You never know where a Bumble date is going to take you, but for New Yorkers Sara and Erik, it was Bua Bar on St. Mark’s Place in the East Village. That was back in February 2016.
“We had a couple of bottles of wine and it was really fun,” remembers Sara, 31, who works in marketing at Rolling Stone magazine. Her feelings had deepened considerably by the third date, when Erik arrived at her apartment to pick her up bearing not a bouquet of flowers but a jar of Nutella. As Sara puts it, “I remember thinking, ‘Oh, I’m in trouble. I really like this guy.’”
An exclusive relationship, informed by their shared love of music, traveling, food, and exploring bats around the city soon began to take shape. “My favorite things about Sara are her relationships with people and how she treats them while still staying a super independent female, I think it’s awesome,” says Erik, 34, who coaches college baseball for a living.
“Erik is really passionate about what he does, and I really love the way that he goes about his life,” says Sara. “He’s always having fun and having a good time and he cares so much about what he does, and puts all of himself into it.”
The only challenge? Erik’s travel schedule. Coaching baseball requires considerable time away from home—weeks-long stretches and most of the summer. He says that Sara’s ability to put up with this is a big part of why they work as a couple.
But Sara says she has always been able to see a silver lining in the time they spend apart: “We never have the chance to get sick of each other, and always get the chance to miss each other,” she says.
If you’ve ever been temporarily separated from the person you love for a spell, you get it: The downtime is tough, but a little distance can fan the flame of romance in an indescribably powerful way.
Erik’s one to agree. “That summer, we had been dating for a few months, and I was on the road for a long stretch, and it was the first time I was like, ‘Oh, wow, I wish I was back home hanging out with Sara,” he says. “Then I thought, “Oh my God I’m going to marry her one day.”
A few summers later, he was ready to take the next step. But first he needed an engagement ring.
Erik consulted one of Sara’s best friends, Marissa, for advice. “She had a really good idea of what Sara was looking for, so I leaned on her expertise a lot,” he says. A friend of Marissa’s recommended they go to Greenwich St. Jewelers; there, it took just one visit with jewelry stylist Grace Taylor for them to know they were in good hands. “I had zero idea what we were looking for at first and then I actually learned a lot [about diamonds] which was kind of cool,” says Erik. “I just wanted to not feel scared about what I was doing—not the getting engaged part, but the actual ring-buying process.”
“I wanted the thinnest band possible,” says Sara, who was not involved in the ring-shopping in order for it to be a surprise. “I think Marissa told Grace that I wanted it ‘as thin as floss’ and Grace said, ‘That won’t hold the diamond but we can try.’”
Grace was able to translate this idea into some excellent engagement ring options for consideration. An 18k gold mounting with an extra-slender band from Greenwich St. Jewelers’ own line, Greenwich St. Ceremony collection, ended up being just right. Called The Hudson, and made from recycled gold, all the setting needed was a solitaire diamond that fit the delicate proportions of the design. Grace presented Marissa and Erik with five diamonds and the one everyone liked best was a modified cushion cut stone. “It held up against the rest,” says Erik.
It also happened to be exactly what Sara wanted.
As with most every summer, Erik was away for work for lots of July 2019, but had a rare day off on July 12, a sun-drenched Friday—the perfect day to head upstate for an adventure at Storm King Art Center. Located in Orange County, the famous outdoor sculpture park is about an hour and a half drive from NYC, and a favorite escape for city dwellers looking to bike, stroll, and picnic.
“I had been on the road and we hadn’t seen each other in 13 days,” says Erik. “We had planned to hang out the day after I got back, and we had talked about going to Storm King, where neither of us had been before. It’s supposed to be a really nice, beautiful place and I felt like a trip up there would be a good opportunity [to propose]. All things considered, it seemed like the perfect timing and place.”
When they got to Storm King, they spent the afternoon riding bikes. “It was an awesome day,” remembers Sara. “We had a picnic, it was beautiful there; we basically had the whole place to ourselves. ”
“I didn’t really have a plan, I just wanted it to be a surprise,” says Erik. But when he and Sara arrived at Wavefield, a spot in the park where artist Maya Lin has transformed the terrain into seven nearly four-hundred-foot-long waves, ranging in height from 10 to 15 feet, he knew he’d found a worthy backdrop. “We hung out there for a while, and then we got up to leave, and Sara was leading the way and I said, ‘Oh, wait one second.’”
When Sara turned around, Erik was on one knee asking her to marry him. “She didn’t say ‘yes,’ she was freaking out, so I had to ask five minutes later, ‘You said yes, right?!’” says Erik, with a laugh.
“I had no idea it was coming, and then I was just kind of in shock a little bit,” says Sara. They’d talked about getting married before, but she had no idea that Erik had gotten her an engagement ring.
“At one point, I looked down at the ring with the thin gold band. And the diamond was so beautiful and sparkly. And I said, ‘You talked to Marissa, didn’t you?!’” says Sara. “Because it was exactly what I wanted.”
Congratulations, Sara & Erik! We loved being part of this special moment and wish you lots of love and luck as you make plans for your wedding.