Missy and Sean

Engagement Proposal Ideas in Woodland Park Zoo, Seattle, Washington

How We Met

In junior high school I had a big crush on this older boy in my choir, Sean. He was goofy, had an adorable laugh and was an amazing dancer. He gave me butterflies. I didn’t have a lot of friends, as I was painfully shy, so I was thankful that he never caught me staring at him. Our director paired us together as dance partners for an upcoming concert. I never gained the courage to actually speak to him, so I went about my business trying to perfect the dance. During the concert, Sean danced so exuberantly that I burst into laughter and decided to just have fun with it. A few years later and I’m just a sophomore in high school.

I gained a friend, Michelle, and she invited me to have lunch with her and her friends in the choir room. I was standing by the door feeling nervous that her friends wouldn’t accept me. When she opened the door, there was my forgotten crush, Sean! I didn’t speak much to him, but I made friends with the other people in the group. I dated a couple of boys throughout the year, but those relationships never lasted very long. In September of the same year, I was getting over a recent break up and decided I didn’t want to date until college.

My choir sang at an event and afterwards we went back to another friend’s house for fireworks and a bonfire. I sat next to Sean and for the first time, he began to talk to me. I began to remember why I liked him all those years ago. He was charming, funny, and had an infectious laugh. The butterflies were back and we effortlessly fell into a strong friendship. We were flirting during youth group at my church when my friend pulled me aside and asked me if I liked him. Finally, I spilled.

Missy and Sean's Engagement in Woodland Park Zoo, Seattle, Washington

I told her all about the butterflies I felt in my stomach when he spoke directly to me or sent me a text while I was studying. Dating until college was long forgotten! In October, our friends attended Michelle’s birthday party and Sean and I were glued to the hip all night. It was close to midnight and Sean and I were laying by a tree, staring at the stars. At this point, I knew Sean liked me, but I wasn’t sure how to confirm our relationship. I turned to him and he held my hand, and that was it.

Proposal Ideas Woodland Park Zoo, Seattle, Washington

We knew this was going to be special. That night we were Facebook official, a pretty big deal back then! Six years later and we are still going strong. We’ve attended separate colleges, got involved in different extra-curriculars, and made new friends. He still gives me butterflies and I still cry when I have to leave him. In the Spring of 2016, Sean graduated college and got a job in Seattle, Washington, which was over 2,000 miles away from where I was still attending college in Indiana. We talked for hours about how we would see each other in four months and how quickly the time would go by. We talk every night on the phone and simultaneously watch movies and then discuss them afterward. I still get butterflies when I see his name appear on my screen. He is my best friend, my shoulder to lean on, and I am convinced that the world would fall apart without him.

Missy's Proposal in Woodland Park Zoo, Seattle, Washington

How He Asked

Four months passed by very quickly after Sean left for Seattle. I passed all of my finals and anxiously awaited Sean’s arrival in Indianapolis. The same group of friends from high school went with me to pick him up from the airport. Sean and I got to spend four whole days in Indiana until it was time for him to go back, only this time, I went with him! It was only for a visit, but I would be in Seattle for ten days. Those ten days turned into the best days of my life. Sean and I made it back to Seattle on Christmas day. We snuggled on the couch for the first time in months and watched movies. Everything was peaceful, everything was perfect. Days went by and we fell into a routine. I got to try out recipes and we shared in the success of my dinner recipes, and ate out when they weren’t so perfect. We explored Seattle for the first time together and went up in the space needle.

The morning of New Year’s Eve, I woke up feeling extremely excited. Sean bought us tickets to my favorite place in the world; the Zoo! I got dressed, we ate breakfast and talked about all the animals we were going to see. I was anxious about seeing the giraffes, my favorite exhibit and told Sean to be ready to take lots of photos! When we got to the Zoo, we stopped by one of those coffee carts so I could get a latte. We browsed through all the exhibits and I took a photo of Sean with every animal. Finally, we happened upon the giraffe exhibit. I took off to get a better look, Sean close behind me. The giraffes were being kept in a barn to protect them from the chilly weather, but they managed to peek their heads out so we were still able to get a good look at them. I took hundreds of photos of the giraffe and even made Sean takes pictures of me with them.

A few moments later, we stepped away from the giraffes and moseyed on down to the lion exhibit. We were looking at the lions when Sean turned to me and said, “Ya know, we never got my picture with the giraffes.” Not thinking much of it, I led Sean back to the giraffes. When we got there, a huge male giraffe walked out of the barn and over to where I was standing. Jumping up and down in my excitement, I pulled Sean in front of me so I could get his picture. As I was snapping away, I heard music behind me. I turned around to see three men I had never seen before, serenading me to Johnny Mathis’ Chances Are. Thinking it was a Zoo event, I turned to Sean, who just smiled and then began to sing with them.

I was completely stunned, and as a crowd began to form, I could feel my cheeks getting hot. I wracked my brain to figure out what Sean was up to, and when it hit me, I immediately began to cry. Chances Are was coming to a close and Sean lowered to one knee. I had completely lost it at this point and couldn’t catch my breath.

The song faded out as Sean pulled out the most beautiful ring I had ever seen and asked me to be his wife. This man got a barbershop quartet to sing to me in front of my favorite animal at my favorite place in the world. This man loved me. I could see my whole future in front of me, filled with his laughter and his unconditional love, so of course I said yes.

Special Thanks

Cory Olson | 
Photographer