Danielle and Evan
How We Met
Evan and I met on April 11, 2014 in New York City. I had recently relocated to NYC from Chicago to start my career as a Public Defender. We were both with separate groups of friends at an annual party called “Grits & Biscuits” at Irving Plaza. The place was extremely packed and at some point during the night I happened to see him across the hallway we were standing in. I tapped one of my friends and told her, “hey, that guy looks a little like J. Cole.” We both started laughing and I decided to yell “Jermaine” (J.Cole’s first name) a few times across the hall to see if I could get his attention. However, the music was so loud that Evan did not hear me.
I kept trying to make eye contact with him but he never looked directly into my path. Shortly after, he left the hallway with his friends so I decided to keep my eyes on him. He walked back into the crowd and I followed slightly behind him. He stopped at some point and started to dance. I thought it was the perfect opportunity to walk by and “slightly” bump him. He looked back and I said “excuse me” in the cutest little voice and tried to walk away. He quickly grabbed my hand and asked where I was going. We ended up dancing the night away and the rest is history.
How He Asked
My sister is currently Miss Illinois United States 2016. In September 2016, she told me that PBS was honoring her as one of Chicago’s “Most Influential Young Professionals” and that they were sponsoring a banquet for the award. It sounded legit so I told Evan that we had to fly to Chicago in December for this event. Little did I know that this was going to be my surprise engagement party. So on December 17, 2016, we were rushing to get to Rosemont, IL where the event was supposedly happening. My sister told me that a PBS rep was first going to tape an interview with her then interview some of her family and friends. Evan and I finally got to the venue and there was Miss Illinois paraphernalia all around the restaurant. I entered a private room and there were cameras set up and a woman with a PBS shirt on. Everything look pretty legit. My family and some of our friends started to arrive but I noticed the room wasn’t as full as my sister planned it to be.
At some point we were told that the program must start so whoever was not in the room at that moment would be locked out. The interview started and everything still seemed quite normal. Once it was over the “PBS rep” went to the front of the room and started asking people to come to the front to say a few words for my sister. She eventually got to my table and Evan was sitting closest to my sister. So he walked up and grabbed the microphone. I started to think that it was a bit odd for them to ask him to speak about my sister since he had only known for for about one year. I was recording him speaking and then at some point he stopped talking about my sister. They both looked at each other with smiles and told my family and I that we were being punk’d. I was very confused and started looking around.
My mother started clapping very loudly and laughing and then I heard the back door open. All of a sudden all of my closest friends and Evan’s family came walking through the back with gold balloons that spelled out “Marry Me”. I dropped my phone in shock and started to cry. The rest of my family were also kept in the dark about the proposal so they were in shock as well. I was finally able to stand and walked to the front where Evan was standing. He got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. Of course I said yes!! My mom then pulled a large black table cloth off the front table and everything was for me. We had a personal menu that said, “She Said Yes.” 40 of my closest friends and family ate with us and gave us their well wishes.