We are so excited to share this amazing proposal story with you, written together by the happy couple (and customers)! This is such a cool story and you will love how the groom went out of his way to connect the special meaning of “831″ down to the very last detail!
From the groom-to-be:
Imagine stumbling across someone’s My Space profile and after reading it feeling compelled to send an email message. Three days pass without a reply. By the end of the week you have dismissed the idea, labeling it “crazy…what was I thinking?” But then, on the 14th day, your inbox stuns you with a message that will forever alter the rest of your life. That’s exactly how our story began on February 27, 2010.
The emails increased in frequency and our first date finally occurred on April 11th. I drove eighty miles across three counties to discover I was meeting someone who knows the sound of my heartbeat and can take my breath away every time I look at her. After exchanging phone numbers we began texting which was something I needed to brush up on. Research on the subject lead me to an interesting text code “831” which is short for… 8 letters, 3 words, 1 meaning. I felt it was a unique way to tell her “I love you” and that is how I first expressed my feelings toward her once I knew I couldn’t hold back any longer. Her response was “What is 831?” I explained the meaning and endured a lengthy pause while holding my breath. She responded with “I like 831.”
The distance and our conflicting work schedules are obstacles we have to overcome daily so every morning at precisely 8:31am, I send her a text message. It is often our first daily communication. I took 831 to a new level on August 31, 2010, (hence 8/31), by having a limousine take us to the finest restaurant in her hometown where we enjoyed a nice romantic candlelit dinner. We exchanged gifts at precisely 8:31 pm and we agreed to make August 31st an annual tradition to become known as our 831 date.
During the summer of 2011, I began searching for the perfect engagement ring. It was late in the autumn season before I found what I was looking for on the Verragio website. I learned I would have to drive over 200 miles to visit the nearest retailer authorized to sell the Verragio collection. Christopher William Jewelers in Weyers Cave, Virginia was my destination. I called for an appointment and drove alone. Upon my arrival I was immediately impressed with great customer service. I met Christopher Simonetti, proprietor of the boutique, and was certain I had made a great decision as he took time to educate me through the process of how to select and purchase the right diamond. I felt as though I were talking with a family member and I left knowing I would definitely be making my purchase with Christopher William Jewelers.
On June 24, 2012, Melanie surprised me with tickets to see my favorite baseball team, the Detroit Tigers, play the Pittsburgh Pirates in Pittsburgh. During that visit she invited me to a wedding for one of her coworkers on Labor Day weekend, which meant we would be in Virginia Beach for our 831 date. Our stay allowed me an opportunity to nonchalantly walk with her through a jewelry store in Pittsburgh which also sold the Verragio collection. She was immediately attracted to the Verragio style Insignia-7067P which was amazingly similar to the ring I had in mind for her.We agreed neither the service nor the atmosphere were appealing at this particular location. At least I finally knew what ring to purchase, the right size, and where to buy. All I needed was a plan!
I gave Christopher a call and took a blind leap of faith by asking him to find the best available GIA certified princess cut diamond within my budget. I never doubted for one moment he would come through for me. After he located the perfect diamond, he informed me it would take 4-6 weeks for the ring to be set. The time frame was perfect because Labor Day weekend was seven weeks away! After the ring arrived I asked him to engrave “831” on the outside base of the ring. The final remaining issue was how to pick up the ring without Melanie becoming suspicious. I recalled Christopher sharing with me he sometimes personally delivers rings to his customers. I gave him a description of what I had in mind for the proposal and asked if he could help make it happen. I rested in a silent state of shock after he enthusiastically replied he was planning a vacation for his family and would be in that area during the Labor Day weekend. WOW! Everything was falling into place as if it were just meant to happen.
I researched Virginia Beach for a convenient landmark to meet up with Christopher and carryout the proposal. The King Neptune statue located on 31st Street was perfectly located next to the Hilton Hotel where Christopher had booked his reservation. His wife and family could even view the event unfold from the outside balcony. The plan was to meet Christopher at the statue by 8:20pm.
My beautiful fiancé will now tell the rest of the story from her perspective.
