Molly and Brandon

Molly and Brandon's Engagement in The Arboretum in Ann A

How We Met

Two years ago, we met in the Michigan Marching Band when we found ourselves planning a “mixer” for the alto saxophone and drumline sections. We began to Facebook message about party logistics, but found ourselves talking about much more. He made me laugh with his dad jokes, sarcasm, and silliness.

I wasn’t sure I was interested in a relationship during that time but Brandon changed that. He asked me out on a date and eventually I said yes (SO happy I did!). We went to see a musical (Brandon hates musicals, but he did it for me) and it could not have gone better! I thought Brandon’s presence was magnetic. He was handsome, he was funny, and he was kind. Talking to him was the easiest thing in the world.

Soon, I wanted to see Brandon all the time because something about his presence felt like home. Brandon told me he had known from the moment he met me that he wanted to make me happy, and now that was becoming his every day goal. After meeting him, there was no scenario I could picture in my head of a future without him in it. No matter what, he was always there. Brandon says that felt like he knew me his whole life. Somewhere inside, he says, I had always been there, he just couldn’t remember who I was. Like when you’re trying to figure out an actor from a movie, and it’s right on the tip of your tongue. As soon as you see them, you remember. As soon as he saw me, he remembered it was me.

I began writing my vows to Brandon a month into our relationship because by then, I knew he was the one. I wanted to remember how I felt when Brandon first asked me to be his girlfriend and when he first said I love you, a month later (Hint: bursting with joy!).

Brandon says he knew very quickly after meeting me that I was the one. He knew he wanted to marry me, and began making plans to buy a ring. He told me that keeping that secret from me was the hardest thing he has ever had to do, and he is so glad he will never have to keep anything from me again!

Every part of our relationship has felt natural. Natural in its beginning, natural in its growth from like to love, and natural in our decision to spend our lives together!

How He Asked

We frequently picnic at the Arboretum in Ann Arbor. It is a beautiful, heavily wooded area with running trails through the trees and a large open field, perfect for picnics. On Saturday, June 17th, I thought Brandon and I were going on a typical date to the Arb. I packed a picnic lunch and a blanket. Brandon brought his soccer ball, a frisbee, and a football. This time, however, Brandon really wanted to be there at 11am, no exceptions, because “it might rain.”

We threw the frisbee around like normal (Which is terribly–we can barely make 20 passes in a row). I impressed Brandon with my incredible soccer skills (Somehow kicking as hard as I can and it still only moving three feet in front of me.) Everything was going the way it goes when we go on picnics. However, Brandon kept checking his phone because he was worried about the “rain.”

When we sat down to take a break from the various sport activities, we laid back on the blanket and looked at the clouds. Brandon said he had a present for me and I was confused, not expecting this gift out of nowhere. First, there was her favorite Capri Sun, the same one Brandon got me a week after they met. Brandon turned towards his bag to give me a box wrapped with a bow. I unwrapped the present underneath to find a beautiful Shinola watch I had wanted for the longest time but said I could never afford. I was overwhelmed with this thoughtful, over-the-top gift and she I put it on immediately, thanking him profusely. “What’s the occasion?” I asked.

Just then, a couple and their dogs walked by and I, who loves dogs more than most humans, ran after them to pet them. Brandon, still on his knees, had the ring in his hand. I was completely unaware of what was happening.

When I got back to him, Brandon said, “You know, Shinola writes personalized messages for everyone who buys one of their watches. Look in the box.” I leaned down to look in the box to find a note, in Brandon’s writing, which said, “Now it’s time to begin our adventure.” I looked down at him, puzzled, and Brandon pulled out the engagement ring box and opened it. I was immediately shocked. I dropped the note and was overwhelmed with emotions about my feelings for Brandon and the insanely perfect ring he was presenting me with. He said some very incredible, moving words and then asked the question, “Molly Mae, will you marry me?”

Marriage Proposal Ideas in The Arboretum in Ann A

I said yes and tears welled up in my eyes. After sweet moments of hugging and kissing, Brandon encouraged me to call my mom. I FaceTimed her to tell her the news, overflowing with happiness. Brandon said, “You know, it would be really nice if your mom brought some champagne over.” I said, “What? She can’t she’s at home….” but my words faded as Brandon turned me around to see our families walking towards us with champagne and glasses. He wasn’t worried about the “rain” at all, he was just making sure everything was going to go according to plan.

It was perfect.

Special Thanks

Heather Jowett
Photographer