David and Tracy

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how we met

David and I met through friends of friends at a birthday party at a dueling pianos club. There was—no instant connection at all. It wasn’t quite the typical meet-cute story. We had absolutely zero romantic interest in each other. But we discovered a mutual interest in ballroom dancing and then we joined a ballroom dance class soon afterward. Poor David, who used to dance competitively in college, had to put up with my amateur skills. He wanted to brush up with his skills and I was happy to jump into a new hobby with an expert.

Over the next several months, we became fast friends and our friendship deepened as we learned to trust each other on the dance floor. Our routine became Monday night dance class, followed by bison burgers down the street. We had SO much fun and found it really easy to hang out with each other for hours on end. That friendship slowly blossomed into something more, something we both felt very deeply—one night, we confessed to each other that there might be, just maybe, a spark, something possibly worth exploring. Then we had that first kiss—I can still remember how electrifying it felt—that was the start of our “something more” and we haven’t looked back since.

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how he asked

When I love another person, it is comforting, like having on a pair of fuzzy slippers, but when I fall in love, the world stops, the air gets sucked out of the atmosphere, the sun implodes, and everything that holds the world together breaks into a bazillion microscopic pieces. In short, it rocks the very foundation of my existence… and why shouldn’t it? My foundation is getting an addition, an expansion, an upgrade.

This is the story of how I came to be engaged and will soon be married.

This woman isn’t just any woman; she is my woman. She shouldn’t have just any ring, she should have a unique ring, a custom ring! Wait, how much does that cost? Never mind the custom ring. She would absolutely kill me if I spend that. So after months of visiting stores, taking pictures, and agonizing over the ring that would sit on her finger for the rest of her life, I found it, the perfect unique ring.

And that was probably the easiest part.

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The rest of the planning was so much more involved, the little details, the plans that had to be so meticulously drawn so as to not arouse suspicion. The bigger parts of the plan were easy. We went on a regular outing to the Chicago Botanic Gardens where I used open-ended questions to discover which of the many gardens was her favorite. I took her parents out to a restaurant and asked for their blessing—in their native language. I received it.

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Then I called up Kat, a photographer who did wonderful work at my best friend’s wedding. I really wanted to capture the special moment because the emotions would be so genuine, plus the wedding announcements/save-the-dates/invites would have amazing pictures. All of this was so easy!

But as the date of the proposal approached, the smaller details came to the forefront. Specifically, fixing her chipping fingernail polish, how to suggest more formal attire, and hiding my true intentions while doing so… That is when it hit me, we should make our outing “fancy.”

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That was all it took. We packed cucumber sandwiches and sparkling water. She applied a fresh coat of fingernail polish, donned a dress, and put in her favorite earrings… that she would have absolutely hate to see in engagement photos (Doctor Who weeping angels). Leaping into action, I somehow—though I truly don’t have any idea how I managed this—convinced her to wear another pair of earrings which would “look better for a fancy outing” (and the engagement photos). Thankfully she agreed without questioning. With that, we were off!

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Arriving at the Waterfall Gardens, I looked around for the photographer—then had a mini heart attack when I couldn’t find her. I had to stall for time and the only thing that would come out of my mouth was completely absurd: “Huh… there aren’t any fish in the water…”

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She looked down at the rapidly-moving current from the waterfall (as I whipped my head around searching for Kat) and looked back at me. The look on her face was priceless; it was something along the lines of ‘what kind of idiot are you?’ But instead she responded kindly with, “I don’t think there were any fish before.”

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“Oh, yeah,” I said intelligently. Then I spotted Kat and I turned back to her. This is it. Getting down on one knee, I said, “There is something I have been meaning to ask you… Will you marry me?”

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Her whole body shook. Tears welled up in her eyes. She responded with a shaky “yes” as she extended her trembling hand. And I couldn’t move, I was so happy. I literally thought I was staring into the face of an angel, and I wanted to enjoy every moment— But as I was basking in the moment of her “yes,” she thought something was wrong, that I was changing my mind, because nothing was happening while I was kneeling, still happily gazing at her with a stupid grin on my face. Her excited, frantic, don’t-take-back-your-question voice broke through my trance: “Put it on! Put it on!” So I did.

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And with that, we were engaged. It was June 2016 when she said, ‘yes’, and it will be December 2016 when we say, ‘I do’. From then on, for better, for worse, and everything in between, I am a changed and better man.

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Special Thanks

Kat/Eye Studios
photographer