Claudia Rei of Cranston, Rhode Island, and Christopher Okonski of Niskayuna, New York, are set to wed August 20, 2021 at the Atlantic Resort at Wyndham Newport.
How We Met
Chris and I met at the office. We were both accepted into a leadership program at our company and I was smitten. We worked alongside each other for about six months in the program admiring each other’s work ethic and passion for how we approached work and life. Unfortunately, I learned Chris was moving to Boston after the program and I thought we would lose touch and that would be the end. A few months later, out of the blue, I got a text: Chris wanted to know if he could take me to dinner. I saw him that following Friday and every since then we’ve been inseparable.
Our Proposal Story
Chris told me we were going to go to a fun brunch spot in Newport, Rhode Island, for restaurant week. As we drove by the Newport exit, I started getting suspicious of where he was actually taking me. I may have said, ‘I hope we’re really getting brunch because I’m starving.’ We pull up to our location and I saw a helicopter in the distance and Chris asked ‘Do you know what we’re doing today?’ I put together that we were going on a helicopter tour over Newport and suddenly my hunger subsided and excitement took over. I have to preface that Chris hates heights and does not enjoy flying. So I kept assuring him we didn’t have to do this, but he had other plans! It was the first weekend of November and the skies were a crisp blue. We went up, taking in and enjoying all the sights and the radio happened to be playing back-to-back lovey hits. As we rounded the corner to land, Chris tried to distract me from looking down. Once we actually got to the tarmac to land, I was in pure shock to see Chris’s brother standing at the end with a guitar (since he lives three hours away from us) and one of his best friends in the distance with a camera. My eyes immediately started to fill up. As we walked closer towards Chris’s brother, I could finally hear the song he was playing — one of my favorites: “From Now On” from the Greatest Showman. A song I had always said I wanted to play at our reception one day. Then the big moment happened! Chris got down on one knee, we embraced, and tried to grasp the reality of what had just happened in that moment. There were tears, laughs, champagne, and it was perfectly us. Chris then swooped me away to my next surprise which was our closest family and friends waiting at Midtown Oyster bar to celebrate with us. It was pure bliss.