Madison and Mike

Madison's Proposal in The Morton Arboretum

How We Met

Mike and I met at the University of Iowa. I was a freshman, and he was a sophomore. We were at the same party, where his friend came up to my friend and I and wanted to show off some dance moves. Mike followed behind his friend, and that’s when we met! We ended up having to leave the party rather abruptly, so we all ran across the street to a pizza place. We exchanged phone numbers and talked every day! My friends told me almost weekly that Mike and I were definitely more than just friends, but I always denied it. Mike and I were best friends for 2.5 years before he decided to make a move, and we’ve been together ever since!

How He Asked

Mike and I moved in together a little over a year ago, and a few months ago we got a Golden Retriever puppy! Everything seemed to be falling into place. Little did I know, Mike had also been planning to propose! We had been dating for 2.5 years, and we both knew we’d get married eventually. A few weeks before the engagement, Mike had mentioned that he wanted to do a “fun winter day” with me, which is something he has organized in the past, so I didn’t think anything of it. The only thing I was set on was that the day he had planned it for was my mom’s birthday. I wanted to see my mom that day and go to dinner. He had mentioned that the first thing we were going to do that night was go to the Morton Arboretum to see their holiday lights, Illumination. I asked my dad if he thought my mom would want to go, knowing my mom would love it! He told me they were busy and asked if we could do dinner on Friday. I figured that was fine, wanting to do whatever my mom wanted. We went to dinner on Friday, and everyone acted completely normal! Saturday came around, and it was a normal morning. We gave our puppy a bath and just hung around at home. We both got ready to head out for the night, and Mike was being extra selective about what he was going to wear that night, which isn’t totally abnormal! He mentioned that I should wear my nice peacoat and some cute booties, so I did, thinking we’d take some pictures throughout the night. We drove to the Morton Arboretum, and it was packed! Once we drove in and made it inside, Mike started to linger around, walking away from the entrance of the path to the lights. A woman working had redirected him to the path, but he just kept walking the other way. I followed him toward the exit of the path, where someone asked us to take their picture. Once I was done taking their picture, Mike took a few steps to the side, grabbed my hands, and started to tell me how much he loves me! We both don’t really remember what he said, but the next thing I knew, he was down on one knee, pulling a ring out! I, of course, said yes! There were people around us, watching, and they started to clap once I said yes! Mike then revealed that he had a hidden photographer who had captured the moment, and she would be with us for the next hour to take pictures of us through the holiday lights! We went around and took pictures, and then headed back to the car. I called my parents, and then he called his parents, where I found out that we were meeting both of our parents for dinner! It was the most perfect night, and I still can’t believe I am going to marry my best friend!

Special Thanks

Brittany Lynn
Photographer