Kate and Derrick's Proposal at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

marriage proposal at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (1)

How We Met

Derrick and I have a pretty awesome meet-cute.

Anyone in New York will tell you that life in the city is rough: paying offensively high rent, ignoring the roach/mouse/Frankenstein-monster lurking behind your fridge, and knowing exactly why you should not get on the empty subway car. And those are the easy hurdles. Throw into that mix a culture of incredibly dedicated and hardworking people who haven’t seen sunlight outside of the office in months, and it’s not hard to see how the revolving door of Tinder got to be so popular. There may be a wonderful opera or show to see, but good luck finding the time in your 80 hour work week to get there (and better luck finding someone to go with you). You’re better off with a bottle of rosé, a Seamless order, and a whole new season of The Walking Dead to binge-watch.

The stereotypes are true, folks. You heard it here first.

I’d been following a friend of his on Instagram for quite some time. We’d known each other for years, and had done a little business together. After a while, I started noticing this very cute guy showing up in his Instagram posts. Naturally, I started to follow the guy. Who was he? Is he single? Can I meet him? Are we in the same neighborhood? After months of aggressive likes and comments, he finally started to follow me back. It was very casual, very slick, very New York. But nothing became of it. Private messages didn’t yet exist in Instagram, so all we had were likes, comments, and a very public forum.

Cut to six months in the future. Dating in New York was pretty brutal, and I wasn’t having much luck. I’d tried all the online dating sites, I’d met all the friends of friends, and I just wasn’t feeling it. I’d lost hope. So one morning over coffee, I decided to just focus on me. I opened up my OKCupid app to delete it when I see a message.

“Hey Instagram friend,” it read. “Fancy meeting you here.”

It was him. It was the guy from my friend’s posts. No. Freaking. Way.

We agreed to meet up for a drink to just laugh about how much of a small world New York could be. Neither of us knew it would lead to here…

Metropolitan Museum of Art Proposal (3)

How He Asked

It was my 30th birthday. My best friend from college was in town, and we were planning to host several friends at the Ace Hotel for cocktails and cake – cocktail attire required! Derrick had suggested that before we celebrate, that we take our friends for a rouge tour of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, otherwise known as Museum Hack. The tour itself holds some special history for us. Derrick used to be a tour guide, and on our second date (he calls it the first date… we’re still debating ;) ), he had invited me to come along on one of these crazy tours. They take you through the museum and tell you secrets, lies, and fabulous histories behind pieces of art you would otherwise pass by on your way to find the Mona Lisa. It’s a TON of fun. I’d done two or three by then, but I agreed to it; my friends would love it.

The tour started off as usual, but I noticed a photographer was joining us. “Don’t mind Dennis,” Derrick said, “He’s here to take some promo shots for the Museum Hack website.”

We all shrugged it off. Derrick took the group past some pretty fantastic pieces, but kept insisting there was one we absolutely had to see: Cupid and Psyche. After two hours of running around the Met (in heels no doubt), he started to look a little frantic. The photographer ran away from the group and came back sweaty. Derrick ran around several rooms in the American Wing looking panicked.

Admittedly, I was getting really nervous. Derrick is usually super calm, so I had no idea what was going on. There was no way he was going to propose, I thought, even though this WOULD be the perfect place to do it…

Finally he led everyone out to the main hallway, just at the top of the stairs at the entrance of the Met. It’s a stunning spot: creamy marble, tall archways, gorgeous stairs. It was a great place to end the tour.

Metropolitan Museum of Art Proposal (8)

“I wanted to thank everyone for coming on Kate’s 30th Birthday Museum Hack tour,” he started to say as I waved off the speech I could see him gearing up for. I didn’t need a reminder that I was no longer in my 20s! “As you all know, Kate and I had our first date here several years ago.”

Metropolitan Museum of Art Proposal (7)

Metropolitan Museum of Art Proposal (9)

He grinned, and I started to get really shaky. He said he was looking forward to more dates at the Met in our future, and frankly, for the rest of our lives. There was no place more New York, he told me, more sophisticated, more us that the Metropolitan Museum of Art. That this was the place he wanted to start the next chapter of our lives.

With that, he dropped to one knee, revealed the box he’d been hiding all night long, and asked me to spend the rest of her life with him. Of COURSE I accepted.

Metropolitan Museum of Art Proposal (4)

Metropolitan Museum of Art Proposal (5)

Metropolitan Museum of Art Proposal (11)

Special Thanks

Dennis Cahlo
Photography