Jerek and Lauren's Romantic Proposal in Chicago
How we met: Jerek and I always say that we wish we met each other in a more romantic, exciting way and have tried to come up with ridiculous stories about how he “saved me from a runaway horse” or “we locked eyes with each other at a Starbucks while both reading the same book.” Sigh… alas we can never tell these ridiculous stories without cracking ourselves up. The truth is Jerek and I met on eHarmony. Jerek chose to sign up for eHarmony because he was looking to meet someone outside of the people he saw every day, “The women that surrounded me in my residency program, church and social life were not of interest to me, eHarmony was a great way for me see who else was out there!” For me, I was having lunch with my mama one day when she randomly exclaimed that she bought me a 3 month membership to eHarmony! I rolled my eyes with a “Mom, that’s not for me. I don’t want to meet someone online!” I met Jerek after a week of being on eHarmony, and much to my delight, he was on eHarmony for 8 months before he found me.
How he asked: Fast forward to a week ago (a year and nine months later from our first date)
It all started with my dear friend Carla who needed to go to the Argentinian embassy in Chicago to pick up some documents. Knowing full well that I would never pass up an opportunity to travel anywhere, she asked me if I would want to leave with her for a quick trip to Chicago… we’d leave Michigan early Friday morning, stay the night and then leave to make the 4 and a half hour drive back home the next day at noon. I was in!
The whole drive down she kept asking me things like, “What if he picks out a ring you don’t like, what would you do?!” and “Lauren, when do you think he’ll ask you!?” Now, Jerek had randomly told me about two weeks prior that he wanted to take us away on a mini get-a-way vacation to Washington D.C. at the end of February since I’d never been there before. He had asked me nervously (Jerek is a terrible liar) and repeatedly about the dates he was planning on taking me, making sure I was 100% certain my schedule was free. Also, every time I would ask him about the D.C. trip he would turn red and not be able to make eye contact with me… BINGO (I thought!) this is when he will propose! This will explain for the rest of the trip why I wasn’t, even for a second, suspicious of anything! So as girls do, we continued the rest of our drive discussing how we thought he might ask me in Washington D.C.
Carla had told me before we left on the trip to bring really dressy clothes because she made dinner reservations for us at4:30PM at the Trump Tower Hotel. So as it drew near that time we got dressed up to the nines and took a taxi to the Trump. As soon as we got to the Trump, Carla started acting so weird! She began to look around her nervously and was getting teary eyed and staring at her phone. I repeatedly asked her what was wrong to which she just replied in her thick Argentinian accent, “Lauren you know I just get so anxious when I’m in a big city!” This just made me even further confused since Carla has lived in big cities her whole life.
Anyways we got up the floor where our dinner reservations would be. The hostess asked us our names for the reservation and with a confused stare told us that there were no dinner reservations under those names. Completely confused and starting to get annoyed by how crazy Carla was acting I looked over at Carla but she was running off to the nearby bar exclaiming, “Lauren I just need a drink!” Rolling my eyes I followed her over to the bar and began asking the bartender what his recommendations were on some trendy restaurants nearby since obviously our previous plans hadn’t worked out. Meanwhile Carla continued to become more and more nervous and kept mumbling to herself about how, “life was just so beautiful” and that “OMG this is too much for me!” I kept asking her what was wrong but she would just shake her head and continue to get teary eyed and mumble to herself.
At this point a manager walked up to me at the bar and said, “Excuse me are you Ms. Lauren Bronson?” Startled I answered back that I was to which he replied, “Ms. Bronson good evening, we have a phone call for you in our business office, would you please follow me?” Happy to take a break from Carla and her meltdown and curious about who could possibly be calling me, I followed him. Before I left for Chicago, I told Jerek and my mom that we would be having dinner at the Trump at 4:30 so I figured it was one of them trying to get a hold of me.
As we went down the hallways and into the elevator I proceeded to ask the manager if he had any dinner recommendations for our evening, when all of a sudden he opened a door to a large ballroom, and there was my man.
Jerek stood at the back of the gorgeous room where the walls were completely glass showing the beautiful Chicago skyline. The lights of the room were dimmed and white rose petals, lanterns and turquoise candles (my favorite color) carved an aisle that led the way to Jerek. On either side of the aisle were the large posters on turquoise easels.
Completely and utterly shocked, I put my hands to my mouth and stared at Jerek, who was crying and whispering my name. I slowly walked down the aisle and began tearing up knowing that this was it! This was the moment!
Jerek outstretched his shaking hands towards me and I placed my shaking hands in his. Through tears streaming down his face he began to tell me all the reasons why he loved me so much and how he knew “beyond a shadow of a doubt” that I was the woman he wanted to spend the rest of his life and that “I was the greatest treasure he has ever had the honor to have and responsibility to protect.”
Now at this point, for whatever reason, all my tears and nerves and excitement decided to go straight to my right eyebrow and it began twitching non stop!!! Talk about killing a romantic moment! Obviously noticing my eyebrow having a conniption, Jerek started to laugh through his tears and I began to laugh through my tears. Ahh, something like this would happen to me! Finally my twitching right eyebrow stopped and Jerek picked up right where he left off…
Beginning to cry again, he grabbed my hands tightly and started to tell me his promises to me: “I promise to always pursue you all the days of our life. I promise to always continue to understand and know your heart at a deeper and deeper level. I promise to love you and help you soar.” He then began to get down on one knee… my heart began racing even faster… He pulled out a perfect velvety coated box…took my left hand in his… opened the box… where the most stunning ring I could ever imagine sat… and said, “Lauren, for all of these reasons, Lauren love of my life… will you marry me?”
I felt such immense peace, such hope for the future, such love for him. With my right hand over my mouth and tears down my face, I nodded my head and said, “yes.” With a big smile and (even more tears down his face) he placed the gorgeous ring on my finger, shot up and wrapped me in his arms. He then pulled me from him and took my hand with the ring on it and said, “The most important thing about this ring is the promise to you I had inscribed on it. It’s from Jeremiah 31:3 which is my promise to you, Lauren, which says, ‘I have loved you with an everlasting love, therefore I will always be faithful to you.’” He then cupped my face in his hands and kissed me.
It couldn’t have been more perfect. It couldn’t have been more meaningful. I was so completely surprised (the Washington D.C. trip was made up by the way, knowing I would think that’s when he was going to ask me, Jerek made the trip up so that I wouldn’t have any suspicion about my Chicago trip). I now realized that this was why my friend Carla had been crying and acting so strange all day. Jerek then told me that I wasn’t going back to Carla and my hotel room that night and that I wasn’t leaving the next morning to go back to Michigan with her. He had arranged for us to stay two nights at the Trump hotel so that we could just enjoy this time together.
Jerek said he had been on my Pinterest board for months and knew that I had always wanted a photographer to capture the moment when I would be proposed to… when all of a sudden comes Elizabeth Nord who had been capturing pictures of us the whole time! Then a woman who had also been standing by brought us a box of tissue and two glasses of champagne. Elizabeth gave us a moment alone and then came back and took the most wonderful pictures of us that we will always cherish.
And there you have it. That is my love story thus far. What an exhilarating, beautiful, scary, exciting and adventure filled journey we have ahead together!
Photos by Elizabeth Nord Photography