Real Housewives of New York‘s Luann de Lesseps chatted exclusively with The Knot about all the details of her recent engagement to CEO of Smart Source Thomas D’Agostino Jr. From their awkward first “meeting” to how far they’ve gotten in planning their New Year’s Eve wedding, take a peek at their love story below!
In a meet-cute that could have been stolen from your favorite rom-com, de Lesseps and D’Agostino Jr. were first introduced by fellow RHONY star Dorinda Medley. Medley called de Lesseps in Sag Harbor from a party, thrusting her friend and her would-be hubby into an awkward phone conversation.
“Dorinda calls me from the show. She says ‘Luann, I’m at a party and I’m with a guy that I know that I really like. I really respect and he reminds me of you.’ She goes, ‘He’s like the male version of you,’” de Lesseps shared with The Knot. Medley then put D’Agostino Jr. on the phone and the two exchanged pleasantries. The tv personality said, “I’ve never seen him before, never heard his name before. He really liked my voice. He heard my voice and was like, ‘Oh, she sounds interesting,’” and their story was set in motion.
Though the initial “hellos” were somewhat strained and the timing was a little off, the two spent months texting back and forth trying to find a break in their busy schedules to meet in person. “We keep missing each other,” de Lesseps said. “A couple of months go by since this phone call and then I see him at a VH1 party. I think it was August in the Hamptons,” but the two were both with other people and couldn’t connect!
The couple met briefly again in the fall during Real Housewives of New York star Sonja Morgan’s “Sonja in the City” launch party. It wasn’t until November 24, however, that the Girl Code singer and D’Agostino Jr. got a moment to sit and speak. “Timing is everything!” the RHONY star said.
Sharing the moment they finally connected de Lesseps told The Knot, “I’m at the Mark Hotel having dinner. I’m walking out – kind of breaking up with this guy – and I see Tom. We’ve been trying to connect this whole time.” She exited the hotel with her friend and bowling partner, Michael, and after catching a glimpse of D’Agostino Jr., she recalled, “I walk back in and go sit next to Tom to say hi and catch up with him. So from that moment on we’ve just been inseparable. And that was November 24th. And we got engaged the 5th of February.”
Prior to proposing, D’Agostino Jr. called on some important players in his girlfriend’s life starting with her 21-year-old daughter Victoria as his go-to engagement ring consultant. It was lucky her daughter was there as the reality star told The Knot her fiance originally had a more rectangular-cut stone picked for her, but her daughter helped him switch to the “perfect” 8-carat canary yellow diamond engagement ring instead!
After selecting the stunning sparkler de Lesseps shared, “He asked my mother for my hand because my father is gone. Very sweet. He’s one of those guys. Like, ‘What?! You exist? You actually exist?’” She added, “I still am pinching myself. I can’t believe this has happened to me.”
But the Bravo star definitely had her suspicions that a proposal was coming, saying, “I knew he was going to ask me.” The couple had planned a trip to Vail, Colorado to go skiing and prior to leaving D’Agostino Jr. told her, “It’s going to be a trip you’re never going to forget.“ She added, “He’s so sweet and transparent, and just like kid. So I knew he was going to ask me in Vail.”
But D’Agostino Jr. couldn’t hold onto the ring that long. He proposed to de Lesseps the day before they headed to the slopes! After the Countess took his mother and his mother’s second husband to see Beautiful on Broadway, she and her beau sat by their fireplace with some champagne and he popped the question.
“He got down on his knee and pulled the ring out of his pocket because he could not wait. He couldn’t wait. It was so cute.” D’Agostino Jr. said, “‘You’re my soulmate. Will you marry me?'” De Lesseps revealed she was “surprised and emotional” after he proposed. “I was in tears,” she shared. “It was great.”
“I was so surprised because I just knew, I thought, it was going to happen in Vail,” de Lesseps explained. When she saw the yellow diamond engagement ring, de Lesseps reminisced, “I was like, ‘Oh my God! Now this is real! I knew we were going to get engaged, so this made it solid and made it real.”
You can’t deny the love connection between these two in all aspects of their lives. As de Lesseps told The Knot, one of her favorite qualities of her husband-to-be is his sense of humor. “You know what I love about him? He’s funny. He’s so funny. We laugh all day long,” she shared. D’Agostino Jr. was a bachelor for many years and affectionately gave his wife-to-be the nickname “the asteroid” because she came in and, “Bam! [I] shook up his whole world.”
But of course that’s not all! The Countess couldn’t help but swoon over her future spouse, saying, “He’s extremely intelligent, bright. He’s handsome. He’s charming.” She also commended his ability to not only be neat and athletic, but to “fit right in” with her friends. De Lesseps noted that she likes that her fiance doesn’t dote on her and let’s her enjoy her time as a “social animal.” “We enjoy all the same things. We’re the same people,” she explained. “It’s pretty rare to find your match,” she added, mirroring the same sentiments Medley had said when introducing the couple over the phone months earlier.
The self-proclaimed “inseparable” pair already live together in D’Agostino Jr.’s penthouse and the wedding planning wheels have started to turn. Speaking of her Real Housewives friends, de Lesseps shared, “The ladies are all extremely happy for me. Because look, at this point in my life, I just turned 50. He’s going to be 50. We are going to get married on his birthday for New Year’s Eve, so good luck with that! Trying to find a location is an issue! But we’re working on it.”
Letting The Knot in that the couple are planning a multi-day wedding celebration in Palm Beach, de Lesseps explained, “His family lives there and he has a place there. It’s a destination wedding so it’s a perfect place. I’m going to make a three-day thing like a party. Maybe a yacht.”
De Lesseps won’t be doing the wedding planning alone. Her fiance has taken the lead on sorting out who will be in their wedding party.
“Tom is so cute. He started making a list on the plane. He had a business meeting in Atlanta and he started making a list,” the bride explained. “So he took it out of his pocket last night. Names written down of people and he goes, ‘Have you started making your list?’ I go, ‘No! You’re way ahead of me.'”
With de Lesseps referring to both she and fiance as “doers” – and having planned many lavish events in the past – we’re certain their New Year’s Eve wedding in Palm Beach will go off with only one blissful hitch. Congratulations you two, and thank you for sharing your love story with The Knot!