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Put A Ring On It - Ariana & David

Source: Karen Derby / Karen Derby

It was a rainy day in Florida when David Azodeh proposed to Ariana Gordon in front of her nearest and dearest, and she never saw it coming.

Ariana just knew that David was going to propose to her during a family cruise last November. All the signs were there: He had the ring. He had the perfect setting. Their closest friends were coming along. How could he not be popping the question as they sailed off into some Caribbean sunset?

Let’s rewind.

Ariana has had some time to think about this moment because it has been years in the making. Their story began at a rooftop day party in Washington, D.C., during what Ariana and her girls called their “Single, Sexy Summer.” Little did she know that when she ran into a tall, dark, and handsome stranger on her way out, that her single summers would officially (and swiftly) come to an end.

“Yana was staring at me, and I’m staring at her,” David told, recalling that she cracked a joke about him wearing sunglasses inside. “I took my shades off, and we exchanged pleasantries and we exchanged numbers.”

At first, Ariana tried to play it cool and take it slow. If things with David were going to evolve into a relationship, she wanted to take her time. However, their first date was beyond enchanting and the conversation was incredible.

“The first date was amazing. We shut the restaurant down. Me and her was in there talking for four hours,” David recalled. “We touched on every subject that night.”

He continued, “Me being me– I’m clueless–so I’m thinking, ‘Yeah, we had a good first date, but that doesn’t mean she’s really digging me.”

David didn’t have to wait long for her to hint that was interested in having date number two soon. “I definitely wanted to see him again. We had a really cool first date,” Ariana added.

Soon their second date turned into a third, which was capped off in romantic, cinematic fashion as their first kiss was literally punctuated with fireworks.

“We kissed and on the walk back, fireworks started. One of those magical moments, I guess,” Ariana fondly remembered. “My inner romance heart was like, ‘This is awesome!’”

Three weeks later anyone that was paying attention could see that something special and real was going on between Ariana and David. From there, the happy couple had a summer filled with special moments.

Much like on their first meeting, David realized that he was falling for Ariana during a rooftop party on a hot summer night not long after they met.

“Ariana looked amazing, and the whole night we were just telling jokes and enjoying each other’s company to the point where I didn’t even realize I was at a party with 1,000 other people,” David recalled. “Somehow we skated off and found ourselves a little secluded balcony. We talked and kissed. I think that’s when I knew that she could be the future of the Azodeh saga.”

It didn’t take Ariana long to know that she was in love with David either. However, she knew that he was the man she wanted to spend the rest of her life with during another family vacation when she saw how well he fit in among her people.

“For me, I knew he was the person I wanted to marry when we went on the first cruise [in 2014] with my parents,” Ariana added. “He fit in so well, and my family is a lot.”

She added, “You never think that your family and loved ones opinions really matter that much. It just showed me–wow–I can see my future with this person beyond the fairytale romance.

Now that we’re back up to speed, let’s get into how Ariana came to the conclusion that David was going to propose on her family cruise last November.


Anyone that knows Ariana, knows that she’s a planner. She knows what she wants, and she knows how to bring her visions to life. When thinking about her wedding, Ariana had a few specific moments she wanted to work into the reception. She even recruited one of her friends, Talia, as her wedding planner before David ever proposed. Oh, and Ariana wanted her girl there when David popped the question to capture the whole thing.

As such, it was a major hint that David planned to ask her to marry him during the cruise when Talia (and his would-be Best Man) also booked a ticket for the trip!

“It would be the perfect time to get engaged on the cruise ship,” said David, confirming Ariana’s suspicion that he was going to propose onboard. “I started inviting her friends. Her little antenna ears popped up when I started asking for information on her friends.”

When her friends told David that she knew he was going to propose on the boat, he had to switch his entire plan to keep her surprised. Ariana’s father suggested proposing after the trip, and her mother told David to stick with his plan. Unfortunately, neither of those approaches were going to work.

“Her mother was like, ‘The best time to do it as dinner on the cruise.’ And I was like, ‘But she knows!’” David shared. “I’ll do it before we even get on the ship. That way it’s going to be a last-minute [plan] and it will be too late for her to find out.”

He called her family to let them know he was changing the plan, and spread the word so that everyone knew where and when to convene. The hard part was just getting his soon-to-be bride to brunch on time.

The night before David proposed he and Ariana partied the night away, making an early wakeup the next morning that much harder. He eventually managed to coax Ariana out of bed for an hour-long drive to answer one of the most important questions of her life.

“I’m not a morning person,” Ariana said. It certainly didn’t help matters that she wasn’t dressed for the weather. Clouds rolled in from out of nowhere, and it started pouring. “We were both wearing white.”

Just as they arrived to brunch, the surprise was nearly spoiled when Ariana spotted a familiar face (her aunt) in the crowd. When she called her mother to ask what was going on, the call “mysteriously” dropped and Ariana was ushered inside the restaurant and upstairs. And she was held upstairs as everyone she came in with slowly disappeared.

Just before she was about to storm down the steps to find out just exactly was going on, David reappeared upstairs. That’s when she got the feeling that he was up to something. That’s when she arrived on the first floor of the restaurant to see it filled with her loved ones, watching eagerly as David asked her to marry him.

“Once he got down on knee and I started hearing people, I was like, ‘Oh, my God. What’s going on?’ I saw everybody,” Ariana recalled. “That’s why I started crying because I was really overwhelmed with everyone being there.”

It was a lot to handle at one moment, and a million thoughts ran through Ariana’s mind. What was going on? Why was her whole family there? Did she look ok? At first, Ariana didn’t exactly give the standard answer when he popped the question.

“This guy gets down on one knee and the first thing I say is, ‘I hate you so much,’” Ariana said with a laugh, adding that David rolled with it. “He said, ‘Unfortunately, that doesn’t answer my question.’”

Of course, she said yes!

“It’s things like that that let me know I’m marrying the right person. Rather than get upset and wait, he tried to outsmart me,” Ariana mused.

Ariana and David plan to tie the knot next June in Florida, and we’re sure it’s going to be a grand affair befitting of their love story.

We know that there are tons more great love stories out there just waiting to be told, and would love to share them. If you (or anyone you know) would be a good fit for Put A Ring On It, hit us up at


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PUT A RING ON IT: It Took A Village To Plan David’s Surprise Proposal To Ariana  was originally published on