Two people sharing a gorgeous, forever-lasting love is an absolutely beautiful thing, and when there are two wedding dresses involved – well, it only gets more beautiful! Reading Sarah and Theresa’s proposal story for the first time truly brought me to tears (the feel-good, inspirational kind). I’ve read it six times since then and nothing has changed. I hope it does the same for you…
Sarah’s Version: Getting engaged in Paris was a childhood dream come true for me. Paris has always been that city that I was incredibly drawn to and captivated by. I was fortunate and ecstatic to have the opportunity to travel to Paris, and most of all, to be accompanied by the love of my life.
When Theresa told me she had bought the plane ticket, things began to fall into place for me. I had been in Europe for 3 weeks and had realized so much about myself and my love for her. Perhaps most of all, I realized that although I was allowing myself to experience and to appreciate the French and Italian cultures, things just generally meant less without Theresa by my side. I had my parents as a model for this. Seeing the love they share and the ways they experienced the world together made me appreciate and yearn for Theresa to be by my side. But enough back talk… I’ll get to the juicy details!
You are probably wondering how I got the ring over to Paris, since I had designed it back in February. The initial plan was to have the jeweler ship the ring over to Paris so it would be waiting at the hotel upon our arrival. After further investigating, I realized France wanted to charge me $2,000 in duty to get the rock over. I quickly backed out of that idea and told the jeweler that Ben (my man of honor) and I would figure something out. And that we did.
Ben and I developed an elaborate plan to fool Theresa – pack the ring in a box and tell her that it was Ben’s journal from when he was in Paris. We told her that in the back of the diary Ben drew a map of his favorite garden where I was to go to and ‘soul search.’ Brilliant plan. Theresa didn’t even question it.
So, Ben packed it safely in her luggage and Theresa was off to Paris, not having a single clue that a very expensive piece of jewelry was in her suitcase. We met at the Gare de Lyon – so excited to see each other. We naturally went in for a big hug, but I only used one arm as the other hand went immediately to hold Theresa’s luggage as she left it unattended at one of the busiest train stations in the world. She mentioned Ben had packed something for me and I was extremely nervous as she opened her suitcase – afraid that someone from the airport looked through it. She tossed it across the bed and it landed safely in my hands.
The next morning we saw the Eiffel Tower – for the first time. She was breathtaking. We walked around her and I was taking meticulously mental notes of places where I could propose later that evening (Theresa didn’t even notice). We walked around the Eiffel Tower’s side, away from the noise and people. And then Theresa sat on a bench, perfect view of the tower. I loved that she found the spot for my proposal.
After a busy and exciting day in Paris, we headed back to our hotel to re-shower and get ready for the most beautiful night of our lives thus far. As Theresa was showering, I quickly opened the box and placed the ring safely in my purse, hiding under my scarf. We took a cab to a five-star wine bar – the most delicious dinner we had ever eaten. Three hours later, the sun was beginning to set, it was approximately 10:30pm in Paris, we took a few silly snapshots (really to calm me), and made our way back to the bench that Theresa had discovered earlier that day.
We sat for a short while and admired the Eiffel Tower. I began my speech. Extremely nervous, I have a blurry remembrance of what I actually said – only that I had expressed that I felt like I was seeing Europe with one eye open and that I wanted to live my life fully with Theresa by my side. I got down on one knee, so did she. I urged her to get back on the bench, she did, and then she saw the ring. One hand immediately to her heart, the other to her mouth, she was speechless.
I think I maybe got ‘will you mar…’ out before she started kissing me. We celebrated, embracing each other, upon our first kiss after I slipped the ring on her finger, the Eiffel Tower started twinkling – the tower twinkles every hour so to catch her at that very moment seemed so picturesque.
We made our way to the line to go to the second floor of the Eiffel Tower. Theresa continued to glance at her ring and say “Wow… Oh My Gosh…” She was very taken aback! I recounted the stories of the evolution of the ring, asking for her parents blessing, and all that went into the evening. We were and still are gleaming. It was a fairytale come true. Spur of the moment. Not too terribly planned. Perfect. As someone had put it to me, “it seemed to have been so divinely inspired.” And it was. Blessed by God.
Theresa’s Version: I had an inkling about the engagement. C’mon, Paris, the Eiffel Tower…How could it NOT happen!? I was actually telling people before I left that even though I didn’t have a ring, I would probably ask if the timing was perfect. Well, as you know by now, Sarah beat me to it.
That day we did just about everything a tourist could possibly do in Paris, including my only request…The Moulin Rouge. After a day of sightseeing we showered and went to a cute little restaurant with 7 tables, and feasted on definitely the most artistic and delicious French food my tongue had ever tasted. Of course, I was a little weary of the restaurant at first, because it was expensive, and we could have gone to the cafe down the road (some things never change, even in Paris). After dinner, we walked to the Eiffel Tower to get the opportunity to cast our eyes on the beauty we’d heard it is at night. And it is – beautiful. We found the bench from earlier, away from the tourists, sat down, leaned into eachother, and just took in the fact that we were in Paris, together.
Sarah started telling me about how during the 2.5 weeks she’d been traveling throughout Europe that she felt as though she was seeing everything with one eye shut, that even though she enjoyed every moment of every experience, smell and taste, she realized that she would have experienced it with both eyes had she gotten the chance to share and experience with me. Together.
She then proceeded to get on one knee, I followed, because of course, she had beaten me to it, and I wanted to be on the same level as her. She made me sit, and pulled out a ring. Well THIS took me off guard because I was not expecting a ring! WHAAAT!? I do believe I covered my mouth and put my hand on my heart (cheesy, right?).
I think Sarah was still talking and I just kissed her. It was perfect. The ring is beautiful, everything I’ve ever mentioned I liked about rings (she’s a good listener). I was surprised. I couldn’t believe it. I kept looking at it while we were in line. I kept saying “OMG I can’t believe it,” and yes, we were glowing. I think we still are, and always will be.
Photos by Joshua Behan Photography