Stephanie and Sean

Engagement Proposal Ideas in Clark Botanical Gardens

How We Met

Sean and I met back in college while working at the same local hardware store on Long Island, New York. Our class schedules were close enough that we basically had the same work schedule. We got to know each other by talking about music and concerts. One day I mentioned that there was a concert I wanted to go to, but I had no one to go with. Thinking he was just being gentlemanly, I accepted his offer to accompany me. March 7th, 2013. I’ll never forget this day because it was half a disaster. The weather report was snow and we had to get to a venue that was 45 minutes away. I picked him up and we drove out to Stony Brook College to see a band called Wakey!Wakey!. When we got there we couldn’t even find the venue, so we probably wondered around the campus for about 20 minutes or more before we finally found it. Finally we got to the door, and the bouncer looks at us and asks for ID. It was a 21 and older venue and we were only 19 and 20 at the time. It had just started to snow a bit at this point and knowing where we came from he let us in anyway. After the show, we met Michael Grubbs (the lead singer/pianist) and took our first picture together. We got back into the car and had to drive through what was now a terrible snow storm. Luckily, we both made it home safe that night and on top of it all I had driven home with a flat tire. Needless to say it was the start of something wonderful and I wouldn’t want that day to go any different.

Wedding Proposal Ideas in Clark Botanical Gardens

How He Asked

Back in August of 2016 Sean decided that I was going to be the one he wanted to marry. I probably didn’t find out until the fall of 2016 when we actually discussed it. I wanted to marry him at that point too, but wanted it to happen sooner rather than later. We agreed that the summer of 2017 would be the perfect time to get engaged. From that point on, he started to plan everything out. When 2017 hit I started asking a lot of questions because I was anxious. He did very well keeping all the secrets he had to himself. He just kept telling me that he had to get all of his ducks in order. Sean started in September 2016, working on a proposal that would bring me to tears. First he contacted Michael Grubbs of Wakey! Wakey!, the guy from our first date, to perform a private show for us. Once Michael Grubbs gave him a date that worked, Sean needed the most important part..The Ring!

It took a total of three and a half months he said, to pick out and customize the perfect ring. With the main two out of three ducks in order he still needed a place to propose. He called three places before Clark Botanical Gardens in Nassau county agreed to host the proposal. It was the beginning of June by the time everything was ready to go. Now my friend was just recently engaged and was starting the wedding dress shopping process. They decided that the best cover to get me out of the house was to take me dress shopping. Sean had a few other little ducklings to get in line, but the plan had taken shape and we both were starting to get anxious. The Day – Her side The day finally came I left in the morning with my group of friends to go dress shopping. They made sure we are all dressed nice that day because “that’s what you do when you go dress shopping.” It was a pretty good cover to make sure I looked my best.

Toward the end of the appointment the employee who was helping us came over and said we had won a contest that my friend had signed us up for. It turned out to be a gift certificate for lunch at Novita Wine Bar which was around the corner from us. On our way out of the dress store I noticed something on the side view mirror of the car. A little yellow rubber duck was sitting right there. We headed to the Novita in hopes of getting a table. Little did I know Sean had already been there and organized everything. When we arrived they told us they had a table for us and as they brought us to the table I noticed another little yellow rubber duck. Toward the end of our meal our waiter comes with the check, we pay with the gift card and she comes back with an envelope and hands it to me. She says you have a secret admirer over there at the bar, and she points to a random spot. After she leaves I open the envelope and it’s a gift card to Pink (my favorite store.)

Toward the end of lunch my friend who’s recently engaged says she’d like to stop at two gardens on the way home. She says she wants to scout out places to get engagement photos taken because she never did them. First, we head to Old Westbury Gardens which is right up the road. We walked around some of the grounds, in and out of the gardens and the pools. At this point I’m just waiting for this to happen and I’m looking everywhere and there’s just nothing happening. My friend says she is good and wants to move on to the next spot. We got back into the car and headed to Clark Botanical Gardens. We pull up to the gardens and park in the parking lot nothing seemed out of place, but what did I see as we were walking in? My best friend’s fiancé just lounging on a bench! He greets us and then gives me another duck. Somehow he gets us to walk away without him and we continue on our way through the park.

