Our engagement story
January 26th started out as an ordinary Saturday. I ran some errands, tidied up a bit around the apartment, and we took our cats to the vet for a check-up. A few weeks earlier, TJ had casually mentioned that we should do a date night toward the end of the month to celebrate our 4-year anniversary. Although our anniversary had technically already passed when he brought it up, I didn’t really think anything of it. I knew that we both had a busy month ahead with work and travel, and thought it would be nice to have something to look forward to. Fast-forward to the afternoon of the 26th, I was under the impression that we were going to go ice skating at Dilworth Park (where we went on one of our first dates) and then go out to dinner afterwards. As we were walking up Broad Street I noticed TJ check his phone a few times, which I thought was unusual. When we walked through the City Hall courtyard towards Dilworth Park I remember TJ’s voice going a bit funny (probably because he was nervous!), and he said something along the lines of, “So I kind of lied, we’re not going ice skating, but I have something else planned." Funnily enough, at this point I still don’t think I fully knew what was happening. I may have had a slight suspicion, but I remember my mind also racing through a million other thoughts because I was caught off guard. TJ then gestured over to a group of people standing a few yards away and asked, “Does anyone over there look familiar to you?” I remember looking over and seeing TJ’s parents first and thinking we were going ice skating with his family, since we had talked about that over Christmas. Then I recognized Dan and Shannon, and I think that’s the moment I realized TJ was proposing, because why else would this big group be standing outside in the cold waiting for us? My parents, TJ’s sister, and our friends Emily and Tucker were also there, but at that point I think I was too dazed to see clearly. When I turned back around, TJ was down on one knee and asked, “Will you marry me?” I said yes before he was even done asking the question! I also remember crying a little bit from shock and happiness, but quickly pulling myself together because there were suddenly a million camera phones pointed at us. I immediately started hugging everyone that had came and forgot to put the actual ring on, which TJ found really funny. It’s a beautiful ring, and it fits perfectly — which was all luck (or fate?!), because TJ had no idea what size to get. We took a few photos in the Wintergarden and at the Love Park statue, and then we all went to dinner at Maggiano’s a few blocks away. I remember my face hurt when we finally got home because I was smiling so much all evening. For me, it was the perfect proposal because it was in a meaningful place and our closest friends and family were there to share the memory with us — a memory that I will treasure for the rest of my life.
Luncheon of the Boating Party, Susan Vreeland
The Final Table
Everything is Alive
Feel Good Dinner