We like to say that we met through mutual friends. This is technically true! Caroline convinced Alyssa to join the app "Hinge" in December of 2015. Nick and Alyssa matched immediately. Our mutual connection was Melissa- a friend from college for Nick and a best friend from PT school for Alyssa. We bonded over travel, football, and food before going on our first date at a wine bar. We closed the bar down. Even though Nick grew up in Chicago, and Alyssa in Nashville, our connection was so easy. We both come from big families with similar values. Many trips and two cats later, the support from our friends and family led us to a life together forever.
Alyssa's parents and brother came to Chicago to hang out while Alyssa's dad, Randy, "had a client meeting". However, this was all a ruse, as Nick had carefully articulated a weekend for a proposal surprise. The fake plan was for brunch on Sunday, knowing that Alyssa would jump at any chance to eat at a new restaurant in Chicago. Upon arrival, the restaurant workers scrambled saying there was a mix up and the "table was not ready". The manager came over to apologize and guided Nick and Alyssa to the rooftop of The Robey Hotel for champagne to make up for the "mistake". The rest of the family was easily believed to be running late. At the rooftop of the hotel, not a tourist nor hotel guest in sight, Nick and Alyssa walked outside to enjoy the views of the downtown city skyline... "I love doing life with you...", he said, and on March 23, 2019, Nick got down on one knee and proposed. Nick hired a photographer who captured all of the memories that day. Both the Hartley and Orlandi families joined the couple an hour later to celebrate and FINALLY eat brunch. Fun Fact: This was all very well organized beforehand, but the hostess was seconds away from blowing the cover!!