Fran and Ben's Dapper Day Proposal at Dinner

How We Met

When two of our mutual friends got married last year, we were both asked to be members of the wedding party. I had been introduced to Ben a few months prior and thought he was the most handsome man I’d ever seen. Naturally, I was excited to spend more time with him. His smile and laugh were (and still are!) extremely contagious, and he made you feel like he was genuinely interested in what you had to say. After about an hour and a half of laughing and talking together while taking pictures with the bridal party, Ben said, “Well, I guess the hard part of the day is over!” I’m sure my reply came as a shock when I said, “Not really. Now I have to introduce my boyfriend to my parents.” I was dating another guy at the time, but needless to say, it didn’t last long. After that day, I never thought I’d hear from him again since I was moving to Florida to work for The Walt Disney Company. However, four months later, Ben commented on a photo I had taken of the beach in Florida, saying how jealous he was. I told him that he would have to come visit. To my pleasant surprise, a few days later I received a Facebook message from him. I invited him down to Orlando for a long weekend in September to enjoy Dapper Day- an unofficial event at Disney where people get dressed in their most dapper attire and enjoy the parks. He accepted my invitation, and I was full of butterflies. I couldn’t wait to see him again! We had our first official date at Disney World, accompanied by a few of my friends, one of whom captured some fantastic pictures!

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How He Asked

Earlier this year, Ben and I decided to head back down to Disney to attend the fall Dapper Day in October. His parents had recently moved down to Florida, so we thought it would be great if they came along and enjoyed the day, too. We met up with our photographer friend, who agreed to take some pictures for us. We walked through the park, taking pictures along the way and recreating some of the ones we had taken the year before. When our friend asked me where else I wanted pictures, I told her I wanted to take a few at Storybook Circus – where I had worked while employed with Disney. We had taken pictures on Dumbo before, and I loved how they came out; not to mention Dumbo is one of my favorites! I was walking with the photographer and her husband, and Ben and his parents were following us. When we were right outside of the Storybook Circus marquee, Ben said, “Fran, hang on a second.” I turned around, and he was down on one knee. I couldn’t believe it! My heart was pounding, and there was nothing I could do but smile. He told me he had the ring for six months, and when he asked me to marry him, all I could do was nod. I had never been happier in my life. I’m so excited to marry my best friend. There’s no one else with whom I could imagine spending my life.

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Special Thanks

Jackie Hannaford