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Just Engaged: The Perfect Pair

A friend brought Julia along to Hamid’s house party, and she went home with the host’s heart. They’re headed to the altar this spring. Share their love!

The Lucky Lady: Julia Almonte, 28, Assistant Director
Her Leading Man: Hamid Beltré, 30, Investigator

The Big Day: March 2, 2013

Wedding Location: New York, New York

How did you meet your man?
I met Hamid at a house party he was hosting. One of my girlfriends was dating one of his friend’s and dragged me there. I was introduced to Hamid, and we started talking and discovered we had several things in common. We both really enjoy trying different types of cuisines and anything culinary related as well as reading true crime novels. He suggested I read “Victim” by Gary Kinder, calling it a must read true crime novel. He lent me the book and before the night was over asked me for my cellphone number. The very next day, Hamid called me and invited me out to lunch. Before I knew it, we were spending every minute together.

Were you looking for love at the time?
Not at all! I had recently ended a long-term relationship and was not looking for love.

What was your first impression of him?
I thought he was a nice guy, and someone I could see myself talking to regularly. It was so easy to have a conversation with him.
What was his first impression of you?
He thought I was cute and told me he found me intriguing because I was the quietest one of the group of girls at the party.

Was it love at first sight?

No. We spent some time hanging out as friends, but it was not too long before we started to feel the butterflies in our stomach.

Who said “I love you” first?
He did! But, he claims not to remember. Ha!

What’s the sweetest thing he’s ever done for you?
When we met back in 2004, I was a full-time student while also working full-time at a financial research firm. I was accepted into a very competitive Federal internship program. It was the perfect opportunity for me, except I had my own place, a rent to pay and the internship was a non-paying position. Due to scheduling conflicts, I was not able to keep my paying job and participate in the internship at the same time. Hamid saw my strong desire for this internship and what it could do for my career, so he offered to help me meet my financial obligations and supported my career choices. I thought this was by far the sweetest thing he’s ever done for me because it proved to me that he was willing to make sacrifices in order for us to succeed.

How long did you date before you got engaged?
Six years.

How did he pop the question?
Hamid proposed on my birthday during a day trip in Venice, Italy. After a long day of sightseeing, he arranged for a romantic gondola ride. All throughout the ride, Hamid didn’t seem like himself. He was quiet and sweating, despite the cool weather. As we approached the end of the ride, the gondolier directed our attention to the Ponte dei Sospiri (Bridge of Sighs), and explained it is customary for a couple to make a wish and then kiss to seal their wish. Hamid saw me close my eyes to make my wish, and then asked me, if I could have one wish come true, what would it be? I looked at him puzzled, thought for a moment and then said, “I don’t know…I would wish for our happiness.” Hamid then slowly took the ring from his pocket and asked me if I would give him the honor of becoming his wife.