Jamie and Ben
How We Met
Ben & I met right before I graduated from law school in 2013. He was moving to North Carolina for school & I was moving back to Detroit to practice law. The perfect time to start a relationship, right? Two and a half years of long distance dating later, I moved to Charlotte so we could start our lives together (in the same city).
Fast forward to almost two years, another bar license, a puppy, a new house, and seventeen weddings, and we still weren’t engaged. We had talked about it (a lot…), so the more time passed, the harder it was going to be to surprise me. I was constantly on guard. “He asked me to take the dog on a walk with him, is he going to propose on a hike? He asked me to help him take out the trash, are there rose petals in our driveway?”. But Ben was up for the challenge.
How He Asked
Our friend Haley Bohen, one of Ben’s former colleagues, started a company called SkillPop that hosts pop-up classes in now FOUR different cities taught by local professionals. They teach everything from handlettering to watercolor to public speaking to conversational Spanish to small business finance. Honestly, you name it, they’ve probably taught it (or are definitely open to trying!). When I moved to Charlotte, I didn’t know a single person besides Ben, and SkillPop was a great way for me to meet people – I actually met one of my best friends there and attended her wedding a few months ago. I started taking handlettering classes to address my sister’s wedding invitations, and quickly became a SkillPop addict. So Ben’s plan? Have Haley make a fake Skillpop class, get me to sign up for it, and show up with a ring.
You might be asking, how did he get me to sign up for a class and guarantee that I would go? The short answer is that he knows me very well. The longer answer is that he had Haley send me a fake sign up for a “VIP Test Class” on the actual SkillPop platform. He also had her send it to my friend Kristin, so that I would think we were going together and be much less likely to bail or say no. What class could he guarantee that to be?
An Instagram Workshop, because obviously.
I arrived 3 minutes before the class was supposed to start, and Haley was there to check me in (a pleasant surprise for the founder to be hosting a class). She told me I was the first one there, which I thought was strange, and then directed me to an area where the class would be meeting. She called me back as I started to walk (I found out later that this was because I was walking too fast), and asked if I had brought anything to take notes with. I was really confused by this question, told her no, and she just quickly reassured me I would be fine without anything. When I turned back around, Ben was walking towards me & I immediately started sobbing (loudly, as Haley can attest).
A professional photographer was there snapping the moment, and Ben had my favorite champagne waiting to celebrate. We loved the way the photos turned out so much that Julia is now our wedding photographer! It was the most perfect surprise proposal, especially considering that it was almost impossible to make it a surprise.