In the spirit of the most romantic month of the year, I reached out to couples who are engaged to be married to hear all about their intimate story. I love love, and I think it’s really special when you find someone who you love so strongly that you decide to share your life with them. In this Engaged to be Married feature, I speak to Nikki Angeles (26) and Ricardo Ramnarine (26) to learn more about their six-year long journey together. We talk about how they fell in love, when they decided to get engaged, the juicy proposal dets, and their thoughts about wedding planning. Without further ado, listen to what this couple has to say before saying “I do!”
Read Ricardo & Nikki’s story below in this special Engaged to be Married interview.
When was the moment you knew that you wanted to marry each other?
Him: There wasn’t one specific moment of realization for me, it was more many moments blended together that made me realize I want to spend the rest of my life with her by my side.
Her: It was when I saw how he treated his mom. I believe that if a man treats their mother right, with respect, that’s how he will be with me.
What is the thing you love the most about your partner?
Him: She is always there to support me in everything. As an example, for all of my dragon boat regattas, she’s there from my first warm up at 7 am to the award ceremony at 5 pm. It doesn’t matter how many teams I’m paddling for or where the race site is, she’s still always there for me. She makes me a priority in her life and it makes it easy for me to do the same.
Her: I would say his sense of humour. He always makes me laugh and it is what brought us closer together. He makes uncomfortable situations funny or lightens up the mood if i’m nervous about something.
What was the proposal like?
Him: The first time I saw Nikki’s room decor, I knew where I would propose if she was the one. She has a giant Eiffel Tower picture framed above her bed, along with Paris-themed sheets and pillow covers. It would have to be in Paris in front of the Eiffel Tower.
Next was choosing the date. I didn’t want the Eiffel Tower to be filled with tourists during our photo shoot, so early morning in October/November was the perfect time to propose. Since our 6th year anniversary was on October 20th, I took her to a french restaurant in Toronto called Aloette and gave her a card from Roses Without Thorns, a Toronto based paper craft company with tickets inside to Paris for Nov 5th – 11th.
As Nikki would be near me everywhere in Paris, I wouldn’t be able to organize a photoshoot once in Paris so it had to be prearranged. I took a risk finding a surprise proposal photographer online who lives in Paris and paying her without ever meeting her face to face. Karina from Picture Me Paris took amazing photographs of the proposal itself and followed it with a photoshoot in the surrounding area. She helped me choose the best location and time for our proposal and set everything up so Nikki had no idea it was happening.
The day of our flight, I was really worried about security at the airport revealing the ring in my carry on. It would suck for her to see the ring at the airport security so I wrapped the box in a note saying “proposal ring inside. Please open discreetly!”.
The day before the proposal, the forecast said it was going to rain and my photographer told me it would be ideal to have a clear umbrella so it doesn’t block to shot. As we only brought a black opaque umbrella, I told Nikki “I just remembered my sister wanted a clear umbrella from Paris and told us we can use it in Paris if it rains”. My sister never asked for an umbrella. So that night I got Nikki to choose the umbrella she would be using for her surprise proposal photoshoot.
On the day of the proposal, I knew Nikki would be on the alert while in Paris so I tried my best to not give it away. What they don’t tell you is how hard ring boxes are to conceal inconspicuously. I hid the ring box in my jacket pocket and wrapped it around my gloves so it wouldn’t be obvious what was in my pocket. I didn’t want her finding the ring box protruding so I walked with that side away from her as much as possible.
I didn’t want to be late to the photoshoot because of delays using the subway (as Torontonians know all too well) so we left really early. As it was raining and cold outside, I planned to grab breakfast at a nearby cafe and stalled until the photographer came. Once I got the message from the photographer that she was set up at the rendezvous, we paid the bill and I led her to the location, Trocadéro Gardens. Following the plan, our photographer, Karina was standing on the spot I would be proposing at taking pictures of the surrounding scenery. I approached her and asked her to take a photo of us in front of the Eiffel Tower. After she took the photo and I thanked her, I turned Nikki away from the photographer so she could set up for the shoot and I pretended to take a few shots of the Eiffel Tower from where we were standing. I put away my phone, turned to Nikki and said a lot of cheesy stuff I’m not repeating and got down on one knee. I pulled out the box and posed there for a while so the photographer could get great shots of us. After I was silent for a while, Nikki yelled out while laughing “Are you going to ask me?!?”. I started laughing too and asked her “Will you marry me?”. And she said “YES!”. I’m surprised with how well the proposal went considering how many last minute changes I had to make.
