From Erin, the bride: Neal and I first met at the Manoa public tennis courts in spring 2007. I won’t ever forget that grin/smile he flashed while waving hello to me as I sat down (he’s famous for his sheepish grin). A year of tennis playing and occasional group dinners with the Manoa Wednesday night gang goes on and Neal’s in the process of preparing for his second deployment, this time to Iraq. His friends threw him a farewell party on June 19th; it was a fun day of tennis and BBQ at Ala Moana Beach park. I didn’t play; only came to eat, partake in the camaraderie and share my lemon bars. Not sure if it was love at first bite, but I did notice he ended up eating almost half a pan by the end of the day (good thing I brought 2 pans) It was on my way home when I summed up the courage to call him and ask him to dinner.
It rang and went to voicemail; I panicked, got tongue-tied and hung up immediately. After rehearsing several messages in my head, I summed up the last of my courage to call again and leave a message. We decided to eat at Ninikuya that night (an awesome hole-in-the-wall garlic restaurant), and had a wonderful dinner filled with garlic steak, shrimp risotto and a glass of red wine for the both of us.
Fast forward to summer of 2011 With no plans, we meandered our way through the sights and sounds of the City of Lights! Decided to meander more and make our way to the Eiffel Tower. We road the elevator up and soaked in the 360 degree scenery. We decided to take a walk in the Champ de Mars (gardens next to the Eiffle Tower), where we found a park bench to sit, talk and enjoy our first night in Paris together. He took both of my hands into his, took a deep breath, got down on one knee and started to propose.
Photography: Studio 3511 Photography
Venue: The Pacific Club