Melissa and Ben

How we met – her side

Ben and I first met through a close mutual friend. We all got together for drinks and some food at one of my favorite restaurants, Bin 77, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. We hit it off right away and talked all night. I was coming out of a relationship and despite being super attracted to Ben, I just wasn’t ready to start dating again.

We hung out a little after that but then didn’t talk for about a month. Then I realized I really liked him and I might lose my chance at an incredible guy. Ben was really into tennis so we met up to play a few games. We’re both athletes and very competitive, a quality I really like about a guy. He was naturally funny, unbelievably sweet and ridiculously good-looking (Zoolander anyone?).

I was in the middle of law school and he supported me every step of the way. Ben would go on coffee runs during my overnight study sessions, he would bring me food because he knew I’d forget to eat while preparing for exams, he knew how to make me laugh even when I was most stressed out and he would motivate me every time I was feeling down. He was just there, whenever I needed him and that meant a lot.

Ben immediately got along with my family, even my sister who is by far the hardest to please. So when she told me she liked him a lot, then I knew he was a real keeper. From there we made the most amazing memories together, whether it was a run to the grocery store or a trip to South Africa, we always had fun.

Now I cannot wait to make a lifetime of memories together as husband and wife.

How he asked – her side

It was Tuesday, February 20, 2018 and I was in the middle of prepping for a big upcoming Federal trial when my boyfriend, Ben, and I went to dinner at our favorite restaurant, Bin 77, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

We actually sat at the same table we had our first date at two and a half years ago. It started like any other night, we drank Meiomi wine, we ate our favorite entrees and laughed all night long. It ended much differently this time though.

Ben told me we needed to walk down to a store, Anthropologie, to pick up some blue coffee mugs for his mom’s upcoming birthday. I knew we had time before they closed at 9pm because I am a very frequent shopper there. I power walked down the block, talking and talking (like usual) about I don’t even remember what.

Then all of a sudden, Ben grabbed my arm and swung me around. Next thing I know, he’s down on one knee surrounded by candles and gorgeous rose petals. There was music playing all around me and I immediately just started crying, happy tears of course.

Ben rattled off a romantic little speech, and then asked me the four words I had been dreaming about: Will you marry me?

I couldn’t say “Yes!” quickly enough. He slid the stunning Emerald cut diamond on my ring finger and I jumped into his arms. It was the happiest moment of my life. Just when I thought the surprise was over, out came a few of my closest friends.

They all dropped everything hours before to drive from out of town just to help Ben set everything up so I wouldn’t suspect a thing. They snapped beautiful photos and videos of our special moment and I couldn’t be more thrilled to share this memory with some of the people I love most. I immediately Facetimed my sister, parents and grandparents to share the happy news!

I cannot wait to spend forever with my best friend! I love you Ben!

how he asked – his side

My heart was beating through my chest, I was trying not to sweat or be too emotional and I just focused on acting normal. But Tuesday, February 20, 2018 was no normal day. It was the best day of my life, it was the day my best friend said yes and it was the day my girlfriend became my fiancé.

But my proposal story starts a few months ago, in October 2017 when Melissa’s family was visiting as she was sworn in as a lawyer. I went golfing with her dad and grandfather, it was a beautiful day but I was not playing so well. All I could think about was asking for their blessing to marry Melissa. While her dad went to get us around of beers, I quickly asked her grandfather and he immediately said he couldn’t be more thrilled to have me become part of the family. What a relief! Now came the hard part, I went to the bathroom first just to calm myself down and take a deep breath before approaching her dad. My hands we noticeably shaking and I just spit it out, hoping my words made some sense. In true character, he cracked a joke at first saying, “I don’t know,” but to calm my nerves he laughed and said, “Are you kidding me?! Of course!” I finally could breathe again. Oh and my golf game immediately improved with that weight off my shoulders.

Fast forward 4 months, after picking out her ideal Emerald cut diamond ring, I decided on the perfect night. I made a reservation at our favorite restaurant, Bin 77, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. It was also the place where we first met so I booked that exact same table to make it extra special. She looked beautiful (as usual) in her pink dress, heels and curly hair. She came straight from her office where she’s been working nonstop for weeks preparing for a huge upcoming Federal trial. I told Melissa it would be a date to discuss our future plans because her schedule had been insanely busy and I knew she would be away for a couple weeks in court. We drank her favorite wine, ate our favorite meals, talked about life and laughed our way through the night. It was perfect and it was about to get better.

What she didn’t know was several hours before I called some of her best friends to help me set up a romantic spot to propose. They all dropped everything to drive far and wide to be there. We had rose petals, candles, champagne and music set up in front of a beautiful fountain in a courtyard near the restaurant. I had also been practicing what I wanted to say to her for weeks, in front of a mirror. I had it memorized, or at least I thought I did.

After dinner, I told Melissa we needed to walk down to a store, Anthropologie, to pick up some blue coffee mugs for my mom’s upcoming birthday. She assured me they would be open until 9pm because she was a frequent visitor. I gave her friends the signal, and the plan was put into motion. With a glass of wine, and a big trial closing in on her, she talked and talked all the way down the block. I do not think I heard one word she said because I was trying to focus on my prepared speech and make sure my words came out the way I planned. As we got closer to Anthropologie, I could hear the music, and see the amazing set up that her best friends had created. I don’t think she even noticed because she was power walking and in the middle of telling her second or third story. I couldn’t wait any longer so I spun her around as we approached the spot and I got down on one knee inside the rose petals and candles. Everything I prepared to say went out the window, and I just told her how much she meant to me and how I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her. I said, “Will you marry me?” She immediately cried like a puppy dog and said, “Yes!”

The surprise wasn’t over. Seconds later, some of her closest friends came running out, cheering and taking photos. I could see how much joy she had seeing all of them and I was just so thrilled I could make the woman I love so incredibly happy. And I hope to continue making her smile for the rest of our lives. So thank you, Melissa, for making me the happiest man in the world by saying yes. I love you!

Special Thanks

Sloane Carroll and Triche Chouset | 
Photos