Amanda and Robert

Where to Propose in Parsons Garden, Seattle

How We Met

From the Fiancée ~ Timing is everything By Amanda Kay Rubeck I met Robert over 4 years ago at a bar…a really gross dive bar in Seattle. One night we were out with separate groups and his group was enjoying the beers much more than mine was. With the night starting to get really late I was ready to leave. I spotted a guy I went to college with that I have not seen in years so I walked over to say “hello”. Pat was with a group that night and it just so happens it was the group Robert was with. Pat introduced me to the guys and when he got to Robert I thought he was really cute! Robert and I started chatting and as the bar was doing last call it was time to go home. I was hoping Robert would ask for my number but he didn’t. I even tried to stall outside the bar but he still did not ask for my number. Then with some shoves from his boys he walked up to me and asked for the digits. A few days later we went on a date and a few dates more. We witnessed two shooting stars and we had a kiss this was the most memorable one of my life! I knew Robert was special and different from most guys.

He was sweet, kind and extremely reserved. I knew he would treat me wonderfully and respectfully but I knew in my heart I was not ready for a relationship. I politely let him and go and we went our separate ways. Over two YEARS go by and I was thinking about him. I was thinking what a wonderful guy he was and how timing was just off for us. I didn’t know if he was now married, in a relationship or still living in Seattle. Being that he doesn’t have any social media footprint it made it difficult to find out! So…I texted him and hoped for the best! I inquired how he was and after a few messages back and forth (weeks passing in between) and a long trip to the UK for me it was a huge surprise when I came home to receive a special text when I turned on my phone. It was from him asking me out on a date …I was thrilled! We met up at Franks Oyster House in Seattle and when I saw him walk up to the restaurant I knew in my gut this was it. This was someone that I am not going to let go again. We started dating again right away and the rest is history! Timing is truly everything! The night we met!

How He Asked

From the Fiancé ~ The woodworker’s guide to an engagement By Robert Zoltan Gulyas Laney This tale for which I am about to recount, comes from the perspective of the fiancé (the correct usage of the male form of the French word meaning a man to be engaged). My fiancée, Amanda, is my rock, my best friend and the love of my life. Apparently in the French language we are only separated by an “E”, which to me seems counter-intuitive given the gravitas of our life arrangement. For this engagement story I want to focus on a special aspect that is of particular interest to me (since this is the fiancé perspective) – I want to regal you with the details my construction of the wood engagement box. A handmade measure of a man and the love for the most special woman in his life and years to come. Special day was February 3rd, 2017. But I must digress to an earlier date to detail the process of box making ~ obviously the planning stage was paramount and started 3 months prior to popping the question. as any woodworker worth his weight in gossamer thin wood shavings will tell you, time and patience are allies. My methodology began with choosing a special wood.

Olivewood, also known as olea europaea, is of particular significance since it is sacred to the jewish faith, for which Amanda is half on her father’s side. A beautifully mesmerizing yellow wood with wispy figured brown curls in the face and end grain. A solid janka hardness of 2,700 lb and whopping tangential shrinkage rate of 8.8%. Then comes the fun part for 2 months of production time. Not going to go through every detail but it was a lot of the old woodworker adage for numerous weekends at the shop. Measure twice, think about it for a few hours, measuring again, sleep on it, come back a week later and then cut. The box enclosure method is of particular note. There are no visible hinges, I embedded rare earth magnets and covered the holes with walnut dowels and cut flush. Makes a solid “thunk” when upper and lower half are within proximity, the ring bed is also a trick of mine using two pieces of leather. Hand sanded and stained for a seamlessly easy friction fit for the ring. Smack a custom laser etched engraving on top of our initials and it was ready to hold the special finger accessory I was to present to Amanda.

To complete the task required endless sanding, finishing and application of of fine furniture wax….ok now it’s done and the big day is coming. Needless to say I ron swanson~ed the s*%$# out of that box. QUALITY IS A MONTRA I LIVE BY WHEN IT COMES TO THE LOVE OF MY LIFE Timed out perfectly, I Had the ring custom made during the box process. Oval with a halo and intricate milgrain edge details around the perimeter to give it a vintage and timeless touch. I actually found this process really fun ~ but at the end of the day it plays second fiddle in my heart strings to the natural beauty of the delivery method fortified by our very own mother earth. With the ring and box united, father’s blessing, relaxing weekend getaway booked in wine country and given a week cushion after Amanda’s brother’s wedding ~ I mean after all, I am a woodworker not a stealer of thunder ~ February 3rd rolls around and I am cool as petrified log in a glacier fed lake. I take Amanda to parsons garden a park in Seattle where we went the day I first said “I love you.” Seemed appropriate for the deed. It was pouring buckets and came prepped with umbrella, tissues and oh yeah ~ the ring and olivewood box snugly in my blazer pocket. In the downpour the proposal transpired like a scene right out of “the notebook” in the deserted and lush park.

Proposal Ideas Parsons Garden, Seattle

Good looking old growth trees by the way and a solid pergola ~ shoot where were we. Oh yeah, got down on one knee and instead of a scene from “the notebook”, Amanda says I blacked out and mumbled a laconic soliloquy. “you are my rock, my best friend, and the love of my life, will you marry me”. Too much time thinking about wood properties has made me a man of few words. A couple oh my gods and finally a yes! and we sealed the deal. We saddled up in my truck for the long ride to willow’s lodge and to make the haul more comfortable ~ we stopped for some ice cream at Amanda’s favorite shop. We squealed that we just got engaged and the scoops were on the house ~ free ice cream on the day of her engagement and she was in heaven. GOT TO THE LODGE AND WENT STRAIGHT TO A FANTASTIC DINNER WITH THE RING BOX SITTING NEXT TO US AS AN HONORARY MEMBER OF THE TABLE. We booked a venue called the lake union café for February 17, 2018. an art deco old jazz club in our neighborhood of Eastlake. A local spot we often walk by for weekend coffee. Needless to say it is right in our backyard and we are stoked TO ENJOY THE PLANNING AND ROAD AHEAD TO OUR VERY SPECIAL DAY WITH Amanda. my fiancée. Next CHAPTER ~ A TUTORIAL FOR HOW TO BUILD A chuppah FOR YOUR OWN WEDDING CEREMONY.

Special Thanks

Dakota Kerr
photographed the surprise engagement weekend