Couples from across the city headed to Staten Island for the chance to 'race' towards an engagement ring. NY1's Shannan Ferry shows us what this unconventional way of popping the question is all about.
Hopping into a bouncy house and bobbing through whipped cream pies. That may not be the conventional path some couples expected to take on their way to the altar, but several of them dove right in Friday for the chance to tie the knot.
"It's competitive, oh definitely," said Sandra Flores & Luis Castillo, who were contestants.
They're competing in the 6th Annual Casale Jewelers 'Race for the Ring' at the Hilton in Bloomfield.
Couples first applied online and rallied their family and friends to get them the most votes on social media. The top five made it to the finals where they took part in physical and mental challenges for the chance at a free engagement ring worth $10,000 and, of course, a proposal.
This year’s winning couple was Staten Island's very own Jasmine Fiore and Nicholas Mattera. The two have known each other since they were in diapers because their moms are best friends.
But it took some time before Mattera worked his way out of the friend zone.
“You know, close family friend people like to say ‘oh, that's my cousin.’ She used to pull that on me all the time,” Mattera said. “I used to be like ‘cousin?’ I'm sitting here like, ‘I think she's cute, what am I gonna do now?’ She's introducing me as her cousin!”
But win or lose, the couples who participated said this was an experience they'll be telling their children and grandchildren about someday.
“We learned to communicate more, and work together as a team,” said contestant Safe Rodriguez.
“You know, in relationships there's challenges, there's things you go through in life together, but this one big challenge they overcame,” said Cory Schifter, the owner of Casale Jewelers.
Organizers, sponsors, and finalists also raise money for local charities leading up to the race.