Melodie and John

How We Met

John & I met when we were in 8th grade. It was a very simple friendship, just saying hello in passing. High school came along, and John ended up becoming best friends with my brother, DJ. John & DJ played football together at the school and after practice, the boys would come to our house to hang out. John was a quiet/shy kind of guy, so whenever he was over, he’d laugh with DJ, but nothing more. After a while, I noticed John would stare at me a little longer than normal (which really creeped me out sometimes) and I noticed he was kind of awkward when he spoke to me. Though it was creepy, I thought it was kind of cute to see him in this way.

Engagement Proposal Ideas in The Franklin Institute Rooftop- Philadelphia, PA

Melodie's Proposal in The Franklin Institute Rooftop- Philadelphia, PA

Melodie and John's Engagement in The Franklin Institute Rooftop- Philadelphia, PA

I ended up spending a lot of time with them, laughing and enjoying our youth, and my friendship with John soon turned into more. In 2010, John and I started dating, and we’ve been together ever since. We had an AMAZING high school experience. I was a cheerleader while he was a football player, we shared many mutual friends, and we had so much fun! Our senior year, we were crowned Homecoming King & Queen and were nominated for Prom King & Queen. John was my best friend, and he still is to this day.

How He Asked

John told me that he wanted to do something simple for my birthday, so he told me that he purchased a package from a hotel in Philadelphia that included many things such as a dining credit to the hotel, tickets to local museums, etc. I thought that would be a nice get-away weekend. He works in the city, so on that Friday, I drove to the city to meet him at the hotel. We met on his “lunch break” and got lunch at my favorite burger place, and while he “went back to work”, he told me to go back to the hotel and get dressed for the evening. He kept telling me that he didn’t know what he wanted to do/ which museum he wanted to visit, so we would just “go with the flow” once he got back to the room.

When I arrive back to the room, I see an envelope addressed to John that I remember seeing the person at the front desk give to him when we were checking in. I assumed that inside of that envelope were our tickets to the museum, dining credit, etc., so I opened it. I was correct, inside of the envelope were our tickets to the Franklin Institute, a letter from the hotel explaining the things that come in our “package” and another letter that I found interesting. The last letter in the envelope was from the Franklin Institute, that reads: “Hi John, Thank you for staying with our partner hotel. We look forward to seeing you at our Night Skies event tonight. Doors open at 6 pm. Get ready for the time of your life! -The Franklin Institute” I immediately started freaking out! This engagement has been a long time coming, and John is not a man of many secrets, so as soon as I saw this note I thought “OMG, he’s going to propose at this night skies event!”.

I googled what the event would entail and it was described as a romantic night under the stars with a bar and drinks. He had been telling me that he didn’t know what we were going to do that night, but that letter seemed like an official plan, to me! When he arrived back to the room, I wanted to feel him out. I didn’t want to get my hopes up all night for nothing to happen! I first asked him how his work day went, and if he had any plans for us tonight. He said that I could decide what we did because we had so many options. He still didn’t mention anything about a night skies event, so I thought for sure it was supposed to be a surprise. As I am still doing my hair, I ask: “I wonder if there is anything special going on over at the Franklin Institute?” In my mind I was thinking: If he lies and said that there is nothing going on, I would know for sure that he was going to propose. If he tells me about the Night Skies event, then its just a part of the hotel package, and I would know that he didn’t plan to propose at the Night Skies event. John replied: “I think they’re having some night skies event that came with the package. It says doors open at 6, so if you want to go, we’d better leave now.” My heart SANK.

He told me about the only thing that could’ve possibly been my surprise engagement! Since we didn’t really have anything to do and I thought the Night Skies event seemed somewhat interesting, I decided to go, but I was definitely taking my time. I was disappointed when we were walking to the museum because I thought I had it all figured out. We get on an elevator to take us to the rooftop. On the rooftop, was an aisle runner with red rose petals sprinkled, that led me to a table in the adjacent corner of the rooftop. Ed Sheeran’s “Perfect” was playing in the background. I was immediately brought to tears! I turned around to find John as I am in disbelief, but he was no where to be found! I follow the rose petals to the table to find 2 glasses of champagne, a plate of chocolate covered strawberries that said ‘Congratulations!’ and pictures of John with my closest family members.

I could barely see through all of the tears, but John still was not there! After some time when I was able to calm down and fix my makeup (that I worked really hard on :( ), John walked out and popped the question. It was the most beautiful moment of my entire life and I still can’t believe that this fairy tale happened to me.

After the proposal, he led me to the edge of the rooftop to see all of our closest family and friends waving and cheering from the ground below.

He told me that they would be waiting for us at the hotel for our engagement party following our precious time on the rooftop. At the hotel, we had drinks and hor d’oeuvres, while sharing the moment with some of our favorite people.

At the end of the night, when the party was over, John and I went back to our room where there was still one special surprise. When I entered the suite, there were candles and rose petals that led to the double doors of our bedroom. On the door had a sign that said “Why I Asked…”.

When I opened the doors, there were balloons with different titles written on them with pictures of John & I attached to the bottom that related to the title of the balloon. I was overwhelmed with emotion.

It was truly an indescribable moment. On the bed were boxes, with gifts such as t-shirts that said “Fiance” and coffee mugs that mention something about being engaged. My favorite gift in one of the boxes was a personalized necklace that had the date of the proposal engraved on the front, and the coordinates of The Franklin Institute engraved on the back. I couldn’t stop crying. My heart was so full. John made 7.7.17 the most precious night of my entire life. I am so happy to be his fiancé and I cannot wait until the day I will be his wife!

John was really excited to tell me how he pulled it off and who helped him get everything done, and he told me that he set me up! He knew that I would peek in the envelope from the hotel when he wasn’t there, and all of the letters that were in that envelope were fake! The hotel typed it up, but we didn’t have any package with special dining credit or museum tickets, it was all for show. He knew that I’d find the Night Skies event letter and think it was a special surprise since he hadn’t mentioned it, so he planned to bring it up in order to get me to the rooftop. I could not believe he knows me so well! I was so impressed.

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Special Thanks

Vikrant Tunious
Photographer