Ashley and Justin

How We Met

I met Justin when I was a freshman at Penn State University and he was a sophomore. We instantly became best friends for the next 5 years. It wasn’t until after we both had graduated that we began dating. At the time I lived in NYC and Justin lived in Philadelphia. We were long distance for a year and a half before Justin moved to NYC and we immediately moved in together.

How He Asked

My friend and previous co-worker Ali helped Justin plan the perfect proposal from start to finish. We both work in media and attend a lot of events in the city so when she asked me to be her +1 to her “company summer party”, I didn’t think anything of it. The truth was that she created a fake work event invitation and had her Human Resources Director send it to her. Ali then forwarded it to me asking if I would go with her because her boyfriend was out of town. I had a work event earlier in the day that we went to first together and then we headed to The Viceroy to attend what I thought was her party.

After forcing her to take the subway from Soho to Central Park (Who would waste $30+ on a cab all the way uptown??) we eventually arrived 30 minutes late (I am never late) to the hotel. We walked from the Central Park subway stop to the hotel and unbeknownst we walked past my entire family who was “hiding” in the restaurant downstairs.

Ali and I made our way upstairs where she guided me to the outdoor area and as soon as I looked up I saw an aisle of rose petals and candles leading out to Justin who was surrounded by photos over us throughout the course of our relationship, starting with my favorite ‘just friends’ photo. We laughed at how shocked I was (nothing surprises me because I plan everything in life down to the hour) and then he got down on one knee and proposed.

I turned around and saw my best friends from college, Lindsey and Sami, who traveled from Philadelphia and Washington D.C. and Justin’s sister Brooke and her husband up there as well. Justin even hired a photographer, a co-worker of Ali’s to capture the moment.

After hugging and showing off the new bling, Justin told me both of our families were on their way upstairs and that they got a hotel block for us all to spend the night. Sami, Lindsey, and a few of our other friends transformed our hotel room into the most amazing space filled with flowers, balloons, and newly engaged gifts.

It doesn’t end there – my friend Megan brought me an outfit I bought a year ago that I fell in love with and saved for this perfect occasion (I told you I was a planner). After I changed, Justin, Lauren our amazing photographer, and I headed to Central Park for a quick engagement shoot. After the shoot was done, Justin and my family all had dinner downstairs of the hotel. At that point, Justin told me that starting at 9 pm our closest friends would be coming to the hotel for a rooftop celebration that lasted until 3 in the morning. Over 40 of our friends traveled all the way from California, Florida, Philly, DC, and more to celebrate with us. It was the best day/night of my life and I can’t wait for the wedding!

Special Thanks

Lauren Spinelli photo
Photographer
Allison DiBarba
Planning