McKinley and Ben

How We Met

We first met at Duke University during their Last Day of Class (LDOC) celebrations. I don’t remember meeting him, but he remembers meeting me and exactly what I had on. A year later, he started medical school at UNC Chapel Hill where I was a senior in college. After talking to my older sorority sister and mutual friends, Ben wanted to officially meet me, in a setting where I would remember him. He had my sorority sister invite me to a speed dating event, unbeknownst to me that I would be meeting him. It never snows in North Carolina but it did on the day that the speed dating event was scheduled and the event was canceled. After multiple times of him trying to find and meet me, we finally met on Franklin St. (a popular street in Chapel Hill, NC with bars and food) during cinco de mayo celebrations. The same sorority sister that invited me to the speed dating event was there to officially introduce us.

How He Asked

We went to Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic to celebrate his graduation from medical school and my best friends’ graduation from pharmacy school. She also brought her boyfriend who has been friends with us since undergrad. We decided that we were going to have one nice dinner where we would dress up and take pictures. As we got to the beach to take pictures, I noticed a private dinner table set up on the beach. I thought it would be fun to pretend that it was our table, thinking that we had reservations in the restaurant. At the same time, our friend stated that he had to go back to the room to change his shirt for the pictures because it had gotten sweaty while walking to the beach. After they left, Ben led me down to the table and asked if I would believe that the table was really our table. In disbelief I said no, before seeing that our names were on the menu e. We had just sat down to enjoy the meal when he pulled out his iPad. He had made a 12 minute video documenting our almost three year relationship. After the video, he returned to his seat across the table and said, “One more thing. I know you want me to talk to your Dad. What if I told you I already talked to your parents?” I immediately started crying. He then handed me my grandmother’s ring, sans diamond. He then showed me the diamond-less ring that belonged to my mother. Finally, he got down on one knee with a custom made ring from my grandmother and mother’s diamond rings that I always dreamed of and asked the question. I was crying too hard to answer. He placed the ring on my finger and reminded me that I needed to say “yes,” and I did. Our friends, who had really been hiding behind a beach side shack, came running out with the camera to capture the moment.

Marriage Proposal Ideas in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

McKinley and Ben's Engagement in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

Special Thanks

Lynsey Parker | 
Videographer
Bo Nebolisa | 
Photographer