Sarah and Greg

How We Met: Sarah- The first time we met was at a Halloween party at my apartment. Greg came dressed as “Green man” and I was Belle from Beauty and the Beast. Right off the bat we found ourselves gravitating toward each other and we spent most of the night talking to each other. However, Greg ended up leaving early to attend another event and I thought that was the last I would ever see of him.

Greg- Over the next two weeks I harassed our mutual friend, Angel, to help set up our next meeting since I was too shy to ask for Sarah’s number at Halloween. My opportunity came when Angel and her roommates planned to host a pre-Thanksgiving dinner party. Once again, we spent most of the night off in a corner by ourselves talking just to each other.

Sarah- On December 11, 2012. Greg and I went on our first official date! With some secret suggestions from Angel, Greg made reservations at an awesome sushi restaurant in the city called Pod. I had no idea at the time, but Greg didn’t even like sushi. Dinner turned out to be fabulous and Greg discovered that he LOVED sushi. It’s still one of his favorite foods even today!

Greg- After dinner Sarah and I walked back to my car only to realize that neither of us remembered where I had parked (we’ll blame it on first date nerves).We ended up wandering around for a while, talking and holding hands the whole time. I dropped Sarah off at her apartment after an awkward yet butterfly-inducing goodbye kiss- and as they say, the rest is history!

How He Asked: Sarah- In the weeks leading up to our proposal I had been subtly dropping hints to Greg that I was ready to be married. I never missed a chance to point out a friend’s engagement on Facebook and would occasionally ask Greg what he saw in our future. I even had the good luck to receive a ring sizing kit in the mail. I also found myself daydreaming a lot about getting married , looking at rings on BlueNile and gowns on Pinterest. I had a feeling that it was coming soon, but at the same time I was a little nervous that Greg was having difficulties planning out such an important event.

Greg- I am admittedly not the best planner. I tend to focus on the bigger picture and inevitably forget one of the minor details. That’s why even though I bought Sarah’s engagement ring in January, I didn’t end up proposing until the end of March. I was fairly confident she would like the ring I had chosen since I knew her style (the Blue Nile banner ads on my laptop also didn’t hurt).

I was also fairly certain she would say yes, but I wanted to come up with a great and memorable proposal that would go off without a hitch. During my 2 months of proposal planning, I went over countless ideas until I came up with the perfect plan. I spent weeks rehearsing in my mind and making sure all of the pieces were in place. The night before the proposal I went to bed feeling confident and excited for the following day.

Sarah- On the day of the proposal, Greg and I planned to meet his sister, Christie, and her boyfriend, Greg, in the city. We organized a double date that consisted of going to one of our favorite restaurants, Belgium Café, and a trip to the Franklin Institute. At about 11:30, Greg texted to let me know that he changed our reservations to a very fancy restaurant call the Water Works. I immediately became suspicious and sent Christie a message to ask her if she knew about the plans. Christie responded right away and said yes, we can’t wait. So… maybe this wasn’t the proposal after all?

Regardless, Greg changed the reservation to a fancy restaurant and I was dressed in my casual Friday work attire. BIG NO! At lunch I ran to a store a bought a pair of heals so I would look somewhat put together. Right before the end of the day, Christie texted us to let us know her dog had gotten sick and she wouldn’t be able to come to dinner but would meet us at the Franklin Institute instead. My detective skills were heightened again, this has to be the proposal! I reapplied some makeup and fixed my hair (a girl can never be too prepared) and walked to meet Greg outside of my work where he was picking me up.

Greg- On the day of the proposal, I was more nervous than I previously thought possible. It was strange to me, that I had spent so much time planning the big day with nothing but excitement and when it was finally upon me I was a nervous wreck. I remember waking up and going to my half day at work in a blur, oblivious to the world around me while I rehearsed for the millionth time popping the question. It was during one of these mental run-throughs that realized I had forgotten one pesky detail.

See, my proposal depended a lot on being outside and in the correct spot just at sunset to get the lighting right. However, shortly before the actual proposal daylight savings had come and gone meaning that my sunset proposal was now going to take place in late afternoon, making the sky too bright. I could not believe my whole plan was potentially crumbling before me. I made some panicked phone calls to my partners in crime (namely my sister and a photographer friend) who were able to calm me down and help me make some adjustments to the plan. When noon came I set off for the city feeling nervous yet hopeful that everything would still work out ok.

