely in love with yellow gold. Everyone who sees it says, “That ring is so you!”

Fernando Ceballos




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