Sarah and Christian

How We Met

I would say the way we met was love at first sight, but it would be more accurate to say it was love at first swipe… That’s right, we met on Tinder! It was the summer before my senior year at San Diego State University and Christian was spending a few weeks at home in San Diego after graduating from the U.S. Air Force Academy. After messaging back and forth for a few days, I agreed to go on a date. We went mini golfing at a boardwalk amusement park, then we shared a Dole Whip soft serve ice cream. I thought it was a pretty good date, except the entire time Christian thought I absolutely hated him! When he tells the story now I think it’s hilarious, but not an unfair assumption given my perpetual RBF.

We spent almost every day together after that going to the beach, the Del Mar horse races and country concerts, until Christian had to move to Texas to begin work a few weeks later. Even though I had spent the entire summer saying I would never agree to a long-distance relationship, one day after he left we decided we officially were going to start one. We saw each other about once a month those first few months. Either Christian would come back to California for a weekend, or I would visit Denver, San Antonio, or wherever his training took him. After about 6 months, Christian found out he would be leaving Texas, and was able to move back to California just a few hours away from me at school and home!

How He Asked

I have known I wanted to work in the hospitality and event industry since I was 16 and after getting a degree in Hospitality & Tourism Management, it was no secret I have always had wedding plans on my mind. I am a textbook Type-A personality and was pretty particular about the way I wanted my proposal to be. I also love New York City, so when Christian mentioned we should go to New York during my spring vacation from work, I knew the proposal was coming. I travel full time for my job, so we flew in from different cities and met at our Airbnb. I had absolutely no idea what the plans were for the trip and as a hyper-organized planner-type, it was torture!

Proposal Ideas Bethesda Terrace in Central Park, NY, NY

After the first two days, I figured it was definitely going to happen because he told me we were heading to Central Park, which is my favorite place in the city and he insisted we had to be on time. I started to put on the pink dress I had bought specifically to get engaged in and he mentioned some reason I should wear another dress instead. I was a little thrown off, but I knew he was aware I wanted to have engagement photos taken, so I figured he thought I would want to take pictures in the other dress tomorrow. He had planned for us to take a horse-carriage ride through the park and I was convinced it was going to happen and acted so awkwardly during the entire ride. After it ended and we started heading to the next thing on the itinerary, the Museum of Natural History, I started to realize it wasn’t going to happen that day.

Marriage Proposal Ideas in Bethesda Terrace in Central Park, NY, NY

The next day, he told me we were going to the New York Public Library. I wore my pink dress and was told we were on a “relaxed” schedule today. When we arrived, we looked around the genealogy section before trying to find the main reading room. After going up a few flights of stairs, we finally found the McGraw Rotunda and Rose Main Reading Room. We walked around the reading room, then went back out to the rotunda. Christian was checking his phone and started saying how he wanted to find a book a professor had told him he had to find on U.N. treaties (he was a legal studies major in college) and that it was in the Rose Main Reading Room. I said we should look it up in the catalogue on the computer because there were thousands of books in the room, but he didn’t think we needed to. I thought this might be due to the same reason that men stereotypically don’t ask for directions and I kept saying we needed to look it up, but he insisted we shouldn’t. I got the feeling he was up to something, so I followed him back around the room until he went right up to a bookcase and pulled out a black scrapbook. He opened the cover and it said “Christian and Sarah’s Adventure Book,” a nod to the scrapbook in “Up.” I was so confused as to how it got there and he said we should go somewhere special to read it, namely, Bethesda Fountain in Central Park. Since I knew what was going to happen, we took our time getting to the park and saw the last of what we wanted to at the NYPL before heading uptown. He kept nervously checking his phone and saying that I couldn’t look at the scrapbook until we got there.

Sarah's Proposal in Bethesda Terrace in Central Park, NY, NY

Music groups regularly perform under the Bethesda Terrace arcade, and it just so happened that when we arrived at the fountain, the group there that day was singing “All of Me” by John Legend. We began looking through the scrapbook and it was organized to have a page for each event in our relationship, titled “The One With…” after our favorite tv show to watch together, Friends. He had kept mementos like tickets and brochures, from almost everything we had done together to add to the scrapbook. The last page said, “The One with the Next Big Adventure” and a blank space for a photo. I am extremely emotional and cry at almost anything happy or sad, but I was so calm during the whole thing up until that point I was worried I wouldn’t cry at all! It was then that he began giving his proposal speech and I instantly started crying. He got down on one knee and I finally saw the ring I had spent months deciding on and designing and I said yes right away!

As we kissed, I noticed a photographer run up to us with her camera. She had been working with my best friend and Christian to plan the whole proposal and she had planted the scrapbook in the library. Having photos was extremely important to me, so we spent the next hour or so taking pictures around Central Park. It was around 30 degrees and a snowstorm was due the next day, but it was worth it to me to go all around the park in just my dress and heels! After pictures, we had afternoon tea at The Plaza Hotel, which was a dream come true to me as a hospitality and Gossip Girl fanatic! Not to mention, it’s where Monica, Chandler and the gang celebrated Monica and Chandler’s engagement on Friends. After tea, we met our photographer again to go to the Top of the Rock Observation Deck. It was the perfect Pinterest-worthy conclusion to my proposal day! You could say my obsessive planning paid off! I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect day and of course, I am so excited to begin wedding planning!

Sarah and Christian's Engagement in Bethesda Terrace in Central Park, NY, NY

Special Thanks

Danielle Ridge
Photographer
Infinity's Song
Music Group performing during the proposal (Not hired, but made the moment so much more special!)