Erica and Kenneth

Engagement Proposal Ideas in Washington Square Park, NYC

How We Met

Kenny and I met the very first day of our freshman year at Cornell University. He was helping me bring in my groceries to my dorm. I actually had a boyfriend at the time, but Kenny and I became good friends throughout the rest of our first year. By the time Sophomore year came around, I was no longer with my freshman year boyfriend & I always secretly had a crush on Kenny. So Kenny & I started dating and have been together ever since … minus our two-year break in between, but that’s a story for another day ;)

How He Asked

It was our 8-year anniversary (give or take? lol — as I mentioned, we met 11 years ago & started dating around 10 years ago with some breaks in-between). Back to our anniversary… we usually don’t go all out for these occasions but will typically go to dinner. Kenny told me he made a last minute reservation for our favorite NYC Italian place (Babbo Ristorante e Enoteca) for 11/19. I was SUPER excited to chow down on 5+ courses of pasta smothered in truffles. That morning, he kept trying to dress me up & change me into different outfits. He was insisting on heels but I went with boots lol.

Coincidentally, my friend Sakina was in town that weekend. She’s a newish mom and kept saying that she desperately needed a mani/pedi because she never has time anymore. I was thinking: OMG of course, we must go and make time for that while she’s in town. Little did I know, she was actually just trying to get my nails done (sneaky!).

Back to the proposal… so I was hanging out with Sakina all day, had brunch, and got our nails done. My dinner reservation was approaching and I needed to head down to Babbo. I got there about 7 minutes late (Kenny was panicking at this point because he had a specific timeline to adhere to). I stuffed my face with pasta and was so full at the end of dinner. I was ready to take an Uber back home and end the night with some Walking Dead (spoiler, never got to watch the show that night). However, Kenny suggested that we take a walk around Washington Square Park instead (which was close to the restaurant). I thought it was a little strange but went with it. Maybe he was so full he just needed to walk it off?

So now we are walking around the park towards the fountain. I keep taking him away from his intended path (he had mapped out the whole walk). I kept talking, walking around, and pointing things out. At this point, he already tuned me out and was determined to lead me to his designated proposal spot.

We finally get to the fountain and I’m ironically talking about proposals and how perfect Washington Square Park is for that (and it’s also my fave park in the City). As we circle the fountain, there is this couple with a guitar and they ask if we would like to hear a song because they had no one to sing to all night. I was about to say “no thanks” and walk away, as a true New Yorker does, but Kenny said, “okay.” I thought that was a little weird but went with it. Now I’m thinking, “I hope Kenny has cash, I have no cash to tip this couple & their poor guitar case is empty!” As they started to sing their song, I saw this big flash go off — it was a photographer. I STILL didn’t think anything of it. I was thinking, “of course, this is their photographer and they are getting images for their website.” People are always filming something in WSP, so it made complete sense to me.

All of a sudden I turn back to Kenny and he says “I have something to tell you.” He gets down on one knee and starts mentioning how nervous he is and I thought he was kidding. I was cursing a bit, “are you effing serious?” & couldn’t remember a thing he said while he was down there (at this point the photographer’s flash kept going off with more frequency). I finally put it all together that he hired the photographer and the band (Spencer and Sequoia), who was playing our song: Can’t Help Falling in Love. Kenny was down on his knee for quite some time and I learned after that he wanted to make use of the full song.

Anyway, I say “yes” or maybe I say “yeah.” I don’t know, I basically blacked out lol. Then he tells me to stop cursing because our family is near and I yelled, “WHERE?” They finally revealed themselves (and now there was a little crowd of strangers around us) and we all hugged, cried, and took more pictures. But the surprise didn’t end there…

Kenny said we were going to celebrate at a bar around the corner, which happened to be my favorite bar and also where I wanted to celebrate my 30th birthday (now I need a new bday plan lol, but I digress). We enter the bar and I am greeted with about 40-50 close family & friends, who were there to celebrate our engagement. Kenny rented out the whole bar and it was packed with everyone I loved. I cried again and was so overwhelmed but also so happy. We took more pictures, ate (well not me, I was still so friggen full from dinner), and drank (open bar!) I still can’t believe how sneaky everyone was & most of them were avoiding me for days!

Apparently, Kenny was planning this for months trying to put all the pieces together. However, I was clear about not being engaged until I found a new job after completing my MBA. So literally the minute I received my new job offer, he set his plan into motion

He immediately Facetimed my parents to inform them about the plan. Kenny was adamant about hosting Thanksgiving in our new apartment, which I thought was a little strange but, again, didn’t think too much of it. So my parents made arrangements to fly in from Vegas earlier that week.

I’ve been so busy with my new job that I was completely oblivious over the past month, didn’t really question anything, and was convinced this wouldn’t happen until 2018. I was legitimately surprised and couldn’t have asked for anything more than that. Needless to say, it was perfect and I’ve never felt more loved.