My friends led me around the right side of the gardens and finally…Sean was standing under a gazebo. My friends ran off around the corner and Sean gives me another little yellow rubber duck and says, “How was your day so far?” As I answer he steps down and pulls out a photo of us from our first date. He asks “Do you remember this day?” He asked me a bunch of other silly questions. Then he asks me if I would like to go for a walk and we start our way down a path. My heart is pounding at this point because I know it’s only a matter of minutes at this point. We turn down another path that was a little to the left of us and I start to hear music. It’s oddly familiar but I can’t put my finger on it. At this point I’m purely overwhelmed and stunned. I didn’t even notice our families or Michael Grubbs! He leads me down a path of rose petals to the spot he picked out which has rose pedals in the shape of a heart. He gets through his proposal speech, he begins to kneel down.

Reaching into his pocket he pulls out this beautiful wooden box with to roses on it. I’m staring at the box. He’s staring at me with a huge smile. His hand moves toward the lid of the box. I lost it. I’m crying, the box opens. He’s looking back up at me. The ring sparkles. He asks, “Will you marry me?” I had the plan to joke with him and say no, but I can’t help but say yes. As I hug and kiss him, Michael Grubbs continues to play what we consider our song, “Wake Up (Lilly I love you)”. After all the emotions settled I finally noticed Michael, our friends and our families. Everyone else is in tears and hugging. My dad pulls out a bottle of champagne for a toast and along with the toast my sister and future mom made cookies for us to snack on. Michael Grubbs then goes on to play a private show for us while we eat, and take pictures. To end the day Sean had also organized a dinner for everyone involved.

Where to Propose in Clark Botanical Gardens

The Day – His Side By the time this day came I had waited almost 11 months to ask Stephanie to Marry me. I was beyond anxious leading up to it. Saturday, the day before, I went out to get all the gift cards. One for lunch the next day and one for her little shopping spree. Later that afternoon I headed to the dress shop where Stephanie and her friends were going to. I dropped off the gift card they were going to “win” the next day. With the first gift card in place I was all set for Sunday. I got little to no sleep Saturday night into Sunday and then it was time to put a little magic in her day and I was going to record it all! First thing Sunday Morning, after Stephanie and her friends left for the dress shop, I went out to place the rubber duck on the car. My next step was to get to Novita before they did to drop off the next gift card.

Stephanie and Sean's Engagement in Clark Botanical Gardens

I explained what was going on they were more than happy to help. I had them put the rubber duck on the table and then headed over to the mall. Her friend’s Fiancé, my brother and I went to check in on Clark Gardens. We got there and walked through the plan one more time and watched as the tables were starting to get set up. After that we headed over to the mall to have lunch and wait for the girls to arrive. Little did we know, Stephanie wasn’t going to want to go shopping. We spent around one and a half hours in the mall fooling around. After we found out that they weren’t coming it was almost time for the big moment so we headed to Clark Gardens to finish setting everything in place. I got the cameras set up and then Michael Grubbs came. We set him up in the right spot and then we waited for the girls to come. Honestly this was probably the shortest 15-20 minutes of my life. When they finally arrived everyone went to the picnic tables, I headed to the gazebo and my brother took his spot with the video camera. When Stephanie finally arrived I couldn’t stop smiling like an Idiot. I gave her the last duck blurted out something silly and asked her if she would like to go for a walk. SHORTEST WALK OF MY LIFE.

I could barely contain my excitement; I was shaking. I was also trying to figure out what to say when I was on one knee and my brain just wasn’t working. As we got to the spot where we would stand I crossed my fingers, looked Stephanie in the eyes, held back my tears of excitement, and went to get down on one knee. I said my piece, went to get down on one knee, took out her ring box, opened it, and said those magic words, “Will You Marry Me?” Finally! All the anxiety was gone! We made it through the cookies, the toast, the pictures and headed to dinner with our families. All the while Michael was playing our favorite songs in the background. That night I had my brother upload all the video from that day so I could finish editing the video I was making her so we could post it the as soon as possible and make us “Facebook Official”. Overall the stressful process of organizing everything was 1000% worth it. It was a perfect day and a day she will never forget. My goal was to have a story, something that we would enjoy telling over and over again. I wanted to give her the WOW factor because she is everything to me and I never want that to change. Video Link.