Nothing says love quite like a Chipotle burrito—with a side of guac! When Chris Piwinski and Natalie Neach were first introduced to each other through mutual friends, they were both still high school students, and the popular food chain quickly became a staple in their relationship.
“Chipotle, specifically the one on Laguna Boulevard in Elk Grove, has always been an important fixture in our relationship,” Piwinski, now 27, tells The Knot. “We have countless memories of great times, long talks, and loud laughs. It was also the place we went when we needed to ‘talk things out’ or work through tough times. I think I could credit Chipotle for helping keep us from doing the ‘high school breakup’ thing more than once.”
Piwinski and Neach started dating when they were 16 and 14, respectively. Unlike most high school sweethearts, they kept their relationship strong throughout the years even when they were apart for college. Their shared love of Chipotle has even played a role in their lives together in the more recent past.
“Every time we’d come home from school for winter or summer break while not dating, we’d meet to talk for the first time in a while,” Piwinski says. “Chipotle was always the spot. Last year, we decided to leave our day jobs and traveled throughout southeast Asia for four months. The last meal before we left and the first when we got back was Chipotle.”
And so, when Piwinski finally decided to push past his nerves and ask for Neach’s hand in marriage, he knew just the spot to pop the question: Chipotle. He emailed the chain’s PR team in May and the team helped him every step of the way—right down to an engagement party with a burrito cake, free chips and guacamole, and “She said yes!” balloons.
“They were amazing in helping me iron out the logistics, including timing, music, cake, balloons, pictures and hiding the family,” he says.
Per their tradition of writing letters to each other, Piwinski had been slipping Neach poems all day; the final one he handed off just before proposing.
“That’s always been our thing,” he says. “We started dating in high school when neither of us had that much money so for anniversaries and special occasions, we got into the habit of writing each other letters.”
Neach, on her part, was completely taken by surprise by the proposal, and was partway through eating her favorite burrito bowl when she was caught off-guard on Saturday, July 21.
“I went blank!” Neach, 25, tells us. “I couldn’t even eat my burrito bowl! I read the poem and, out of the corner of my eye, I saw him stand up and get down on one knee. It clicked that he was proposing, we looked at each other and I saw the tears in his eyes. It was such an unbelievable moment.”
Next up on their to-do list? Planning the wedding, which will likely take place after Neach starts grad school next month. “We haven’t figured out catering, but definitely would not rule out a chips and guac station,” she says.
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