Amy and Jan's Snowy Brooklyn Bridge Proposal

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How We Met

We both went to high school together in NJ, first meeting through mutual friends that were dating at the time.  Our paths crossed occasionally through high school, but it wasn’t until senior year that we started to grow closer as friends. That friendship continued to grow as Amy started college at Rutgers, and myself at Lehigh. While we considered each other best friends, everyone around us was convinced that we might as well be a couple. However, we remained strictly friends throughout our freshman year of college. At some point during the summer after freshman year, we realized that we did indeed have feelings for each other, with myself (eventually) asking Amy to formally be my girlfriend on December 3, 2004. As we moved on through college, and onto graduate school and work, our long-distance relationship became even longer distance. Despite the physical distance growing larger in certain periods, we remained committed to the love we had for each other. Fast-forward (okay, maybe skip some chapters) to February 21, 2015, and I asked Amy for her hand in marriage at the Brooklyn Bridge Park, in front of rose petals, candles and fresh snowfall!

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How He Asked – by the groom

I had considered an anniversary dinner, New Year’s Eve and a surprise appearance at her family vacation in Hawaii. Obviously, I ended up choosing none of the above and went with the idea of setting up rose petals and candles at the Brooklyn Bridge Park during sunset time. I also wanted it to be a surprise, so I contacted her friend Christina to come up with a scheme to get Amy there. A funny sidenote is that the surprise almost got ruined when Amy was at my apartment in Virginia and she spotted a text from Christina. Although she got suspicious, she didn’t think I had anything planned (low expectations successfully set! J ). As the day got closer, the weather forecast predicted snow that ranged from a dusting to 4″. Despite the potentially bad weather, I decided I would drive home on the weekend and make a last-minute call if it got really bad. As it turned out, the snow ended up being worse than the prediction and 3-6″ fell, with the snow starting earlier. Thankfully, Amy still went to see Christina, and instead of Christina taking Amy to walk around and explore Brooklyn, they went to Bloomingdales in Soho and Christina proceeded to go on a shopping spree. In the meantime, I was panicking on whether this would all work out with the snow getting harder by the hour, but I decided to move forward with a bit of blind faith that it would work out one way or another.

As I got to Brooklyn Bridge Park, I set up the rose petals and candles around 5PM, with the plan of Amy coming at 530PM (this was all previously timed for sunset). I also had hired a surprise photographer (thanks to Vlad Leto!), who arrived shortly after me. In typical Amy fashion (and due to some overzealous shopping by Christina), they did not get there until 6PM, so I waited anxiously as the snow started to freeze in my hair, and various tourists took pictures with my rose petals and candles.

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Finally, as Christina and Amy arrived, Amy was more interested in taking pictures of the Bridge, so I walked out to get her attention and she realized what was going on as soon as she saw me. After proposing, our gracious photographer took some additional pictures and we met up with our families for a celebration dinner in Brooklyn!

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How He Asked – by the bride

In February, I started getting suspicions that Jan may propose due to some unintended hints. The first one came when he left his phone by me and I accidentally saw a push notification for a text from my friend Christina that said something like “I can change my plans and did you pick a date yet?” I pretended I had saw none of the text, even though I was secretly super excited and curious about when and where the proposal would happen. The next hint was when my friend Jessica cancelled plans for the weekend of February 21. This was odd for two reasons – Jessica never cancels on me and Christina had asked to make plans on that same weekend right before Jessica cancelled. I chalked it up to coincidence so I wouldn’t ruin anything. Then, on Valentine’s Day, Jan and I were hanging out with our phones on the table and I accidentally saw a push notification text from my Mom, and Jan quickly took the phone so I wouldn’t see it, while my Mom texted me minutes after to tell Jan that she texted him by mistake. I tried not to think too much into it, and after the weekend past, there was still no proposal even though it was an opportune time being that it was Valentine’s Day. Finally, on the day before I was hanging out with Christina, my Mom insisted I get a manicure even though I told her I didn’t want one. On top of that, Christina was very non-descript about what we would be doing and was very slow to respond. I scratched my curiosity itch by asking Jan about his weekend plans, but all his responses made it seem like he was in Virginia.

Fast forward to February 21, and I’m reluctant to meet with Christina in NYC because there was a forecast for snow and it already started before I left. I called Jan about whether I should still hang out with Christina, but he wasn’t pushy about it, and he also had all these errands he was taking care of in Virginia. His responses, along with the fact that it was snowing this weekend, made me doubtful that anything would be happening. Clearly I was wrong! Because of the snow and my late arrival into the city, Christina and I went shopping in Bloomingdales for a few hours instead of going into Brooklyn for brunch. Around 5PM, Christina made up a story about having to go to Brooklyn to get “papers” from her sister-in-law’s friend. Since her sister-in-law’s friend supposedly lived in DUMBO I mentioned wanting to check out Jane’s Carousel since it was close by. After getting off the train, we walked around a bit aimlessly through the snow and I just followed Christina since I had no idea where she needed to meet up with her sister-in-law’s friend.

We finally arrived to Brooklyn Bridge Park, where the Carousel is. It is just about sunset and I am in awe with the scenery of the snowfall and the Bridge so I go on my own to take some pictures. Christina then comes by me and points out to me that there are lights and something going on by the water. She starts to walk me towards that direction when out of nowhere I see Jan walking up towards me.And that is when I knew what was going to happen next.

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Jan walked me to where he laid out candles and rose petals shaped in a heart in the snow. It is all a blur what he said due to all the emotions running through me at the time. Jan proceeded to get down on one knee and asked me to marry him. Of course I said YES!

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When I saw the ring I could not believe my eyes, it was the most gorgeous ring I ever saw and it was everything I wanted in a ring and more. (There is a great picture that the photographer captured of my expression when I first saw the ring.)

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I was so excited to find out that Jan had planned afterwards to meet with both of our families for dinner to celebrate. I was in awe how he had planned all of this and even hired a photographer to take our pictures! I could not have asked for a more perfect, fairytale-like proposal with the falling snow, candles and rose petals! This was a very special day for the both of us and one that I will always cherish!

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Special Thanks

Vlad Leto
Proposal Photography