Reem and Daren's Chicago Marriage Proposal
How We Met: Daren and I met in Rochester, NY working for the same company. We made an instant connection and quickly realized we had much in common.
Among many other things, we were both from Illinois, had gone to college five minutes away from each other, and had some mutual friends. Throughout the next couple of months, we became great friends. One day, Daren asked me to dinner and our relationship blossomed from there! We hit it off, but shortly after we began dating, Daren was relocated across the country. We then began a lengthy journey of long distance dating.
We became experts at Skype (I am literally skyping with Daren as I write this), FaceTime, and spending a lot of money on flights (the airline industry owes us big time!). The distance was certainly challenging, but it ultimately strengthened our relationship. After two and a half years, we were finally reunited in the great state of Rhode Island! Sticking it out through the long distance was worth it — we had a blast together!
A year and a half later, I was relocated back to Chicago. So once again, we dusted off our Skype, FaceTime and airline credit card, and got back to our long distance roots.
How He Asked: After spending one too many weekends in the suburbs (no offense to my fellow suburbanites), Daren decided to plan a date night downtown. That day we had a fun time in the city and had dinner reservations planned at a fancy restaurant for later in the evening.
Daren told me that he had a surprise activity planned for before dinner that would take about an hour or so. He said we had to be at a specific location and that it was important that we be right on time (he knows that I am notorious for running late). I had no idea what he had up his sleeve and thought it might be a horse-drawn carriage ride or something romantic like that. We arrived at the Art Institute of Chicago and he told me that the person we were going to meet for the activity was running a bit late, so he suggested we check out the South Garden while we waited.
We walked around for awhile and I noticed him constantly glancing at a wedding party that was taking photos along the side. I was wondering why he was so fixated on this wedding party, but I found out later that they were in the exact location where he planned to propose. We were sitting at the edge of the fountain in the garden and after a while of people watching, he told me he had made a little present for me and pulled out his phone.
He had made a video with a montage of photos of us taken over the last four years. The video included funny captions and inside jokes, along with our song playing in the background. It was amazing and I started tearing up!
Toward the end of the video, the captions talked about how much he loved me and what a blast we had together over the years. In the final caption, he asked “WILL YOU MARRY ME???”
While I was reading it, my jaw dropped and he got down on one knee, pulled out the ring and officially popped the question!!!
The surprise continued with an engagement photo shoot around Chicago with Collin Pierson! It ended up being the perfect proposal from the perfect guy for me.
Photos by Collin Pierson