If you’re planning a surprise proposal with an audience, choose a place with good hiding spots. “Station 21 at Sullivan’s was perfect,” says Brijesh. The loud waves masked any excited chatter that might have spoiled the surprise.
After meeting on Bumble, Swati Patel led Brijesh Patel (no relation, of course) around Charleston to break the New Jersey transplant into his new town. Within a week, she says she knew he was her forever guy. Apparently, he knew, too. Six months later Brijesh made reservations at High Thyme on Sullivan’s Island for the couple’s regular Friday date night, and then lured Swati out on the beach before dinner. His carrot? The promise of turtles. “I had no idea if turtles even come on the beach then,” he laughs. Swati’s excitement turned to shock they came across a setup with champagne and letters spelling out “MARRY ME” alongside a tissue paper mala, an Indian floral garland. Brijesh got down on one knee, Swati squealed “Yes!”, and a minor mob ran out from hiding, including her childhood bestie (the groom-to-be had flown her in), and her sister joined via FaceTime. “I’m not an easy person to surprise,” admits Swati, “but it felt like a dream.” The couple wed 13 months later on January 3, 2020, in a massive Indian celebration at the Charleston Marriot.
(Check SullivansIsland.SC.Gov for current COVID-19 beach regulations. At press time, groups were limited to three and activities were limited to exercise.)