From the bride-to-be:
August 31, 2012 was just an ordinary day for most people, but not for Rick and I. It was our 8-3-1 day. But little did I know, this day would be one that I would never forget.
We left Beckley, WV at 7 am heading to Virginia Beach. We were going to the beach not only to attend a friend’s wedding, but to also celebrate “our” day. The trip took us a little longer than it should have due to my sending us in the wrong direction. This would’ve caused some problems for most couples, but not for Rick and I. We just enjoyed spending some extra time together, talking and laughing in the car.
We arrived at our destination at about 5 pm. We immediately started discussing dinner plans. Rick found a restaurant on 31st street called “Salacia.” He called to make a reservation and they said they could accommodate us at 7:45 pm. I started getting ready when Rick said he needed to go to the car to get something. I found out later he left to call the restaurant to see if we could have an earlier reservation. They told him they could change the reservation to 7 pm.
We arrived at the restaurant giving our names to the hostess and she took us right in. This surprised me since we were quite early. She showed us to a private dining area. It was exquisite. Dinner was just as amazing as the atmosphere. This was proving to be one of our best 8-3-1 dates…but little did I know the best was yet to come.
After dinner we went for a walk on the boardwalk. The King Neptune statue was behind the restaurant. The sky was so clear and the moon was full making the statue look even more appealing. We started taking pictures of the statue when a photographer approached us. He said he was photographing the area promoting the Labor Day weekend activities for Virginia Beach and would like to take a couple of pictures of us in front of the statue.
We were standing at the statue when Rick looked at me and said, “This statue is on 31st street so if we take 8 steps forward that will be our 8-3-1.” Grinning from ear to ear, I loved the idea. We counted out loud as we took 8 steps forward. Rick then turned to me and said, “I’m going to ask you to take one more step with me and it will be the biggest one.” He then proceeded to remove my promise ring that he had given me almost two years ago. It was at that moment I realized what was about to happen.
My heart began to race and I started shaking. I had hoped for this moment…even dreamed of this moment…and now it was happening. The photographer handed a ring box to Rick and he dropped to one knee. At that moment I see no one…I hear no one…all I see and hear is this amazing man…this man that I love more than words…speak to me. The words he said I will never forget.
“Melanie Girl…(I love it when he calls me that)…will you go with me to where the water is blue and marry me on 831?” Tears of joy start to flow from my eyes. I answer him with an immediate “YES”!
He then placed this amazingly beautiful ring on my finger. It was by far the most amazing ring I had ever seen. The diamonds sparkled under the full moon, but what made it even more special and beautiful is that Rick had 8 3 1 engraved on the back of the ring. Rick then stood and we sealed everything with a kiss. This perfect proposal took place at 8:31 pm!
The “photographer” approached us and introduced himself to me. He was Christopher Simonetti, proprietor of Christopher Williams Jewelers in Weyers Cave, Virginia, the place where Rick purchased my exquisite Verragio engagement ring. Mr. Simonetti not only delivered the ring to Virginia Beach, but he also photographed and videotaped our proposal. He helped make this unforgettable moment for us one that we will not only be able to tell our grandchildren about, but show them as well. Thank you is simply not enough for all he has done.
Since the proposal my head has remained in the clouds. I have never been happier. I am in love with and marrying the man of my dreams. We are planning to wed where the water is blue on August 31, 2013.…our ultimate 8-3-1 date. I am not only ready but also very excited to start this new chapter in our lives.
I will conclude this by saying sometimes in life you have to take a leap of faith…knowing and trusting that someone will be there to catch you and not let you fall….Rick is that “someone” to me. I love you Mr. Rick Overton… you are my “Happily Ever After”…
We cannot express well enough with words how much we have enjoyed our experience with Christopher William Jewelers! I am very impressed with the way they choose to do business. They are very good at what they do and I hope they feel very proud winning us as lifetime customers!
Watch the proposal video here:
Thank you so much for sharing your awesome story, Melanie and Rick!
We are thrilled for you and can’t wait to hear about your next big 831 day…your wedding!
You can find a ring just like Melanie’s at the store in our Verragio Collection!