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Niko & Nicola, #ZolaCouple and High School Sweethearts

Niko and Nicola met in high school, survived the distance in college, and are now planning a wedding for the summer of 2016. Read on for these high school sweetheart’s engagement story and pointers on how to plan when you have a demanding career.

How did you meet?
We met as high school freshmen at the age of 14! We were classmates at Harvard-Westlake. From the time we met, we were instant friends, spending all of our time together until we officially began dating at 16; we have been together ever since! After high school, I went to Cornell University and Niko the The University of Michigan. We successfully navigated four years of long-distance, and are now happy to be under the same roof, inseparable yet again.

How did you get engaged?
Niko proposed during the week of my Cornell graduation. He was flying from Los Angeles to Ithaca to celebrate with me and my family, and arrived a few days before my family members. I picked him up from the tiny 6-gate airport and he said he wanted to go to the art museum on campus, because he had never seen the light installation at night (which I had always told him how much I loved). We stopped at The Johnson and walked around, hand-in-hand, peering up at the beautiful piece by Leo Villareal. All of a sudden, Niko dropped to one knee and asked if I would marry him. After first responding with a big smile and, “did you ask my parents?!” my answer was of course: “YES!”nicolaniko1

What was the first thing you did after you got engaged?
Called our moms, who we knew would spread the word faster than either of us knew how.

What are you most excited for on your registry?
There are so many pieces that we love on our registry. Niko likes the more practical items, while I am wooed by the more artistic pieces like the ones by Michael Aram. Above all, we are grateful for our amazing family and friends who want to celebrate us.

Any tips for balancing wedding planning with your everyday busy life?
I am in medical school, so I definitely am kept very busy. Niko works in tech and also works diligently. My saving grace was planning ahead. I knew that I wanted to be very involved with all aspects of the wedding planning and did not want to relinquish that creative vision to a planner, so I made sure to take care of the big items (venue, dress, photographer, food, etc.) before starting medical school, which I can tell you now was a wise decision.

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Favorite meal to cook for two?
Niko is a grill master and makes an excellent steak.

Go-to dinner on a week night?
Whole Foods! But our go-to restaurant in Ann Arbor is Café Zola.

Favorite Sunday breakfast?
When we have extra time, we like to make things like crepes, pancakes and French Toast together.

Cooking or baking?
Niko’s all about cooking, I’m the baker.

Go-to recipe for dinner parties or potlucks?
I hope to learn the recipe for all of the desserts my mom bakes, especially her flourless chocolate cake.

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Tips on decorating when you have people over?
There is nothing more beautiful or inviting than fresh flowers and lit candles.

Would you rather be the host or the guest?
We love both!

Favorite cocktail?
Gin and tonic, ice wine, but the much more frequent order is an Arnold Palmer. Niko’s is an Arnold Palmer.

Best party you’ve hosted or attended together?
Our engagement party!

See some of this #ZolaCouple’s favorite items below and check out their entire registry here

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1. Michael Aram Black Orchid Pitcher
2. nuLOOM Rugs Luxe Sexto Sheepskin Rug
3. Kate Spade New York Daisy Place Frame

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