The couple met in October 2011 at a weekly happy hour event, when a matchmaking friend of Mr. Alderdice approached Ms. Abugo and said that the groom was interested in her but shy, and then went back to Mr. Alderdice and told him the same story but with Ms. Abugo cast as the hesitant party.
The ploy worked. “We ended up going on a date a week or so later and have been dating ever since,” Ms. Abugo said.
The two found over time that they complemented each other well.
“I’ve grown to really appreciate his temperament — he’s very even-keeled, very reliable,” she said. “It’s nice to have someone who brings me down to earth a lot when I tend to be a lot more excitable.”
He said he was enchanted by her brilliant smile, but the effort she puts into looking after other people, her intelligence and her sharp judgment are what make her special. “She keeps everything always interesting,” he said. “I don’t have to worry about us getting bored together.”
When he decided he wanted to propose, Mr. Alderdice knew he didn’t want to let anyone else in on the secret but realized he was at a disadvantage in selecting an appropriate ring because Ms. Abugo isn’t much of a jewelry wearer. He ended up taking an old ring of hers as well as a picture of her to the jeweler, and picked out a diamond-encrusted double band that has a central diamond where the two bands converge.
A few days later, having enlisted the staff at the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx to assist in his plan, he got down on one knee and proposed, with “Marry Me Uzezi” spelled out in wooden letters covered in flowers behind him.
“I am a nervous laugher, so I immediately go into hysterics, laughing as he’s proposing,” Ms. Abugo said.
“She of course said yes, and was very happy and sort of overwhelmed,” he said. “The ring didn’t fully fit on, but we had to have the picture of the ring in the proper position with the flowers…