Jacob and Marissa

How We Met

We met at the University of West Florida. We were both facilitating a parents Q&A session for incoming freshmen at the first New Student Orientation during the Summer of 2015. Jake was representing Student Government Association and I was an Orientation Leader. After the session was over one of my coworkers picked up all of our belongings, including Jake’s sunglasses, and went to the next location. I offered to help Jake find his sunglasses (knowing we would have to walk all the way across campus together).

How He Asked

Jake crashed my family vacation to New York. In November of 2016 my mom asked me to go with her to New York to see the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. We planned for a whole year and Jake decided to join in on the fun (without telling me) in September of 2017, just three months before our trip. He told his parents his plan and even paid my parents a visit in the next state over. He asked for their blessing and they welcomed him into our family. From there he spent many nights at a local jewelry store designing the perfect ring for me. My family and I set off on November 21st to fly to New York. Jake and his parents caught a plane the next day. I am the only one in my family who had previously been to New York so I acted as their tour guide while we touristed around the city.

Engagement Proposal Ideas in Central Park

On Thanksgiving day our plans were to watch the parade, freshen up at the hotel, take a walk through Central Park and end with a nice Thanksgiving dinner. We were up at 5:30 AM for the parade and outside in the cold for five hours. So logically, when we got back to the hotel I told my family I was opting to take a nap, rather than tag along for Central Park. My mom and brother were adamant that I had to go. So I got up and took my time getting ready.

Where to Propose in Central Park

Jacob's Proposal in Central Park

By this time, my mom was fervently texting Jake giving him minute-by-minute updates. She insisted we take an Uber instead of the subway. The Uber drops us off outside of Central Park Zoo and magically, my mom becomes the tour guide. She says, “We must go to Cat Rock!” and she takes the lead. I ask her what is Cat Rock and she replies, “You haven’t read about Cat Rock??” We hike up a rock and my mom says “This isn’t right” she pans the view and sees another rock to our right, “OH let’s go to that one!” We all hike down the rock and up the other. As I’m trying to take a picture of the stunning view of Wollman Ice Skating Rink and the New York skyline, my mom grabs my hand and pulls me to the other size of the rock.

Proposal Ideas Central Park

At this point I’m just wondering when my mom became a geologist and why she’s so interested in Cat Rock. As I follow my mom a crowd parts allowing me to see Jake standing at the edge of the rock. He turns around and I ask my mom, “What is Jake doing here?” She pushed me along and says “Go!” as she’s grinning ear-to-ear.

I walk up and Jake immediately starts speaking. I stop him and tell him to hug me. He proceeds to read a letter he wrote to himself on November 12, 2015 – exactly one day after we started dating. After his letter he says the most beautiful words to me and before his knee can touch the ground I am nodding my head “yes”! Then we had an hour with the photographers he hired to capture the moment. My mom and edited our dinner reservations to include Jake and his parents. At that moment my family vacation became our family vacation.

Little did I know, I actually planned my own engagement when I had to write a paper for a college class outlining my entire life from birth to death. In my paper I wrote that my husband would propose to me in Central Park in the Fall. Jake proofread that paper for me during our undergrad and brought my over-the-top dreams to reality.

Special Thanks

Tati and Roman
Photographer