Nelly Kushnir & Alex Kornivsky
Emby Taylor Photography
Check out this engagement story, as told by Nelly:
My parents have been friends with Alex’s parents since before they got married in Ukraine—where I’m from—so we’ve been friends since we were toddlers. We lived two blocks away from each other in elementary school, so Alex often came over to hang out with my little brother and me. We started dating at the end of our senior year of high school.
The day after I finished my semester, Alex and I planned to go Uptown for ice-skating. But Alex changed the plan, instead taking me to an art museum that we had been to a couple of months before. I was a little confused; it was after 5 p.m., the museum’s supposed closing time.
But as I walked through the door, I saw—in a smaller room off to the side—nine easels with nine paintings covered in black fabric. Alex told me this was my Christmas present: He’d commissioned an artist to make them, and each painting captured something meaningful that happened between us in our two and a half years of dating.
One was of us walking across the beach one evening. Another depicted the time Alex visited Ukraine for two months. It showed Alex sitting in a tree, trying to get cell service to call me.
When I uncovered the last painting, it took me a couple of seconds to process the scene: it was Alex and me in the same clothes we were wearing that day (earlier, he’d brought me a red jacket to wear), and in the painting, Alex was down on one knee while I was standing and looking at the painting.
It was a picture of what was happening at that very moment: him on one knee, trying to get through a speech he’d prepared. I didn’t let him finish.
His sister then came out of an adjoining room, along with her husband and Alex’s parents who’d been videotaping and photographing the proposal—and my sobbing and laughing afterward.
Nelly and Alex will be married Aug. 27, 2016.