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Emma Scaramozzino - August 05, 2020

He Said // She Said: Dominique & Ariana

ari and dom he said she said

Dominique and Ariana's love story is a true example of fate. In May of 2013, both Ari and Dom were vacationing in Miami with their friends. On Ari's last night, the pair happened to sit next to each other while they both watched over their friend's belongings. Soon, they began talking and quickly realized how much they had in common. At the end of the night, the two exchanged contact information, and not long after, met up in NYC for their first real date — and they've been together ever since!

As always, we asked Dominique and Ariana to answer these questions separately. Neither of them have seen the other's answers...until now!

ari and dom he said she said

He Said:

How did you meet Ari?
Ari and I met while we were each with friends on vacation in Miami, FL on Sunday, May 19, 2013.

How long have you been together?
7 years

Who asked who out and how?
Ari asked me out. I would say that I would check in with Ari from time to time since we met in Miami a few weeks prior. Heck, when we first met, I had to ask Ari for her contact information twice since she was “exclusively dating someone”. After meeting her that Sunday, I sent her a text just checking to see that she was okay in her adventures as she departed South Beach from her girlfriend’s. After we both returned to our respective homes, Ari was residing in New York City and I lived in New Jersey, I respected her exclusivity completely. I did not feel that men competed for women; that was not my place in life. I did not regularly text message Ariana. A few weeks after meeting, interestingly enough, we met each other on the eve of my 31st birthday, I sent Ari a text message at 12 AM on her birthday, June 28. I made it my business to commit things that mattered to her to memory (like the French fries and water that she had at the Clevelander on May 18, 2013). I did not think much of it (aside from wishing her well on her birthday). Little did I know, I was planting the seed of my lifetime. A few short weeks after sending Ari that happy birthday text, she expressed to me that she was ready to see me. I immediately thought back to the guy that she was exclusively dating but did not care enough to inquire (it was not about me).

Where was your first date?
Our first date was meeting at the northwest corner of 110th Street and Broadway at a newspaper holder/mailbox and taking a walk south through Riverside Park. I remember Ari had a coffee from Starbucks. We just walked and talked about anything and everything. It was so easy to speak to and listen to her.

Do you remember what Ari was wearing when you first met?
Honestly, I do not. If I had to guess, I vaguely remember, I believe she had on a one-piece black and white dress that complemented her spirit.

Who kissed who first?
I will take credit here. We had another date at a whiskey bar near where she was taking classes. We each ordered a drink and, as was our custom, proceeded to engage in conversation. Without any premeditated thought, right in front of the bartender and whoever else was curious enough to look, I made my move. I feel like all of our intimacy, authenticity, and vulnerability culminated in that moment.

When did you first know you loved Ari?
I realized I first loved Ari on our first real vacation. It took us the opportunity to get outside of the normal grind of the concrete jungle to appreciate the necessary and finer things in life. We took a trip up to Woodstock where there was nothing to really interfere/distract us from coming together.

Tell us about the proposal in your words.
I had Ari’s engagement ring for what seemed like a long time. I put it away and wanted the proposal to be special to her. Ari is all about tradition and sentimental moments. I knew I wanted to do it at a place that meant the world to her. In giving it more thought, Ari and her Mom were kind enough to include me in their lifetime traditions so this was my time to make the tradition of all traditions. Cape May it was. I asked Ari’s Mom for Ari’s hand in marriage that Saturday before. More specifically, the storied Congress Hall would be the venue. It was the last day we were in Cape May for our annual Memorial Day trip to Exit 0. I was actually nervous and I don’t get nervous. As we entered Congress Hall, I knew it would be somewhere in there but did not know exactly. As we ventured down a hall lined with flags, now was the time. Nelson was still in a stroller. I bent down with Nelson, in what Ari probably thought was checking on him, and proceeded to take the ring out of my pocket. Immediately Ari began to cry. I was focused on the task at hand at this point and asked her hand in marriage. Through tears of generational opportunities far beyond what Ari was mindful to comprehend in that moment, she said yes. Although this had everything to do with Ari and I, it was so much more than that.

When did you know you wanted to marry Ari?
I knew I wanted to marry Ari in Woodstock. I was very intentional in my authenticity and genuine, selfless love of Ariana.

What is your favorite thing about Ari?
Ari’s creativity means the world to me. Ari goes above and beyond in thought and sentiment in things that matter to her.

Do Nelson or Adele share any of Ari’s quirks?
Ari is extremely sensitive. Being how I am, at times it is difficult for me to comprehend where she is with certain things. It seems like, emotionally, Nelson is more like Ari and Adele is more like me. Nelson hangs on to things/moments/events a little more when I may be onto the next (“really, we will miss the [rental] car after a vacation?”).

