Rachel and Patrick's Proposal in New York City

how we met

Patrick and I met when we worked at the same advertising agency, both of our first jobs in New York City, back in 2008. We first locked eyes at the company’s holiday party, and became fast friends. Over the next year, our friendship grew closer and closer until we finally realized we had to be together. We’ve been best friends, and together, ever since.

how he asked

Patrick mentioned a few weeks earlier that he wanted me to join him for brunch with some of his co-workers. The morning of the brunch, we took a cab to the East Village and he mentioned that the restaurant was on the same street as my first New York City apartment, the one where we first decided to start dating.

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As we walked closer to my old apartment, Patrick started telling me how much this street meant to him, how many memories we made together there, and how much he loved me. Because he’s sweet all the time, it didn’t seem weird to me at all.

When we were standing in front of my old apartment, Patrick said, “Our entire relationship has been all about honesty, and I have to be honest with you right now. We’re not going to brunch. I want to ask you, will you marry me?” As he got down on one knee and pulled out the ring, I immediately started crying. Our friend Allan, a professional photographer, popped out from behind a car and snapped all these precious photos. Of course I said yes!

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I thought the surprise was over, but then Allan asked if we wanted to go get a drink around the corner to celebrate and call our families. He took our picture as we walked down the street, and when I opened the door to the bar, I was blown away to find my whole family, Patrick’s family and all our friends there waiting to celebrate with us. The tears started all over again. It was truly the happiest day of my entire life!

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From his perspective: Rachel likes to plan ahead, so I knew if I was going to surprise her I’d need a cover story. Brunch with my co-workers was a good one to nail down the time and place. So, while we made our way across town, our friend Allan – a professional photographer who I’d asked to help me plan and document the day – set up across the street from Rachel’s old apartment. As we approached, I told her that actually we weren’t going to brunch at all. She stared back at me a bit confused, until I dropped down on one knee. Confusion turned to shock turned to tears, smiles and what felt like many minutes of “Oh my god!” I finally asked if she could tell me “yes,” which she was happy to do.

Allan then led us around the corner to a bar where we could collect ourselves and call family. Only our families, along with lots of our closest friends, were actually waiting there for part two of the surprise. It was so amazing to see everyone gathered there. Even though I knew what was coming, I was still amazed as we walked through the door…and I definitely teared up a bit seeing that so many of the people closest to us had made the trip to help with the surprise and celebration. It really was an awesome day.

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Photos by Allan Zepeda