Irina and Kevin met on the first day of college in Boston, where they shared the same dorm room floor. Though they became fast friends, it wasn’t until several years after college, sometime in 2014 when they were both living in New York, that they started dating, though neither can quite remember when their friendship turned into a romantic relationship. Their first date likely involved a dinner and going to see a movie—something that they continue doing on date nights to this day despite rarely ever agreeing on what to see or what they think of the movie afterward. In the five years that they have been together, they, yes, saw a lot of movies, moved into an apartment in Chelsea together, and traveled all over. Still, the one place that Irina always wanted to go was a short walk away: Manhattan’s Gramercy Park, a private, gated park that requires a key to enter.
So when it came time to propose, Kevin knew that that’s where he wanted to do it. After finding out that the Gramercy Park Hotel has access to the park, he booked a hotel room and worked with the concierge to hatch the plan. As a guise, he told Irina that they were going to brunch at Maialino, the restaurant inside the Gramercy Park Hotel, and then to see his one-year-old nephew. After brunch, Irina obliviously suggested they walk around the park’s gate to see if someone would let them in, which Kevin was only happy to agree to. As they walked toward it, the concierge, who was texting with Kevin during brunch and knew the plan, let them in. As Irina marveled over the park, Kevin got down on one knee. Irina was so surprised, she dropped down on hers too. After she said yes, Kevin surprised Irina once more by telling her that they were staying the night at the hotel, where they ended up in a suite overlooking the park.
As former bridal magazine editor, Irina was not quite sure how to narrow down what ring or designer she wanted to go with. After meeting Olivia and Kyle while working on an article on The Clear Cut, she felt a connection to them and their business model. Irina eventually narrowed the setting down to an octagon pave halo, and Kevin and Olivia selected a diamond—a round brilliant—and finalized the design. “I wanted something unique—thus, the desire for an octagon halo—but also something classic that I wouldn’t get sick of in 10, 20 years,” Irina says. “Despite having a say in the shape, I could have never imagined how gorgeous the end result would be!”
While they are still figuring out their wedding plans, Kevin and Irina want something very small and intimate. Maybe, with a movie following after.