Brooke and Eric

The Lincoln Memorial Marriage Proposal

How We Met

Eric and I met in the fall of 2013, very unglamorously, in a crowded bar in the Georgetown area of Washington, DC. He had been living there for 2 years, working for one of the largest banks in DC, and I had just completed flight attendant training and had recently been based in the area. After having only lived in DC for 1 week, I was already starting to miss my North Carolina home and had convinced myself that DC was simply not the place for me. Everything changed on September 28th, 2013 (yes, of course I remember the exact date of when we met)!

While out with a few friends, Eric approached me (although he likes to tell people I approached him), as I was getting ready to leave, and we instantly hit it off and exchanged numbers. After a few fantastic dates within the following weeks, we became completely inseparable! Needless to say, after dating for a little while, I decided that DC would become my new home and that Eric would a permanent part of my new life! Fast forward 3 years and we are still as inseparable as we were the first day we met!

How He Asked

I’ve always told Eric that he would have a hard time surprising me when he proposed because of how well I know his little quirks and the way he acts when he gets nervous. But oh was I wrong! Earlier in the week, Eric told me that his mom was flying in from Boston on Saturday morning and that we would be going to a nice dinner with some of his extended family that lived nearby. When she arrived that morning, we went to a nice lunch and spent the afternoon shopping and wandering around DC before going back to our apartment to prepare for dinner.

As we were getting ready, Eric’s mom informed us that there was a slight change of plans and that we were going to meet his family by the Lincoln Memorial before dinner. Truthfully, this made me a little frazzled since I had less time to get ready and because we would be going to a very crowded and touristy area in the late summer heat before dinner (a makeup and hair nightmare)! While I was getting ready, I remember Eric was being extra sweet as I was frantically rushing around our apartment, trying to coordinate an outfit and be ready on time.

Once we made it to the memorial, Eric’s mom said she needed to go and call the family to see where they were. She headed off in a different direction as Eric and I walked closer to the Reflecting Pool. As a back story, The National Mall is where Eric and I run together during the week, but because its usually packed with tourists during the day, it’s rare that we are ever out there for more than just exercise.

Since we were both dressed up that evening, we decided to take a few ‘selfies’ in front of the reflecting pool while we waited on an update from Eric’s mom (who had suspiciously gone missing). I remember Eric frantically whispering under his breath, “Wow, there are a lot of people here!” to which I replied “Yes! Of course there are. It’s the National Mall on a Saturday!”. As we causally stood together, holding hands, I noticed Eric had tears in his eyes. He turned to me, while reaching into his pocket and said, “Are you ready for this?”.

Marriage Proposal The Lincoln Memorial

Immediately I figured out what was going on! In the back of my mind I was thinking ‘This cant REALLY be happening right now, can it?!’, and after a moment of hugging and wiping each others tears away, he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him.

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What may have only taken a few seconds felt like an eternity, as if time had stopped just for us. While we were both in our own little world together sharing our special moment, we hadn’t noticed the crowd of eager on-lookers that had formed in a semi-circle around us!

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As Eric stood up, the crowd proceeded to cheer once they acknowledged I had officially said ‘YES’! The moment was both overwhelming but exciting and I remember I was shaking because I was still in complete shock. After we pulled ourselves together and took a few deep breaths, Eric introduced me to the stealthy photographer who had been hiding in the crowd the whole time, and then told me he had planned a brief photo session to document the moment!

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After we finished taking our pictures, and once the dust had settled from the proposal, I was ready to call my parents and sisters, eager to share the exciting news, but he said we were running late for our celebratory dinner reservation and that I could call once we got the restaurant. We quickly jumped into a cab, and I realized we were headed to Georgetown, which was when I started piecing together the rest of his mischievous plan: we were headed straight back to the restaurant where we first met, almost 3 years ago to the day!

As we walked into the restaurant we were greeted by an overwhelming chorus of applause and ‘congratulations!’ by our families and closest friends. Little did I know that Eric had spent the previous 3 weeks calling relatives and friends (from both near and far), to be a part of the special event. The most impressive part was that he, along with everyone else, was able to keep his plan a secret! Our entrance was quickly followed by a champagne toast and an incredible dinner spent with our best friends and family! We later spent the rest of the night dancing and celebrating in each other’s arms, which made the night that much more magical! It was the perfect proposal followed by the perfect evening, and it is certainly a day I will never forget! I am so lucky to have Eric in my life and I can’t wait to be his wife!

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Special Thanks

Eylul Gungor
Justy Photography