Erika and James

signs

How We Met

James and I met on Mother’s Day at Brunch. He is a Chef at a Private Club at Florida State, and the morning of Mother’s Day, he was working the “front of the house” at the omelette station. Being an introvert, he wasn’t fond of being on the line and threatened to quit that same morning. My sister had invited me to brunch as a “thank you” for helping her with my nieces, and I had recently suffered a heartbreak, so after much coercing, I was ordered to “put on some pants”, and go to brunch. When I got there, I was late and a little bit disheveled, but starving, so I made a bee-line for the omelette station. As I walked up, I saw James and he looked miserable. I figured misery loves company so the least I could do was try and make him smile, maybe it would make me smile too. Little did I know, my nieces were also following me to the omelette station. My youngest niece interrupted my omelette order, and Chef James made her what she wanted, all the while believing my nieces were my children. It wasn’t until my sister yelled at them “get off your aunt! She isn’t a jungle gym” that he realized, I wasn’t their mom (not that would have been a problem for him). We struck up a conversation and he proceeded to make another omelette, but without asking me what I wanted. Half way through cooking the omelette, he realized his mistake, and in his best effort to follow club policies, he offered to throw it out and make me another. He offered no less than 3 times, and I finally said “just give me the {bleeping} omelette”. After that – he cracked a smile, offered me some prime rib and the rest is history.

How He Asked

I love Halloween and Disney World and my favorite ride is the Haunted Mansion. My friends and I have always had celebrating Halloween at Disney on our bucket list, and this year it so happened to fall on a Saturday. Once tickets went on sale for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, we all bought tickets and booked a hotel. This is when James started planning and scheming. He created a private Facebook event page and invited all of my friends and family, many who live around the world and told them about his plan to propose. He spent over 6 months throwing around ideas to incorporate everyone who was traveling, and he finally settled on making boxes with letters cut out that would light up spelling “Will You Marry Me?”, and to make things extra special, he hand crafted a ring box in the shape of a DoomBuggy. He wrote “Prepare for the Ride of Your Life” on the back of it. He did all of this after working long hours from the evening shift. There were nights he stayed up until the wee hours of the morning so I wouldn’t see him crafting for the engagement.

The day of the proposal, the Florida heat was awful, and James was in a full suit dressed as a half skeletonized Master Gracey. I was dressed as a Burlesque version of a Haunted Mansion Maid (but Disney appropriate). I spent months making these costumes; Halloween is no joke to me or my group of friends. Since it was so hot, he started complaining that his stomach hurt and kept running off to buy water or use the restroom. Little did I know, he was collecting my friends around the park who had traveled to surprise me. One of our friends had taken the boxes with lights weeks prior when she came to visit us and had been delivering them to friends in South Florida, so they already had them the day of and I wouldn’t be suspicious. We all had fast passes to ride Haunted Mansion, and I was beyond excited to be on the ride on Halloween. During one part, all of our friends who we had entered the park with disappeared, and we boarded the ride a couple dozen people behind them. Once James and I exited the ride, the Haunted Mansion staff made a human shield and escorted us out. As I stepped in to the sunlight, they all parted, and in front of me were my friends and family holding the letters spelling out “Will you Marry Me?”, people were holding their phones up with more family on Facetime, and let’s not forget the crowd that was already there. I was in shock. My niece (and mini-me) walked up with the ring box, and before I knew it, James was getting down on one knee and he asked me to marry him. My response : “Hell Yes”. The crowed erupted in cheers, I kissed James, and smeared his make up all over me, and lipstick all over him, but it was honestly, the most amazing moment. Disney gave us Haunted Mansion “bride” and “groom” gifts, and we sported them all day at the park. We even got to have a magical experience with Lady Carlotta during Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, that I will never forget. James was absolutely amazing, he made every one of my dreams come true, and I cannot wait to marry this man.

one knee

Ride of your Life

Friends and Family

BOOM! Engaged

engaged

Our Video

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Special Thanks

Patricia Medina | 
Video
#CLAPMAGICDUSTDISNEYFAMILY | 
Planning