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A Proposal Topped off This Couple’s Summer Bucket List

After a whole summer of searching for a ring, this bride got her proposal when she wasn’t expecting it.

Photos by Steven Dray Images

After more than five years of dating, Victoria Nickman could feel a proposal coming from Joseph Eperjesi in 2016. The two were spending their last summer together in Chicago before moving back to Pittsburgh to be closer to their families and were ticking things off of their bucket list.

“We made a list going into the summer knowing we probably weren’t going to be there when fall rolled around,” says Victoria. The couple spent summer days on the lake and watching baseball games at Wrigley Field and summer nights eating at outdoor restaurants and taking in movies at Millennium Park.
Victoria also spent the whole summer searching for a ring box outline in every outfit Joseph had on. As the summer went on and the bucket list dwindled down, she was never able to spot it.


To check off one adventure on the list, the couple visited the Art Institute of Chicago where the marriage scene in the movie “The Vow” was filmed. Victoria was confident that this was where the proposal would happen. But still no sight of a ring.
“I was so let down going home,” says Victoria. She gave up guessing when Joseph would pop the question.
In a surprise addition to the list, Joseph told Victoria that he got tickets to see “Kinky Boots” at the Chicago Theatre. When the day came, the couple went through their normal routine before seeing a show: they came home from work, changed, caught an Uber and went to get drinks before the curtain.
Joseph suggested taking a detour to the riverwalk to take a picture, which struck Victoria as odd. The two walked down, and Joseph took his phone out to take a selfie.
“The next thing I know, he was down on one knee,” says Victoria.


Joseph had a beautiful speech prepared, which Victoria says started with, with “Victoria Ruth, you’re the most amazing girl.” She heard nothing else and began to cry while Joseph fumbled to get the ring out of his dress sock. People were clapping, and the cameras were clicking — Joseph had hired photographers to capture the moment.

“It was everything,” says Victoria. “It was the greatest moment I could have ever imagined. He truly caught me by surprise.”

With a completed bucket list and a new engagement, the couple started to plan their wedding. They wanted to marry in Pittsburgh, where they started dating when Victoria was attending Duquesne University and Joseph was attending the University of Pittsburgh.


Their Nov. 11 wedding was held at Heinz Memorial Chapel and the reception at the Kimpton Hotel Monaco Pittsburgh, a perfect day.

“There was a moment even at the reception where I grabbed Joseph and I was like, ‘Just stop and stand and look around,’” says Victoria. “It’s such a relaxing and calming feeling just to be married and really enjoying this chapter of our lives.”

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