Amy and Michael

On Friday, October 28th, Michael and I had plans to head to Nantucket for a long weekend.  It is our absolute favorite place on earth and we try to visit a few times a year – which doesn’t seem like nearly enough!

The plan, allegedly, was for him to propose on the ferry on our way over, but unfortunately those plans were quickly abandoned when I received a phone call saying my uncle had been taken to the emergency room the night before.  Michael had asked my mom for permission a few weeks prior, and had spoken to my two brothers and sister the night before, asking for their blessing and sharing his plans.  The phone call about my uncle triggered what I lovingly call ‘The Downey Phone Tree’, meaning that I called anyone and everyone trying to get some information out of them.  My mother wasn’t answering, my cousin Rich didn’t know what was going on and my brother Eddie hadn’t heard any news.  With each call, incoming or outgoing, Michael had an internal panic attack.  People in my family knew that he was planning to propose that morning, and he was terrified thinking someone would answer the phone yelling ‘CONGRATULATIONS!’.

We finally made it to Nantucket, and received a call from my mom telling us that my Uncle Phil was absolutely fine and was released from the emergency room.  Poor Uncle Phil had no idea what a large part he was playing in our engagement!  We grabbed lunch at a pub on the island, and Michael proceeded to have 5 drinks, sucking each one down faster than the last.  His explanation was ‘vacation!’, but now I obviously know that he was trying to calm his nervous – the poor guy!

We made it to our B&B, checked in, and promptly fell asleep, or rather I fell asleep.  Turns out Michael slept for all of an hour, and then sat in the big arm chair next to the bed willing me to wake up.  He had snuck the ring under my pillow, and was impatiently waiting for me to stir and find it.  Fast forward and hour plus later, I wake up, stir, and don’t find the ring.  I popped out of bed to freshen up and I could see him darting around the room out of the corner of my eye.  When I walked out of the bathroom he told me that today was Global Champagne Day, and to look in the fridge.  He has a habit of packing a bottle of champagne and travel wine glasses for us whenever we go away, so I assumed that he had sneakily stocked the fridge while I slept.  I opened the fridge door to see a bottle of Veuve Clicquot and a little blue box next to it.  NOT a Tiffany’s blue box, rather an E.B. Horn navy blue one.  E.B. Horn is a jewelers in Downtown Boston, and it is where my parents got their wedding bands, and where my brother and brother in law both bought their engagement rings, so it is a store that has a very special meaning to me and my family.  I immediately started crying and he handed me a print out of what looked like a very real engagement announcement, hailing from the Nantucket Inquirer.  Michael is a PR guy, majored in Print Journalism, so drafting a faux engagement announcement is right up his alley – he did a great job though because I just kept repeating ‘is this real?!’  Then he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him.  I said yes immediately, but he apparently didn’t hear me, so he just stood there, looking at me and finally said ‘so?’.  I said yes again and we spent the next three hours calling our families.

Michael had made reservations at our absolute favorite restaurant on the island for that evening, so as soon as we finished sharing our exciting news, we got ready and walked along the harbor to Lola 41.

Michael had called ahead of time, telling them that we would be celebrating an engagement, so they had a lovely table all set for us, with champagne and fresh flowers.  At the beginning of our dinner, a table of two couples accidentally spilled a glass of water on us, but Michael explained to them that nothing would ruin his dinner since we had just gotten engaged a few hours prior.  The table erupted into congratulations and the two ladies gushed over my ring.  The interaction lasted all of 2 minutes as the group was getting up to leave, so we said our goodbyes and their were on their way.  We thought absolutely nothing more of it until the end of our dinner when we asked for the bill we were shocked to find out that the people had covered our entire bill.  On the way out of the restaurant they had given their information to the host and told him that they wanted to take care of our engagement dinner.  We were shocked.  We explained to our waiter that we had also had a drink at the bar, and that we would like to settle that, but it was all taken care of!  They had paid for everything!  We were absolutely stunned, flabbergasted, even.  We felt almost guilty leaving the restaurant, knowing we hadn’t paid for anything.  It was seriously the nicest thing that has ever happened to us, when we tell friends our story we still have a hard time believing it really happened.

It was an absolutely perfect evening, and the celebrating continued for the entire weekend.  We ended up having a horrible storm on Sunday, so all the ferries home were cancelled, we were ‘stranded’ on Nantucket for another night.  What an end to our spectacular weekend!

Photos by Alanna Scully Photography