Her: The proposal; it was amazing! The day started off not so great though. He made an itinerary for each day and on the second day we had planned to go to a place called “Trocadero” for some nice sunrise photos that are Instagram worthy. We had to get up really early. It was pouring and the dress that I brought with me wasn’t suitable for the rainy weather that morning. We stepped out of our hotel and walked to the subway station. Halfway to the subway, I started complaining that my feet were wet and that I was freezing. I told Ricardo that I’m too cold, I don’t care how I look, and I don’t want to take photos anymore.
He pulled me closer to him to give me some warmth and convinced me that we were almost there. I gave in and shortly we arrived in Trocadero. It was very windy and very cold; there was no building to block the wind where we were so I did what I do best and started complaining again. He then, probably fed up with me, suggested to go across the street where there’s a cafe. We sat inside, had coffee and breakfast until the rain cleared up a bit. No sunrise but at least it had stopped raining heavily. We left the cafe and went across the street to admire the Eiffel Tower. We took photos, admired the view and walked around. We had the place to ourselves, probably because of the weather which made it better. On one side by the fountains, there was the most amazing view of the Eiffel Tower. The trees were changing colours and made the scenery so peaceful and romantic. A lady was there taking photos as well so Ricardo had asked her if she could take a photo of us using his phone. We stood on a ledge with the tower behind us and posed.
Few clicks later, she returned the phone to us and handed it back to Ricardo. He turned me towards the Eiffel Tower and took a few more shots of the Eiffel Tower with his phone. I wanted to see the photos but instead, Ricardo put his phone in his pocket. As I was looking at him confused at why he wasn’t showing me the photos, he steps back with his one leg and kneels down, pulls out a box and looks me in the eye. I was in shock, I wasn’t sure if this was really happening or if I was dreaming. At this point, Ricardo was kneeling for what seemed like an eternity and he didn’t move or say anything.
So being me, I bent over to him and ask him impatiently, “are you asking me?!” he finally said some cheesy stuff that I honestly don’t remember nor care about. I wasn’t even sure if I let him finish or if he asked me. I just said YES!!! He slipped the ring onto my finger, we hugged and kissed then he turned around and said, “Did you get all that?” to the lady who had taken our pictures earlier. He had a secret photographer to capture the perfect moment! She congratulates us and we did a photoshoot.
What is the biggest concern on your mind in regards to wedding logistics?
Him: It would have to be how much money we’re willing to throw at a one day party. I think once we figure out our budget, it will help us decide location, number of guests, and how many guests we can accommodate.
Her: The wedding location. We both have families everywhere. I have families in the Philippines and a few in the States. He has families in Canada, States and Trinidad. Plus, weddings here are super expensive.
What emotions do you feel when you think about getting married?
Him: I don’t think marriage will change our relationship or take it to another level as we already have a great relationship. Once we say “I do”, we won’t love each other more. I’m mainly doing it for her because it’s important to her.
Her: Excited! I can’t wait to marry my best friend. He is everything to me. I want to come home to him, see him first thing in the morning and last person I see at night.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with readers about relationships/marriage?
Him: A relationship takes effort from both sides to be successful. I believe great relationships are built over time. My advice for anyone thinking of proposing is to discuss the topic of getting married before popping the question. Your question shouldn’t be a surprise, only the timing and location.
Her: Relationships are not perfect, it’s a lot of hard work. There are times where we want to kill each other, not literally, but we don’t because at the end of the day, he is the one who understands me and gets me. I don’t even have to explain myself. He just knows me.
Thank you so much to Nikki and Ricardo for sharing. From knowing you personally, I’ve witnessed the strong connection you both have, and I feel that you two are a very good match. I almost cried reading this, and I know that the reader is probably feeling emotional too! I wish you the best of luck with your relationship.