We know you have some great dance moves under your belt from your fraternity days, does Ari have any special talents?
Ari is a great dancer; I am not. She truly embodies all things free spirited. When she puts her mind to something, there is truly nothing that can stop her. 

ari and dom he said she said

She Said:

How did you meet Dominique?
It was an ordinary day in May 2013 and my last night in Miami visiting my good friend Leslie. We decided to shake a leg at a local dance club that seemed to us to have a good vibe.
And then it happened. While I was watching our handbags, which we placed in a
designated area to make sure they were secured, I met Dominique, who was also
watching all his Frat brothers’ bags. It was interesting that neither of us were
bothered being the bag watchers, and we chatted and joked as we listened to the DJ
do his thing. There was a connection that was hard to explain!

After a while, Dominique became very comfortable and began HOPPING all over the
dance floor. I’d never seen anyone jump so high before! Since he admitted that he
didn’t drink, he bought Leslie and me water and some fries. When we left, he asked
for my number to make sure that we got home ok. I thought, wow, a true
gentleman. I was impressed!

Didn’t hear from him until my birthday on June 28th when Dominique texted birthday
greetings at precisely 12 midnight! He made me feel so special at that moment.
Fast forward, we officially began dating in August 2013 and the rest is history. A
casual encounter turned into an unforgettable experience and loving relationship.
And I get to marry the man of my dreams! Only where the heart is can the treasure
be found.

How long have you been together?
7 Years

Who asked who out and how?
Dominique definitely asked me out. I don't remember what medium he used to ask me out---I am pretty sure it was over the phone. What I do remember was that Dominique was very persistent -- seemed very sincere and genuine.

Where was your first date?
The Phat Black Pussy Cat- Live R&B Band in the Village.

Do you remember what Dominique was wearing when you first met?
Shiny Prada Sneakers, a button-up collared shirt, and Jeans.

Who kissed who first?
I want to say it was a mutual feeling, and we both made the first move.

When did you first know you loved Dominique?
Ya know, it was a gradual thing. During the first three months of dating--It was Dominique's intentions and actions that amazed me and blew me out the water. He was consistent and action based. He was funny. He was encouraging. We always had a great time on our dates-- So much so we never wanted our time to end.

Dominique was super heartfelt. He was a man of his word...he was the first man to come with me to Sunday Church.

It was the way he interacted with children, my family members, and my friends. The way he loved his grandparents, and his five siblings. He was adventurous...we shared the same humor...shared love for good food... history...especially black history.

His circle of friends and his family was also a sure sign of who he was as a person. I felt safe, welcomed, and loved. ... In my opinion this process of falling in love with Dominique was and still is a gradual and extremely natural process. On a daily basis I fall more in love with him.

Tell us about the proposal in your words.
In 2017, we got engaged on memorial day weekend in Cape May, NJ surrounded by our 3 year old son, my mother, and our dear friends. Six months before the engagement he had already purchased the ring while on vacation in St. Thomas; and it was kind of an impulse buy because our flight back home was departing in two hours. I digress-- It was just a matter of time until he would pop the you know I was on eggshells.

When did you know you wanted to marry Dominique?
I knew I wanted to marry Dominique when his "I love you's " not only were words spoken but by loving actions.

What is your favorite thing about Dominique?
He loves to learn. He is constantly reading and listening to podcasts. He’s intellectual not in a way that makes other people feel less than, but in a way that’s made me more curious and thoughtful too.

Do Nelson or Adele share any of Dominique’s quirks?
Yes. Nelson ( 5 year old) and Dominique share some pretty unique quirks. For example, they both embody compassion, they enjoy helping friends, they are particular about certain things, both are energetic, both very mathematical, and lastly both have passions-- Dominique is passionate about football officiating and Nelson is passionate about subway maps, the railway, and collecting toy trains.

Yes. Adele (8 Month Old) and Dominique share more physical quirks. Adele and Dominique have the same eye color as well as his entire face. Some people will often make comments that Adele looks like me, but we all know either they are just trying to be kind or they just really have poor judgement. LOL.

Collectively they all share the same distinct BIG toe!

We know Dominique was a great dancer back in his fraternity days — what’s his signature move?
Dominique is a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. which is the first international fraternal organization founded on the campus of a historically black college.

Though Dominique def. has a nice little old man two-step. LOL.

Dominique is an awesome hopper and can stroll with his frat brothers quite nicely. Strolling is dated from hundreds of years ago in African history. Back then, Africans used dancing in circles to symbolize unity and strength, which is what the members of these different organizations use strolling for in the present day.

My favorite stepper move is when the song Atomic Dog by George Clinton comes on he joins in with his frat brothers-- jumps really high and lands in a push-up! WOAH! I love it so much.

It's only in rare occasions now like weddings or college homecomings that I get to see him honor his fraternity in this way. 

ari and dom he said she said

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