Melissa and Andrew

Melissa's Proposal in Marriott Harbor Beach (Fort Lauderdale, FL)

How We Met

Andrew and I met through a mutual best friend (Amy) when I was living in New York City. She begged me to come down to the bar to meet him and a few other friends for drinks and I agreed. Fast forward 7 months later, I had moved back to South Florida and was attending the same graduate school that Andrew was. He was in his second year of law school and I was in my first year of graduate school pursuing a doctorate in psychology. I saw him on campus in the parking lot and went over to say hi. About a week later on my birthday, he slid into my DMs and asked me to get a drink. Amy told him I’d probably say no, but he tried anyway. After many attempts, and me coming up with excuses each time, he finally got that first date on March 13, 2015. Not long after, we were inseparable. My dog, Bernie, and I soon began spending most of our time at Andrew’s and weekends were spent jet skiing at his parents’ house or taking short trips to our favorite places like Naples, Orlando, and NYC. We got another dog, Penelope, and our little family was complete. Shortly after Andrew graduated law school in 2016, we moved in together and the rest is history.

Melissa and Andrew's Engagement in Marriott Harbor Beach (Fort Lauderdale, FL)

How He Asked

Andrew knew I wanted to finish my degree before getting engaged and boy, he didn’t waste any time. June 15th was my graduation from graduate school. Both of our families and my closest friends attended graduation that morning and I knew Andrew had surprise dinner reservations at 6:30 pm that night. I had an inkling that the proposal was coming because my mom was in town from her summer retreat to North Carolina and my siblings were all in town. And, to top it all off, we had planned an extravagant trip to Lake Tahoe, Napa Valley, and San Francisco for the following Monday (a.k.a. the perfect engagement/graduation-moon).

We left our apartment around 6:15 pm and he drove to the Marriott Harbor Beach. I was confused, as there was no restaurant in the hotel that we had not already been to (he told me it was a new restaurant I’d never eaten at). We walked by the pool and up to the pool bar where an attendant approached us and asked, “6:30 reservation?” Andrew acted perplexed as if it was shocking that the attendant knew who he was. She walked us around the pool deck and down a boardwalk to the beach, where there was a candlelit dinner under a tiki hut with a photographer taking pictures. I said to him with excitement and confusion, “Andrew, there’s a photographer”. He replied, “That’s not for us.” He’s not a very good liar.

As we walked towards the beach it began drizzling and Andrew had a smile on his face with a hint of mischief. He pulled me back as I went to sit down at the table covered in shells, candles, and pictures of the two of us. After he proposed and I said yes, we had a mini photo shoot with the photographer followed by a four-course meal. Andrew knew I wanted my mom to be with me on the day of my proposal so naturally, the first question I asked after saying yes was, “Where’s my mom?!” Andrew had our families on call and after I said yes, they all got in their cars and drove to the hotel.

Once we finished eating, we met everyone at the bar for a drink. Our closest friends joined us about an hour later. Better yet, after assuring me there were NO more surprises, I turned around to find my other best friend, Mia, standing in front of me as she flew in from NYC to celebrate. The next day, we had a huge graduation party at Andrew’s parents’ house that was a prelude to our real engagement party. So, I not only walked away, that Friday, with a doctorate degree, but I got my dream fiancee and future husband.

Special Thanks

Andrea Harborne
Photographer
Society Romance
Planning
Marriott Harbor Beach
Hotel/Proposal Location