Lauren and Mike

013-LHow We Met: How we met is the easiest question I can answer, at work! How we fell in love is another story entirely. Our relationship has been a whirlwind, but when you work together every single day you learn a lot about someone very quickly. Turns out it takes a bit longer to realize you can fall in love with them just as quickly.

We first met at our company softball tournament and honestly that’s that. We worked in different departments within our company and we would run into each other  from time to time. Randomly he would come to my floor and visit just to say hi and I would do the same to him.  You can call it fate or a coincidence but I decided to take another role within the company and this role placed me 2 seats away from Mike.

Being this close to each other day in and day out only made us grow closer as friends. We talked about pretty much everything, our current relationships, family, friends you name it, we talked about it. Looking back we had feelings for one another but too focused in the relationships we were in to even notice.

One night we went for drinks after work and I don’t know about you, but you give me a few drinks and I tend to be a lot more truthful. Turns out the same thing happens with Mike. We ended up admitting our feelings to one another and after that is was one big step after another. We started to meet each others families, taking each other as dates to weddings,spending every free minute we could together.

Sadly my apartment on the UES was being remodeled and I had to move into another unit for three thousand more a month or move out. I clearly chose to move out and look for a new place to live. During my apt hunt Mike kept telling me it would be cheaper if it was cut in half. Not until he point blanked asked me “will you move in with me” did I know what he was getting at.

This was just another question that was easy to answer. Within in days we were apartment hunting together. We found an amazing place in Hoboken, NJ that was exactly what we wanted. we move into the apt in Nov 2014 just 2 months after we started dating.

This is the first relationship for both of us that is this easy and we spend every moment together. And when I say every moment I mean every moment. Keep in mind we still work together and remain 2 seats apart from each other at the office. Since working together means we have access to each others outlook calendars and on many occasions we will set up dates and to do’s with ease of keeping our work lives and personal lives organized.

One of the funniest parts of working together and sitting together so closely was trying to keep our relationship a secret. It’s extremely obvious when you’re both on vacation at the same place at the same time. But none the less it kept things funny for a while until the day I walked in with a ring on my finger.

How He Asked: How the ring ended up on my finger is honestly one of my favorite stories to tell. I’m going to try and keep my story updated with pictures as it goes along, I think visuals help! As I told you earlier we have access to each others calendars and on June 1st I received a calendar invite from Mike requesting to be his ‘arm for the night’ starting at 3:30 on June 19th.

With ease I clicked accept, but I didn’t make it easy over the next 19 days for him. “What are we doing?, where are we going?, is it dinner?, is it a show?, is it a mini vacation?” I pulled your typical tell me, tell, tell me moves. Luckily he loves me and I didn’t drive him too mad. He let me know that I needed to dress to impress and be ready by 3:30 pm sharp.

The day of I was really excited and I had thought up a hundred ideas of what we could be doing and where we could be going. I didn’t realize how excited I was until Mike’s manager walked over to my desk and asked what all the red flakes were on the floor around me. Turns out I was trying to remove all my chipped nail polish. Thankfully he saw this and told me I should really go and get a manicure. He also reminded me I had date night that evening and clearly he was in on the surprise. I quickly went and put my nails back to their normal red painted state changed into my ‘dress to impress outfit and was ready by 3:30 pm sharp.

We left the office and hopped inside an uber, which started to Capturetake us down town, then it started to take us across town and then it started to take us uptown. Needless to say I thought the driver had no idea where he was going. Mike even sent me the screen shot of the map to keep as a reminder.

During this ride I randomly asked Mike what was the name of the place where we had our first date and he answered me with “I’m not too sure”. The odd thing is, he never forgets things like that but I thought nothing of it. Finally we were let out of our odd Uber ride and dropped off to an office building, so my confusion continued to grow.

We walked slowly and ended up in front of the place where we had our first date. Perhaps my brain wasn’t as confused as I thought it was. We went up in the elevator to the rooftop that was completely empty. Mike said to the hostess we have a reservations under Mike. She ushered us outside where there was no one there either but a bottle of champagne and two glasses.

001-L

Mike didn’t waste anytime, he started telling me the sweetest things and I wish I could repeat them all but I was so worried about him because he seemed very nervous.  Then all of a sudden Mike dropped to a knee and asked me to marry him. Just as he asked me I heard clicking in the corner. I turned to see one of my best friends and her boyfriend ( a professional photographer ) hiding in the corner taking pictures and video taping.

hiding

007-L

Needless to say I think I may not have even said yes. I was beyond surprised by everything that just happened.  I was in such shock by the proposal and seeing my friends in the corner that it’s captured on film (see below)

008-L

BUT.. this wasn’t the end of our night. After the shock wore off and it hit me I started to cry all over again. Mike and I sat on the roof and enjoyed the moment then went inside to spend time with our friends, make some phone calls and drink that champagne!

085-L

The photographer Harley encouraged us to have a photo shoot and took us all over. What I didn’t know at the time was this ‘photo shoot’ was actually a distraction. As we left the Kimberly Hotel we took so many photos . One of may favorite pics is standing in the middle of Park Ave with NYC Cab’s right behind us. I don’t think you can capture a NYC engagement quite like this.

187-L

We finally ended up at another location that Harley said hes been wanting to take pictures at. It was another rooftop bar called Mad 46 with a great backdrop and fantastic lighting for a shoot. Or that’s what he claimed, but what it turned out to be was my next surprise. Mike organized for as many friends as he could to be on that rooftop to yell surprise and celebrate the moment with us. They were all tucked around the corner waiting…

196-L

The night couldn’t get better BUT yes there is more… After we were done celebrating on the roof of Mad 46 and I thought it was time to head home, Mike said he needed to go back to the Kimberly Hotel to pick up his stuff that he left there. Once again, I was confused but I learned by this point in this amazing day to just go with it.

We arrived back to the Kimberly Hotel but instead of going to the rooftop we headed to the 19th floor where we had the Empire Suite with another bottle of champagne chilled for us to drink. We had the perfect New York City Engagement! I will leave you with that and a few more pictures of one of the best days in our lives. #pistonemarriesbear

069-L
170-L

Photos by:  Harley Hall