Surprise Eiffel Tower Proposal for ABC News’ Gio Benitez and Tommy DiDario
Kirsten Ott Palladino, 7 years ago 3 min read
On their trip to Europe, Gio Benitez, an ABC News reporter for “Good Morning America,” “Nightline” and “20/20” surprised his boyfriend and actor, model, lifestyle blogger Tommy DiDario with his proposal in Paris. It was captured live by Paris photographer Pierre Torset.
FROM GIO + TOMMY
HOW DID YOU MEET?
On Instagram! A truly modern love story, no? We met for a drink right after, and the connection was instant. We couldn’t be separated from that moment forward. Within months, marriage was already on our minds, but he had no idea I was already communicating with Paris photographer Pierre Torset for an epic surprise proposal.
HOW LONG DID YOU DATE?
We had been dating for 8 months before the proposal, but we can’t think of a time when we didn’t have each other in our lives. It’s as if we’ve always known each other!
The Paris trip was us continuing our story of adventure. We love the idea of traveling and seeing new things, and I thought Paris was the perfect setting for the proposal.
HOW DID YOU FEEL RIGHT AFTER THE PROPOSAL?
It was surreal. Here we were, in the most romantic city in the world, asking (and answering) the ultimate question of commitment: “Will you marry me?” It took a few days to really let it all sink in—that our two lives had become one—exactly as we wanted.
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
We are getting married on April 16 in Miami, Florida. The location, which will be kept secret for now, is a magical and hidden oasis most people don’t even know about.
FROM THE PHOTOGRAPHER
The couple came to Paris just for a quick stopover before attending a friend’s wedding in Spain. Gio got in touch with me to plan his surprise proposal in Paris. As his boyfriend Tommy is an actor (blogger, actor, model), Gio liked the idea to include some acting in the surprise proposal.
Eventually we stuck with this plan: I was hanging around at the meeting point in front of the Eiffel Tower pretending to be an amateur photographer taking pictures of the famous sight. When Gio arrived with his boyfriend Tommy he was asking me to take a picture with his iPhone of them in front of the Eiffel Tower.
After doing that we started chatting a bit and I asked them whether they were a couple. When Gio and Tommy answered yes, I asked them if I could take a few more pictures of them with my own camera as I am an amateur photographer doing a project where their picture could fit in perfectly. They agreed and that was the sign for Gio: He kneeled down on one knee and proposed to Tommy whereas I captured their moment on picture.
Afterwards Tommy told me that his first thought seeing Gio proposing was: “That’s a joke! Gio is just fake proposing because he wants to make fun with the amateur photographer.” But as soon as Gio took out the ring Tommy realized the proposal was for real and he accepted happily. Gio and I revealed to Tommy that the shoot was set up and together we went on for a few more engagement pictures around Paris.
PHOTOGRAPHER: Paris Photographer Pierre Torset
VENUE: The Eiffel Tower
Kirsten Ott Palladino
Kirsten Ott Palladino is an award-winning editor, writer, speaker and educator, as well as the author of the first gender-neutral wedding planning book for LGBTQ+ couples, EQUALLY WED: THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO PLANNING YOUR LGBTQ+ WEDDING (Seal Press). She’s the co-founder and editorial director of Equally Wed, the world’s leading digital LGBTQ+ wedding magazine, as well as Equally Wed Pro, the LGBTQ+ inclusive certification course and educational platform. Palladino has been profiled on CNN, NPR and Forbes and in The New York Times. Her work has appeared in Washington Post, Entrepreneur magazine, ARTNews magazine, Art & Antiques magazine, The Knot, Executive Traveler magazine, the Huffington Post, and more. She was recognized as one of Glamour magazine's Hometown Heroes for 2015.
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