Hello hello! I’m finally doing good on my promise to share proposal pictures. It’s taken me a little longer to get to this because (a) everything’s gotten a whole lot crazier with venues and dates to worry about, and (b) no words or pictures can do the experience that Brian so lovingly planned justice. Still, let’s try anyway. It’s the least we can do.
The whole thing unfolded at Washington’s Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts on Friday afternoon. Brian chose it because it was the site of one of our very first dates, one of the most memorable ones too. Had you asked me where I thought he might propose, I probably wouldn’t have guessed the Kennedy Center. Why? I’m not sure. Maybe it’s because we hadn’t spent much time there since, or because I really had absolutely no clue where he would eventually pop the question, but looking back, the Kennedy Center was the perfect venue for the occasion.
I mean, just look at that view.
Clearly, Brian’s way better suited for this whole proposal thing and I’m very happy he was the one in charge here.
So in charge in fact that while I was at the office, Brian told me he was working from home and getting lunch with former coworkers, when what he was really doing was orchestrating a dry run of the proposal with our parents who had never met before, siblings, his Uncle Peter and Aunt Margaret, and a violinist.
Unbeknownst to me, they had all signed on to his proposal plan several weeks in advance. Brian performed his due diligence and called my parents for their blessing in early July, following a script he’d saved on his desktop under the boring work-related name “Digital Partner Program Call Log,” ensuring that I would never want to sneak a peek. Brian said his thing, my parents said theirs. and Brian paid for their flights from Denver to DC and back (!). Goodness, how I love him.
My brother Bowen came down from New York and his big responsibility that day was to arrange the rose petals and to bring the bow-tie factor. He excelled on both fronts.
Unfortunately, the rose petals kept their formation for all of two minutes before the wind got the best of them. Bowen, the caring brother that he is, rearranged them a few more times before finally giving up, letting the gusts do their thing. I happen to prefer the haphazard look anyway.
Now comes the part where oblivious me gets involved.
Brian picked me up from the office at 1pm as we’d planned. I’d gone into work at 5am that morning because we needed to leave early to make it to his parents’ anniversary dinner in Cleveland that evening. That excuse is also why I was dressed the way I was on a Friday after work. Brian, knowing my habit of changing into frumpy clothes for road trips, advised me to stay in my work attire because we were “driving straight to a nice Cleveland restaurant with no time for a wardrobe change.” Smooth, real smooth. I would learn later that his suitcase was a prop and sat empty next to mine in the car. There was nothing that he didn’t think of.
About 10 minutes into the car ride, Brian said, “we’re making a quick detour.” His announcement came as we were pulling up to the Kennedy Center, and that’s when I knew something was up. My mind ran wild with ideas and questions, but out of respect, I kept those thoughts to myself because I didn’t want to ruin whatever he had planned. I stayed composed as best as I could, but the suspense made for quite an anxious elevator ride.
Once we walked onto the roof terrace, I saw and heard in the corner to my right, the violinist playing a string rendition of Capital Cities’ Safe and Sound (the song is a favorite of ours and I used it as the track to this home video last summer), rose petals, and a photographer.
It wasn’t until I got closer that I realized the photographer was our friend Errin. The photographer Brian had originally booked cancelled on him that morning, but Errin came to the rescue delaying her own weekend travel plans. Thank goodness she did.
At that point, I knew for certain that the proposal was imminent, but all I expected was for him to say a few nice things, drop down on one knee and call it a day. That alone would have been amazing enough, but no, not for Brian.
Instead, he held my hand and walked me toward them giving me his spiel about how long we’d been together, how much family means to the both of us and how he hoped we could form a family of our own.
It was on the third or fourth mention of family, that I could see around the corner and spotted my mom and everyone else standing together in a line, beaming with joy.
I lost it.
Anything he said after that and before “Will you marry me?” was a blur. I couldn’t believe my parents came all the way from Denver, that Brian’s parents and sister made the drive there when we were the ones who should have been on our way to them, or that he had managed to pull off such a big surprise. Brian will be the first to tell you, I’m not the easily surprised type. Until then, I really did think we were still going to Cleveland after our proposal “detour.”
So without any hesitation, I gave him a resounding “yes.”
This picture with him on one knee, me looking completely shocked and the people we love most in the background is my new favorite. It’s definitely going on the mantel once a mantel is to be had.
This one not so much, but a kissing picture seemed necessary.
Following the kiss, we were greeted with this lovely sight. Brian’s dad made number 10 signs (to Brian’s surprise) that everyone held up to judge the proposal. The 10s were unanimous.
Next came the hugs and confetti, also provided by Brian’s dad Bob.
Here’s an observation. Hugs are best when performed eight times in a row with family.
I realize having both families present for the proposal isn’t for everyone, but it absolutely was for us. Brian and I both value family above everything, and ours have come a long way in supporting our relationship over the more than four years that we’ve been together. So to have them there to share in our special moment was the perfect conclusion of one chapter and start to another. The instant celebration was wonderful too, plus it really helped cut down on the phone calls we had to make immediately after the fact.
And there we all are, my beautiful, soon-to-be larger family.
Thanks again to Errin for the wonderful pictures.
And as if he hadn’t already done enough, Brian then took us all to Meiwah for a big Chinese lunch where gifts, cards and proposal stories were exchanged.
It was a beautiful afternoon, and the evening proved to be just as a nice. Brian wasn’t lying when he said it was his parents’ anniversary, so later that night we all went out for a celebratory dinner at Sequoia on the Georgetown waterfront where we had a view of the Kennedy Center. Once again proving Brian pulled off the best-ever proposal story and proposal day.
And of course, the obligatory ring shot. Look at that sparkle.
I hope you enjoyed the pictures and story. Please join me in applauding Brian for all of his hard work. I plan to pay him back someday, but for now that means trying my best to stay as calm as I possibly can as we make plans for our to-be-announced wedding ideally in August of September of 2015. Emphasis on trying. Wish me luck!