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She Said Yes!

Things have always seemed to work out just right for Erin Ricciardi and Connor Schmitt. Connor reconnected with his former army platoon buddy, Kyle when they discovered they lived across the street from each other in Fort Stewart in Georgia, where they were both stationed. One fateful weekend, Kyle invited his sister Erin to visit, and the rest, they say, is history. They were both head over heels within a few short months.

During a drizzly Fourth of July weekend, Connor and Erin took out the family dinghy, “Queen Mary”, around Bassett’s Island in Bourne, a home base beach for the local Schmitt family, to “test the engine”. Cape Codder Connor took New Yorker Erin to Bassett’s the first time she came to visit. Connor shrugs, “Without the sentimental value, it’s just, you know, not the best sand beach. That was just our place. We went all the time growing up.”

It was around Memorial Day when Connor began concocting an elaborate ruse about how their small craft was experiencing motor issues, emphasizing to Erin that they were even having a mechanic look at it–building a water-tight story to ensure they had a reason to be out near the Island together that day. 

“In the Schmitt family, that doesn’t shock me,” Erin laughs. “That they would say, ‘OK, the engine may or may not work. Sure, it’s raining and there’s thunder and lightning, and we have to test the engine of the dinghy right now. Totally. Let’s go.’”

Adding to the overall scheme, the Schmitt and Ricciardi families had planned to have dinner at the Chart Room in Cataumet that evening. And while one can eat at the Chart Room in shorts and a t-shirt, Connor surreptitiously convinced her to wear a special outfit. Luckily, Erin had squished a dress from a friend’s prior wedding into the back of her suitcase. Erin adds, “But my hair was soaking wet and unwashed because we had spent the day running around.” She looks at Connor. “What were we doing–pounding sand and moving bricks for your Dad?” They laugh together. 

With so many moving parts, Connor needed a team to help him execute the proposal perfectly. Mary, his sister, would be with their photographer the day-of, helping time everything just right. The ring he had purchased with his brother, Jack, was stowed away, first wrenched in a shelf in the family office, then taped underneath the kitchen sink. Connor seems proud of his machinations. “Even if you were a plumber, you wouldn’t be able to find it. When Erin came to visit for [a friend’s] wedding beforehand, I knew she was never going to find this thing. Her little tiny hands would never find it back there.”

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