Nicole and Jamey
how we met
Jamey’s side: Nicole and I were close friends for 3 or 4 years before we started dating. We met while we were both living in New York. In New York, I think every one has one of those friends who is always doing the coolest things and connecting people to each other along the way. So all the thanks goes to our mutual friend, Victoria, who just happened to have us both over one evening for not just the love of my life, but for a best friend as well.
how she asked
Jamey’s Side: I had always dreamed of creating the sort of engagement that only a romance novelist would endeavor to dream up. So, when one of my best friends became my love, I decided to try to create that experience for her. We decided that we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together in front of a carousel on the West Side Highway in New York. So, I picked a carousel in front of the Eiffel Tower as the place to propose.
Nicole and I and spent a few days in Paris before heading to Provence on a cycling trip. I wanted to create the most romantic day possible in Paris so we started by visiting the Pont de Arts Bridge where couples have interlocked their hearts for centuries. I surprised my fiancée with an antique lock and key for the bridge. Since it’s no longer permitted to affix your lock to the bridge we simply locked the lock shut for eternity, cast our key into the water and kept the lock as a symbol of the promise to always live in love.
Next, I took her to the “I love you” wall that was recently installed by an artist in the Montmarte area. It’s a beautiful installation of the words “I love you” written over and over in every language the artist could find. It took him years to research all the languages and you can see people from all over the world searching the wall to find the special words in their own language. After that, we went to the Musee de Rodin. I think it is one of the most beautiful and romantic places in the world and wanted to share it with my fiancée. Finally, I surprised her with what she thought was a trip to the Eiffel tower after dinner. When we arrived, I took her to the carousel in front of the Eiffel tower where I had Antoine waiting to photograph the moment of the proposal.
After the day, we had spent together I thought she might know what I was up to, but I still managed to surprise her with the proposal. Antoine then took us to the fountains near Cleopatra’s needle for more photos. We met Antoine again at 6am the following morning for engagement photos.
Nicole’s Side: The entire day leading up to what would be a surprise proposal was magical. Jamey had planned a day that took us to some of the most romantic spots in Paris – starting at the Pont des Arts bridge where together we locked this beautiful lock she had brought with her and threw away the key in the Seine. To us, it represented sealing our promise of love to one another forever. She then took me to Montmarte to the “I love you” wall where we took what is still one of my most cherished pictures (I’ve attached it) and got to share a kiss among more than 250 inscriptions of “I love you” written in different languages. Finally, we ended our afternoon walking the halls and gardens of the Rodin Museum which I knew was special to Jamey and a place I had always wanted to visit. She had shared with me previously that she dreamed of getting married in the incredible gardens of the museum so it felt extra special to be walking hand-in-hand with her there. At each place we went, Jamey gave me a card, each with a beautiful note about our love.
As we raced back to our apartment to get ready for dinner, Jamey kept reminding me that we were on a tight schedule for dinner and arriving at the Eiffel Tower at exactly 9:30p. Many of our friends asked whether I suspected a proposal given her insistence but I honestly just thought she had bought timed tickets to go up in the tower since I had told her it was something I wanted to do. I probably should’ve known something was up because at dinner, the main course was one of Jamey’s favorite fish dishes and she barely ate half of it (apparently due to nerves!) but I was enjoying my meal too much to think much about it. Thankfully we made it to the front of the Eiffel Tower with about 3 minutes to spare though in rushing there, I left my sweater in the taxi – oh well.
Once there, Jamey walked me over to the carousel that sits immediately in front of the tower. As we were walking I did notice out of the corner of my eye (I’m a behavioral psychologist so I tend to pay attention to people!) a man who nodded briefly in Jamey’s direction and I thought it was odd but Jamey quickly brought my attention back to her and distracted me. Of course, moments later I would realize that he would be the photographer who would capture so many magical moments to come. Once we stopped, Jamey asked me to hold her things while she took a card out of her bag and told me to read it. It was a beautiful, hand-made card of the Eiffel Tower where she wrote about wanting to spend the rest of her life with me. As I looked up with tears in my eyes, she was holding two open ring boxes and I was overjoyed. Between her nervousness and my excitement, she didn’t actually get to the proposal so I took it upon myself to ask her, “So, are you asking me to marry you?” at which point we both laughed.
All the while, I heard faintly in the background the sound of a camera clicking and sure enough, that guy I had seen a few minutes earlier was squatting down paparazzi-style, capturing every moment. One of my favorite pictures from the proposal is from when Jamey tried the first ring on and it didn’t fit. Thankfully we both took it in stride, laughing and then hoping the ring behind door #2 would – and it did!
From there, we took several photos by the carousel which held special meaning for Jamey and I as there was a similar one in NYC where we had one of our first real conversations about our future together. Our photographer, Antoine, then proceeded to capture so much magic of the night and the incredible “blue hour” of Paris in the summer, taking us to several spots for photographs. We even got to play in one of the fountains next to Cleopatras Needle in the middle of the city at 11:30p – with cars driving by – us not caring if we got in trouble, feeling truly as if we were the only two people that existed in the world (except our photographer and his flash) in that moment. Only a few short hours later we were back up with the rising sun where we then spent the next several hours on a photo tour of some of the city’s most beautiful and romantic spots. Friends and family who have seen our pictures from that day have asked: a) did we have a professional photographer following us around (yes) and b) were the pictures photoshopped (no) because it looks as if we were the only two people in Paris that morning and Antoine captured some amazing moments. While absolutely none of this was expected, it turned out to be one of the most memorable 24 hours of my life and I’m grateful to have such a fun and romantic story to share about my engagement to the woman I will spend the rest of my life with.