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Love at The Center: Love Stories

Feb 11Feb 14Rockefeller CenterOpen to the public

Celebrate Rockefeller Center Love Stories with us for Love at The Center.

Richard Oien, from Seattle, Washington

Omar Villavicencio, from Cusco, Peru

What is your Love Story?

We met 12 years ago, Omar had finished his masters in Puerto Rico and had moved to Seattle to start his career. We started chatting online within a couple days of his arrival. Chats online turned into long phone calls, before a date a month later. We naturally clicked, spent more and more time together and fell in love over the course of his first few months in the Northwest. We moved in together, explored the world, bought a home and got a dog.

10 years into our relationship, we left family and friends behind to move to New York to embark on a new chapter in our lives. We sold everything but what would fit in the car, put our dogs' bed on the top of boxes in the back seat and drove cross country. The move deepened our love and support for each other, it made us much stronger as a couple as we started our lives here. We decided to get married on our anniversary, a choice, a statement of our pride in having each other and the love that we have.

Why did you choose Rockefeller Center for your wedding?

We came to New York to start a new chapter in our lives. Rockefeller is iconic, beautiful, at the center of New York, and being at the Top of the Rock is having New York at your feet.

Tell us your favorite thing about each other:

Richard: Omar is daring, ambitious, planful. He sets his sight on a goal and figures out how to achieve it.

Omar: Richard is knowledgeable about culture and politics, he is constantly reading, whether to keep up on current events and politics or to learn and escape.

Nicole Vella, from Orlando, Florida

Tiffany Sciortino, from Orlando, Florida

What is your love story?

We became friends in high school and immediately had a strong connection. In senior year we decided to try a relationship, despite soon facing distance with Tiffany going to college in New York. Being inseparable, we eventually found our way back to being in the same town. We have created such a strong foundation and bond that we can go through every obstacle we face. We have built a life together and cannot wait for what’s next.

Why did you choose Rockefeller Center for your engagement?

We fell in love with the city when we lived in New York. I (Tiffany) chose Rockefeller Center to propose because it is the most iconic location in NYC. I wanted to go above and beyond and this was the place to do it. Having everyone around us cheering was magical. The team at Rockefeller Center did everything possible to make this the most special day in our lives.

Tell us your favorite thing about each other:

Nicole: I could truly write many pages on all my favorite things about Tiffany. One thing I can say for certain is that she is my absolute rock, (no pun intended). Whenever my abilities and strength come to an end, she is there to complete me and carry me through.

Tiffany: My favorite thing about Nicole is how compassionate and empathetic she is with everyone she meets. I also love how passionate she is in everything she does. Her drive is incredible. Whether she is performing her best at work or being the best friend she possibly can be, she does it with such passion.

Geno Sidders, from Lyndhurst, New Jersey

Nicolette Masone, from Lyndhurst, New Jersey

What is your love story?

We matched on the dating app Hinge and began texting each other shortly after. We clicked on a lot of similar interest and hobbies and Geno asked me to meet for drinks at Madd Hatter in Hoboken, on a Sunday night. He said he was partaking in “Dry January” and was going to have water. A few minutes into the date, he ended up ordering 3 tequila on the rocks breaking his Dry January promise on Jan 6th. We laughed about it and had a great time. Before Nicolette left to go home, Geno asked “So uhh, do you want a kiss or a high-five.” Both of us will never admit it, but at that moment we knew we had found something special.

Why did you choose Rock Center for your engagement?

One of the first conversations we had was Geno’s admiration for the actor and role model, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Once Geno found out Nicolette loved him too he coined the nickname “The Rock Girl.” Long story short, he planned the entire proposal around giving a Rock, to “The Rock Girl” at ROCKefeller Center. He also said he never taken a picture in front of the Christmas Tree and had always wanted it to be with someone special.

Tell us your favorite thing about each other:

Geno: Nicolette is the most authentic person you will ever meet. She checks in with me every night to make sure I’m as happy as I can be. She asks me every night, “Did you feel loved today?” And it always sparks a good conversation to enhance our relationship.

Nicolette: Geno makes me laugh like I have never laughed before, even on my worst days. He’s so thoughtful and always find little ways to make me feel loved throughout the day. From cooking breakfast before I leave for work, to leaving notes in my lunch, he thinks of it all.

Ashley M. Alvarez, from Queens, NY

Emily A. Ehmann, New Jersey

What is your love story?

We met working together at a veterinary hospital. We worked briefly together in 2017, and in 2019 fate brought us back together.

Why did you choose Rock Center for your engagement?

Asking Emily to marry me had to be the most special experience. Asking her by the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree was truly unique and once in a lifetime. We both spent our childhoods going to Rockefeller Center and visiting the Christmas tree. It was a family tradition for both our families. Christmas is our favorite time of the year, and it truly isn't Christmas until we visit the tree. Due to the pandemic there were some special arrangements, but I was able to surprise Emily with the proposal in front of the tree with a small group of family and friends. It is a moment we will never forget!

Tell us your favorite thing about each other:

Ashley: My favorite thing about Emily is her sense of adventure. She has planned so many great trips and adventures for us. I love the way she loves and cares for animals. I can't wait to see where life brings us together.

Emily: I fell in love with Ashley's passion and how much she cares for animals. Through her work in the veterinary field, she has helped countless animals in need and their owners. Our mutual love of animals has led us to rescue, foster, and adopt quite a few cats and dogs over the years! With her passion, I can't wait to see what our future together holds.

Jen Matthews, from Long Island

Grant Funderburk, from South Carolina

What is your love story?

We owe our love story to Grant’s brother and sister-in-law.

Jen – I was working at a PR and digital media firm and became fast friends with Liz, who started dating a wonderful guy called Brent. Liz “warned” me that Brent had a brother, and if I ever met him, we’d really hit it off! Grant and I eventually met later that year, and Liz couldn’t have been more right! Our first dates consisted of visiting each other’s favorite spots in NYC. Originally from South Carolina, Grant wanted to show me parts of the East Coast that I had never seen before. For my birthday, he surprised me with a trip to Savannah, Georgia, and I was smitten – with Savannah and Grant. We dated "across state lines" for 3 years – Grant lived in Hoboken, and I lived in Bushwick, Brooklyn. We currently live in Jersey City with our rescue dog Murphy, and are planning a wedding for April 2022.

Why did you choose Rock Center for your engagement?

Grant - New York City has been my life since moving here after college, and it played a special role in Jen and I getting to know each other. Jen was thrilled to join the Rockefeller Center team at Tishman Speyer, and she gets so much joy from learning about the Center’s history to being a part of its future. I’ve had memorable times with her at Rock Center as well - an impromptu dinner at Bar 65 with all our friends, Jen bringing my extended family to Top of the Rock during the weekend of my brother’s wedding (to Liz!), watching the Christmas Tree lighting and beers on the Rink this past summer. Even if Jen didn’t work at the Center, I couldn’t think of a better place to propose and celebrate our engagement.

Tell us your favorite thing about each other:

Jen: I love Grant’s humor and just everything about how his mind works. His empathy and ability to love are incredible. We’ve had our share of curveballs and tragedies together, and Grant always amazes me with how thoughtful and kind a person can be even in the worst of times.

Grant: Jen’s love and passion for life was something that attracted me right away. We always have fun together, whether it’s a night on the town or just at home watching a tv show and pausing to debate the plot.

  • Nicole and Tiffany
  • Richard and Omar
  • Grant and Jen
  • Ashley and Emily
  • Geno and Nicolette

How was your view from Top of the Rock? Share your experience!


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