Her voice came singing in the wind, calling his name.
On a Saturday in March 2010, Quinnton found himself on the campus of Boston College for a fashion show. Ariel, a junior at the time, attended the same event. They both shared mutual friends, but never met. And funny enough, Ariel's first encounter with this gentlemen from MIT was admittedly awkward.
After the show, Ariel headed to a campus cafeteria to indulge in a late night meal. Shortly after arriving, she got into a conflict with another BC student who said a racist comment to her in his drunken state (but we will save that story for another day). Immediately following the conflict, she got in the food line with a few friends. She proceeded to candidly unpack what just happened. Quinnton, who arrived to the cafeteria shortly afterwards, joined the group of mutual friends in line. He overheard Ariel on her rant and playfully mocked her. He was welcomed with a snarly 'Do I even know you?' from the distressed Ariel.
Later that same night, their paths crossed again. Quinnton went to hang out with the crew in the common space of Ariel's dorm. This time their conversation was more civil. The common question "So what course are you at MIT" lead to a much deeper discussion of their childhood, family, and dreams.
Following that night were long text conversations. Then the first date. And finally, the commitment to love. The two went on to finish their year of undergrad, start their careers in Boston, move to New York City and now California.
Quinnton knew going into year 3 that Ariel was the partner he wanted for life. He believed that with patience and faith he would know the right time and place to ask. He planned and saved.
Ariel deeply appreciated the support and love Quinnton showed as they grew older together. And she never wanted this to end.
A Prince's Proposal
The two co-planned a couples trip to South Africa in celebration of their 5th year anniversary. Quinnton knew nothing would be more special than to propose to Ariel in the motherland. He gathered his friends and family to help plan. He wanted this moment to be private, thoughtful and unforgettable.
On May 21, 2015, Quinnton led Ariel down a boardwalk on the sandy beaches of Cape Point, South Africa. Surrounded by calming waters, colored rocks and herds of penguins, Quinnton presented to Ariel a letter and a gift. Reading the letter aloud, she glowed in pure excitement.
Quinnton snapped only two photos of the moment. He let the most precious of the moment deliver the fate of the two. And he did this all without a ring.
As Quinnton planned to propose in South Africa, he also pursued another dream. He designed a custom engagement ring. With his good friend Paolo Conti, a master jeweler from Boston, he designed the family symbol of the new life ahead. The concept is inspired by the tail of the mermaid, where two scaled fins join together around a center stone.
Furthermore Quinnton designed custom wedding bands that fit congruently to both sides of the engagement ring. Symbolically, the engagement ring is the center of the godly commitment they pursue every day to live in purpose, together. The wedding bands will be revealed at the ceremony.
Sadly, he did not finish the ring in time of the proposal. He decided to proceed forward, gifting the ring a month later in Brooklyn.