Who can be the best narrator of their beautiful story than George himself... "Olivia and I met when I was 16 years old. I heard a lot about how beautiful and amazing she was from my friends, but I never got a chance to meet her because we were never at the same gatherings. Finally, on September 7th, 2007, I got to meet her at our mutual friends' party. (Shout out to Alissa! Haha) When my friends and I pulled up to the house, Olivia arrived at the same time, so I waited nervously until she parked to introduce myself. She got out of the car, looking like the most beautiful thing that I had ever seen, walked right up to me and said "Hey Mr. President!" and we both laughed (I was the president of my school student council at the time). At that moment, I fell for her.
Fast forward to April, 8 years later, when I found out that Olivia would have 2 weeks off from medical school so I spontaneously booked us a 2 week trip to Greece for the end of August. She had never been to Europe before and I always promised that I would take her someday. I knew that this would be the perfect place to ask her to be my wife. We invited her family to join us, since they too had never been to Europe, but her father was the only one who was up for it. I never told them that I was proposing in Greece until 2 days before we left when I asked them for their blessing, they were pretty mad at themselves for declining to go in the first place.
I own an event production company, BOLD Productions, in which my team and I help clients plan/create their special events. For the next 4 months, I would be planning the biggest event of my life and let me tell you, it was not easy. I contacted several venues, photographers, cinematographers and decorators, but from years of experience, I knew which ones I wanted to work with. I rented out the entire Santorini Gem restaurant, overlooking the breathtaking sea and sunset that Santorini is famous for. I booked Phosart Photography Cinematography as my photographers/videographers to help capture our arrival in Santorini, the entire day walking through the streets of Oia, and the proposal. George, Chris, Stella and the entire Phosart team became like family throughout the planning process, they are the best! They met with me on Skype, followed all of my instructions and requests, while offering their own input on my ideas for the proposal. I am a perfectionist when it comes down to the details, as I strongly believe the little things are what take your breath away.
Before we left, I told Olivia that we had to go shopping because the restaurant that we were going to in Santorini was very fancy and if you are not dressed up, you would not get in. This was a complete lie, but it was the only way I would convince her to dress up for the proposal without giving it away. We went to several stores and looked at so many dresses, but it wasn't until that day before we left that we went to Marciano and I found the dress that screamed proposal in Santorini! Olivia felt that it was way too dressy and it looked like she was getting married, but I reassured her that she would not look out of place at the restaurant.
On August 27th, 2015, the day that I had been planning for months finally arrived. I was so nervous, but I knew that all of the planning and hard work was going to make the day run smoothly. We arrived in Santorini by SeaJet and Phosart team was at the port with the entire team of 5 ready to capture our arrival. Chris, who I had been meeting with on Skype for months, was holding a sign with my name on it and he was playing the role of our taxi driver. Before we got in the car, he gave us a bottle of champagne to celebrate our arrival in Santorini. I played it off as if the taxi company did this for all of its guests and Olivia believed everything I said, again haha. While driving to our hotel, we were being filmed by a hidden camera in the car, a drone video camera overtop us and by the rest of the crew who were hidden at stops along the way. This helped capture all of our joy and excitement of being in Santorini together.
After arriving at the hotel, we freshened up and got ready to do some sightseeing in the streets of Oia. The photographers gave me a specific route to take in order for them to be strategically placed among the tourists and capture all of our special moments together without being noticed. They were very well blended in among the tourists and even switched hats throughout the day to disguise themselves. Olivia had no clue that they were even there, they were amazing! I had Olivia's father take pictures of us throughout our sightseeing to allow the photographers to get great shots of us from a distance. After a couple of hours walking through the beautiful streets, we headed back to our hotel to get ready for dinner. When we got dressed up and I saw Olivia in her dress, my stomach filled with butterflies; the fact that I was about to propose to my best friend started to sink in. We took a few pictures outside of our hotel, then took a taxi to the venue. During the taxi ride, I told Olivia that I could not wait to use the bathroom at the restaurant, this was a big part of the plan. Upon arrival, I had the manager waiting for us at the entrance and she asked if we had a reservation, I gave her my name and she said "Yes, I see it here, but your table is not ready". I told her to say that beforehand, so I could reply "Okay, no problem. Can I use your bathroom?" Instead of going to the bathroom, I walked over to my position in the heart shaped candles which I had the decorator set up. Once I was in position, Phosart team clipped a microphone on me to capture all of the audio of the proposal. When everything was set, the manager told Olivia and her father that our table was ready. Before they began to walk to the table, her father took out the blind fold that I gave him and said to Olivia "George has a surprise for you and I need to blindfold you." At that point, I didn't care if she had any suspicions. I didn't want her to see any of the décor just yet, I wanted the first thing she saw when she took off her blindfold to be me, ready to propose. Once the blindfold was on, another member of the photography team put a microphone on her dad to capture all of the audio of them walking towards the spot where I would be proposing. When I saw Olivia walking with her father towards me, I got very emotional and my eyes started to water. I promised myself that I wouldn't cry, but at that point it was very hard to do otherwise.
When Olivia's father gave her away to me, I grabbed her hands and held them tight. I took a deep breath and removed her blindfold. Once I did, she instantly began to cry and so did I. After taking a few seconds to calm down, I looked her in the eyes, held her hands and began professing my love for her. Meanwhile, the photographers, cinematographers and drone operator were capturing every moment. I got down on one knee, and asked her to marry me. When she said yes, my heart jumped and I was the happiest man in the world. Right after I got off one knee and we kissed, I had the venue play our song, "No One" by Alicia Keys, this made her cry even more. A few minutes went by of us hugging, kissing and dancing, then her sobbing father presented her with a huge bouquet of her favourite pink roses. I then pointed out one of our videographers to Olivia and she immediately recognized him as Chris, our taxi driver. She couldn't believe everything that had been going on all day right in front of her eyes. That was the ultimate satisfaction. It all came together very smoothly because of the great work of the entire BOLD Productions team and the Phosart crew. I am forever grateful for all of their hard work and dedication to making our day one that we will never forget."