“That day we started to chat and that’s how the magic happened!”
A self-proclaimed couple of the ‘COVID generation’, Astrid and Nicolas are discovering the newfound joys of having been legally wed this autumn but excitedly anticipating the day when they can go big on celebrations with family and friends. We chat with them about their snowy proposal and the magic of long-term love.
How did you both meet?
Nicolas: We were both studying at the same business school in France. One of my flatmates was dating one of your flatmates. At the beginning of the year the hot water wasn’t working in Astrid’s flat, and they wanted a shower so they all came over to ours. That day we started to chat and that’s how the magic happened!
Astrid: It’s true. At some point I was like, ‘he’s cute, you know!’ I had a crush. That was nine years ago now.
What was the moment you knew the other person was ‘the one’?
N: It’s a tricky one. At the beginning of the relationship there’s this big excitement, but then this excitement fades off and it changes into love, you know? It happens over time.
A: During the first year of our relationship we were at business school where you’re young and partying, and you don’t have to deal with more serious stuff. But during the last years of school, we were in a long-distance relationship and when I came back from five months in China, we moved into this flat in Paris. We knew it was going to be a test but it went really well. I knew then.
Do you have a favourite memory of the time you’ve shared together?
N: The first time we went to the South of France to see my family, those were good moments, to spend holidays with family together. Or when we went to South Africa, to see [Astrid’s] grandparents. That was our first time outside Europe, our first time traveling for two weeks, and our first road trip. We stayed in Cape Town and rented a car and drove all the way to Port Elizabeth.
A: We did bungee jumping down there as well and I have very vivid memories of that, when we were on the bridge before we jumped. But my favourite one is when he proposed. And when we got married—that one’s not too bad either! We have too many memories to pick one.
Do you have any fun traditions as a couple?
A: We like to do our own little Christmas together. Even if it’s not on Christmas Day, because we usually have to go to family dinners, we try to find time where it’s just the two of us. We have a mini-tree and champagne, plus a whole can of foie gras (with salad on the side!). We also buy some kind of fancy dessert.
N: And a bit of present-opening as well. But overall our tradition is to be just the two of us and to make some good food together. Not even expensive food. But we find that if you really want to be in a bubble together, you should come together and cook together. And we turn our phones off, of course.
A: Also every time we go away on holiday for the weekend, we do those jumping pictures. You know the ones I mean? It’s a tradition and now we have a whole collection of those pictures. It’s our thing.
What made you want to get involved in the Love Is Now campaign?
A: On a personal level, I just really like what you guys are doing. From day one, I really liked your approach and kind of spirit. I found it very accessible. Everybody was super friendly, super patient. Back when we first started working with you, we had an amazing experience and we want more people to experience the same thing.
What inspired the design for your engagement ring?
A: He knew I wanted green because I’m obsessed with green.
N: I actually proposed with a fake ring. It had a fake emerald in the middle surrounded by diamonds. But it was a really nice ring and we wanted to replicate it. But then we realised that emerald is quite a soft stone compared to diamonds. So we decided that it would be better to use emeralds for the small stones and put a diamond in the middle.
A: And it was important that we kept the same shape as the first ring, because he picked it. Even though it wasn’t the real ring for the proposal, he still chose that shape. So now it’s fun to think that we created this ring together. We worked with our design consultant to find something sustainable and not too fragile. It was great to see what they could do from that initial design.
How did you propose?
N: It was in Budapest, on our seventh anniversary. The trip was a gift and I didn’t tell her where we were going before we left. I wanted to wait for a nice time for the proposal, but when we started visiting the city there was always a small detail that made it not so great. But it meant I waited until the third day.
A: Literally the last moment. Two hours before taking the bus to the airport!
N: We were on the less touristy hill in Budapest and it had snowed over the weekend, so it was all snowy and there was no one around, so that’s where I asked the question. With a nice view of the city.
A: You hid the ring in a tissue in your pocket basically all weekend! It must have been so stressful.
What are the dreams you have together for the future?
A: Well, we are only legally married. We’re part of the Covid-wedding generation. Three weeks ago now we did the legal part and we had a lot of fun. It was a proper wedding but a smaller group and a lot of people couldn’t join. So we do hope to have a bigger wedding—kind of American style, with an outdoor ceremony and our friends marrying us and all of that—hopefully in 2022.