Sarah- When Greg picked me up from Temple, he seemed calm as a cucumber. While we drove to the restaurant I interrogated him for details on why he changed the plans (I should probably mention that I hate surprises. Even as a little girl I use to find my Christmas presents, unwrap them and rewrap them. I know- I’m weird). He seemed to have an answer for everything but I was still a little suspicious. We ate an amazing dinner at the Water Works, I had the filet and Greg had the salmon. Throughout our entire dinner, Christie kept texting us with updates.

When she sent a message that she was at the Franklin Institute, my heart dropped. I was really expecting that this was it, after tonight we would be engaged. Greg immediately knew something was wrong and I even started to tear up. When I explained that I concocted in my head that tonight, he was going to propose, he responded in his usual way: it will happen when it happens! After finishing desert (Crème Brule, my favorite!) we left the restaurant. Greg asked me to go on walk with him, and I thought he was just trying to cheer me up.

Greg- When I picked Sarah up from her job at Temple, I thought someone had ratted me out and she knew everything. She was standing on the corner of Broad St, and it was immediately obvious that since I had last seen her she had reapplied her makeup, redone her hair, and the bag in her hands led me to believe she had even gone out and gotten new shoes. I would have to rely on my sister to be extra-convincing with our double date charade to throw her off. The plan was to go to a nice dinner at the Water Works, then go for a stroll along the gazebo and gardens behind the Art Museum.

Aside from the beautiful scenery, Sarah and I had frequently taken walks down there when we lived in the city so that area will always have a special place in our hearts. Because of this, I thought it would be the perfect proposal spot. While at dinner I had a photographer arrange little tea light candles to spell out marry me, which is why the sunset lighting was so important.

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The sky had to be dark enough that the candles would be visible yet bright enough that our pictures would turn out ok. Dinner was going smoothly until we were eyeing the dessert menu. My sister had been periodically texting Sarah her “status”, and after one such text I noticed that Sarah looked upset.

She explained that after all of these special plans I had made for the day she had gotten her hopes up and thought I was going to propose, but my sister’s messages had convinced her otherwise. I felt guilty, excited, and worried all at the same time but what could I do? I told her it would happen when it happens and excused myself to the bathroom. I let the photographer know we were coming out, came back to our table and asked Sarah to take a walk with me.

Sarah- As we left dinner I was still a little upset, but was still excited for the night ahead and thinking that Greg would propose eventually. We left the restaurant and began walking on the path alongside the river. As we neared the gazeebo that used to be “our spot” I noticed a woman that seemed sort of out of place. As we got closer the woman pulled out a camera and started snapping photos. That’s when I knew something was up.

Greg- The walk from the restaurant to the gazebo only took a minute or so but it felt like an eternity. To me, it was like watching your favorite movie with someone that has never seen it; I was more interested in watching intently for Sarah to react than actually taking in the moment for myself. As we walked, my anxiousness grew. How could she not see all these candles?!?! They were clear as day!!!

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Why isn’t she freaking out yet?! As we walked closer to the gazebo, I could feel my palms start to get a little sweaty as I held her tiny hand. We reached a point where the photographers recognized us and started taking pictures, and that’s when she finally knew. I’ll never forget that moment, as Sarah covered her mouth with her hands, said “Oh, SHIT” and started crying.

Sarah- To be honest, the last few moments of the proposal are a blur to both of us. I stood frozen, overcome with emotion and not knowing what to do. Greg took me by the hand and led me the last few steps into the gazeebo. He took my by both hands, and told me how much he loved me and that he wanted to spend the rest of our lives together. Unfortunately we were both so worked up we can’t remember exactly what he said. He later told me that he had a whole speech memorized by heart but forgot it the instant he actually needed to say the words and ended up coming up with a new one on the fly.

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He got down on one knee and asked me to marry him, slipping the most perfect and incredible ring onto my finger. I was so happy to finally be engaged to the man of my dreams and even happier because I could tell how much time and care Greg had put into the proposal to show how much he loved me.

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With the proposal, Greg made me the happiest I had ever been in my whole life and I still I tear up sometimes when I think about our magical moment. I will treasure the pictures and memories that we have of that moment for ever.

Greg- Sarah and I sat outside for the next hour or so, reliving our magical moment and calling our loved ones to spread the good news. The outpouring of love we received from our friends and family was incredible, and put a cherry on an already incredible night. We were, are, and forever will be incredibly grateful for all of the love and support we have received.

Major photo credits and a huge thank you go to our wonderful photographer, Tom Harmon.

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Photos by: Tom Harmon