Ring the bell to that. It’s not every day that a grocery shopping trip turns into a memorable, life-changing event, but for Melanie Diaz and Sidd Sinha, a recent jaunt to Trader Joe’s proved to be one to remember.
The couple, who first met in West Hartford, Connecticut, via the dating app Coffee Meets Bagel, got engaged over Memorial Day weekend with the help of a few friends and family, in a very resourceful, creative manner, as is Sinha’s MO.
“I always like to make big moments as special as possible,” Sinha tells The Knot. “When I graduated law school a few years ago, I was selected to be a speaker and I didn’t tell my mom, so she found out when she saw me walk up and I thanked her. I went into this with a similar mindset and thought about the different ways I could sum up our relationship in an experience since we both like to go on adventures.”
“I knew I wanted to do it in New York since we both agree it’s the best city in the world, and I started looking at unique things to do and told Melanie I wanted to plan a few weekend activities,” he continues. “I was looking at different stores I know she likes and even looking at renting a hall and making a fake museum where all the exhibits were things that resembled our relationship.”
Then, Sinha remembered how Diaz had once told him that she’d had a dream that he proposed in a grocery store. Though Diaz’s main takeaway from the dream “was that I didn’t kneel,” Sinha says, “the seed had been planted in my head at that point.” (“I do love Trader Joe’s,” Diaz tells us. “I’m always raving about it. I love that it offers a huge selection of organic products, it’s affordable, and everyone is always so friendly.”)
Sinha adds that Trader Joe’s is the couple’s go-to spot for all things healthy and reasonably priced, and so it made sense to involve the store in their special moment, premonitory dream aside. In the lead-up to the proposal, Sinha had to divert Diaz’s attention and pretend that he was thinking of proposing during their July trip to Spain, even encouraging her to get her nails done in anticipation of an event that didn’t take place.
“I did get kind of concerned when she suggested she may not get her nails done before the weekend, but I told her she might as well,” he says of making sure his lady love was prepared before the big moment.
Diaz tells us that the day of the proposal was the second of a series of NYC dates that Sinha had planned, and her “guard was down.” The pair had spent the day at the New York Botanical Gardens in the Bronx, had lunch at Cafe Boulud, went on a gondola ride at Central Park, got their caricatures drawn, hung out at the Boathouse for some drinks, and even enjoyed a dinner at Lady Gaga’s parents’ restaurant, Joanne Trattoria. In other words, it had already been a full day.
In addition, Diaz’s friends were in town visiting and so she had texted everyone earlier in the day to see if they might be down for a late drink or the like. To avoid any inadvertent miscommunications, Sinha then texted her friends immediately—knowing they would all see each other later that evening—telling them to ignore Diaz’s texts. (“[It] bothered her for a small part of the day, but fortunately, it all made sense to her at the end,” he says).
At the store, Diaz began to suspect that something was up, because “just as we got to the storefront, [Sinha] said, ‘Huh, what’s this?’” she says. “He was looking at one of the windows that had said ‘Millennial Grocery Tour – Today Only!’ I remember thinking it was weird because he said it just as we got to the store—and very quickly, a little too quickly.”
There was even a photographer there who asked if she wanted her photo taken, and Sinha reacted strangely to the request, “which I also thought was a little weird because he’s really open to things like that.”
Once in the store, Sinha took advantage of Trader Joe’s unique layout to leave signs throughout all three floors for her to get the hint that something more important than avocados was at stake during this particular grocery trip.
First, there was the sign at the front of the shop that read “When Coffee Meets Bagel. A Perfect Combination for Any Great Start. You Are My Everything Bagels. $2.00.” Then, there was the employee handing out flowers (“I’ve never seen them handing out flowers,” Diaz says). Each subsequent sign clued Diaz into the imminent proposal.
“It worked out perfectly for us to be able to go through all three floors to give an interactive experience and end up at a demo station which had chocolate covered almonds, which are her favorite,” he says. “We’ve also spent an embarrassing amount of time talking about almonds and how I need to eat more of them in the morning since I really don’t eat breakfast. There’s [also] a picture of me kneeling, which I’m glad was captured.”
It was a moment a long time coming since the pair first went on a date and learned they already had close mutual friends and were both invited to the same wedding later that year. “I knew the groom from work, and she knew the bride because she was her roommate,” Sinha says.
“We always wonder if we would’ve hit it off if we met at that wedding, but I’m definitely glad we met when we did,” he says. “As far as when I knew she was ‘the one,’ it kind of built up over time. My interest in her started at the very beginning. Aside from the cliche of thinking on our first date that she was the prettiest girl I’d ever seen in person, I realized on our second date that she was also very interesting. I asked her ice breaker questions, like “Who are the five people, living or dead, she would have dinner with?” We also debated who was the most talented entertainer since Michael Jackson: Justin Timberlake or Will Smith?”
Says Diaz: “I had a feeling he was ‘the one’ early on in the relationship. He made me so happy and he was so interesting and easy to talk to. I found myself wanting to spend every day with him. He’s also really funny and I was always laughing and smiling with him. … I don’t know yet what we will serve at our wedding, but after this, we will definitely be considering something from Trader Joe’s!”