Brittney and Brian

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How We Met

Brian and I met on a dating app. He simply asked me “do you like penguins?” and I responded “doesn’t everyone like penguins?” A little puzzled and a lot curious I agreed to meet on a first date at Pazza Notte in New York City. He was waiting for me outside and I remember specifically thinking how good he looked in his grey suit and purple tie. After that night we were completely smitten with each other; I thought he was cute, funny, kind, outgoing and a little goofy-everything I wanted in a guy. I went on a two week work trip to Asia the day after our second date and was so excited to see him again that I agreed to go on a third date the day I arrived back in the US (I was so jet lagged), and we have been together ever since.

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How He Asked

I hate surprises and Brian loves surprising me, so keeping this a secret I’m sure was no easy feat. Every year I spend my birthday with my family and Brian back in North Carolina, and every year we have a belated birthday party for me back home in New York City. This year was no different, we were planning a cookout on the roof of our apartment for July 8th. The day had finally arrived and I was so excited to celebrate with my friends that afternoon; little did I know that my day was about to be a lot more than just a birthday party.

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At 9 am Brian asked me to go into our bedroom because he had a birthday surprise for me; I excitedly ran into the bedroom and moments later my best friend Kacey was walking into my bedroom and Brian was gone. She took me to our kitchen table where 4 cards attached to little toy penguins were laid out. I immediately start crying and knew it was going to be a memorable day. Brian had made up cards with cute pictures of us through the years that gave me instructions to enjoy my morning and go on a little scavenger hunt.

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The first three cards told me to enjoy mimosas with my best friend, get dress, do my hair, and do NOT do my make up. The final card said to go to Starbucks downstairs. Once at Starbucks the barista handed me my favorite drink and another penguin and card.

Brittney and Brian's Engagement in Pazza Notte New York City

This card said to go to Pinkberry, once we get there Kacey points out that the store had opened early just for me! I get my frozen yogurt and again another penguin and card.

Brittney's Proposal in Pazza Notte New York City

My next stop was Bloomingdale’s to get my makeup done, Brian had scheduled an 11 am appointment for me. After getting my makeup done and feeling beautiful my final card said to go back to the place we first met for a birthday brunch. The final words of that card said “see you soon!”, I knew I was about to see Brian again and could not wait. As we pulled up to the restaurant Brian was waiting outside in the same suit and tie that he wore on our first date in same spot he waited for me last time.

He took me inside to the exact same table we sat at on that first date two and half years ago, got down on one knee and asked me to marry him.

Crying for the 14th time that day I said “yes, of course!” After taking a couple photos Brian said there was one last surprise. We walked to the back of the restaurant and waiting were his parents (from Philly) and sister (from New Jersey) and my parents (from North Carolina); of course I cried one last time. The day was so magical, we went back to the apartment for a now engagement/birthday party with both our families and celebrated officially becoming forever penguin partners.

Special Thanks

Mary Mor | 
Photographer