Summer and Kevin

How We Met

Our story starts like many others: a college romance emerged from friendship mixed with a few drinks and transformed into the love we share today. Almost seven years in, we’ve had the chance to reflect on the chapters of our story that have built a foundation to stand the test of time.

Summer and Kevin's Engagement in Ink 48 Kimpton Hotel, Manhattan, NY

It starts with an unsuccessful first kiss from Kevin a year before he finally convinced me it was a good idea, just in time for me to become his fraternity’s Sweetheart.

Engagement Proposal Ideas in Ink 48 Kimpton Hotel, Manhattan, NY

The story continues through almost every neighborhood in Denver, where we built a group of incredible friends who respected and helped solidify our relationship for the next four years. Before leaving Colorado, we moved in together and learned to test our love through home renovations, deciding on which city to move to, and finding new jobs across the country.

Where to Propose in Ink 48 Kimpton Hotel, Manhattan, NY

The test continued in our 350 square foot apartment in the East Village where we learned we loved New York for the same reasons we love each other; whenever one of us feels complacent, the other is there to challenge and make us better. The journey landed us in the West Village with a wonderful group of friends, a beautiful apartment, and a new place that we call home.

Proposal Ideas Ink 48 Kimpton Hotel, Manhattan, NY

Our next chapter is the story we will write for the rest of our lives and our wedding aims to bring it to life, celebrating everyone who has been and will continue to be part of our future together.

Wedding Proposal Ideas in Ink 48 Kimpton Hotel, Manhattan, NY

How He Asked

Four months prior — I was invited to a gala by our good friend (and bridesmaid!), Chesley, on Saturday, July 14th. The rouse was that her cousin knew the benefactors of the event and had extra tickets for Chesley to invite a few friends, but we had to RSVP right away. Ches sent over the (entirely fake) invitation, made up a dress code (“Manhattan chic”), and I said I’d, of course, be there.

A month and a half prior — My oldest best friend, Emma, called to surprise me on my birthday with a trip planned to visit NYC the weekend of July 14th. This was another ploy by Kevin to make sure I didn’t accept any other plans outside the city that weekend (as if a fabulous gala wasn’t enough!). I told Emma that was amazing, except I had the gala Saturday night, to which she made up a convincing lie about having to see her college friend’s art show opening in the city that same night, so it worked out perfectly.

A week before — Chesley plants the seed asking me if we should get our hair done together before the gala, and I have the idea to book Glamsquad at our apartment instead. (Note: thinking this is all my doing.)

The day before — I take the day off work to spend visiting with Emma in town. I even casually mention that, “I shouldn’t even verbalize this because it’s so irrational, but my brain has begun to betray me with crazy thoughts, like how it would have been a convenient time for Kevin to propose, since we’d be all dressed up for a gala and you’re in town…except that you wouldn’t be there because of the art show, and I feel like I would have had some inkling that it was close to happening.” And talked myself right down.

The day of — While Chesley, our friend Linzey, and I were getting ready, Daniel (groomsman and Chesley’s boyfriend, who had also been holding the ring for safekeeping) saved Kevin and the guys grab a beer to take the edge off. Once everyone’s ready, we pop some champagne and head to the gala, being held at the Ink 48 Hotel on the West Side.

5 minutes before — In the lobby, Chesley checks in the group at the front desk, then takes us aside and says that she has a surprise for us from her parents. (This felt accurate because we had just visited them the week before in Alabama.) We get in the elevator headed up to the roof and she has us all close our eyes when we walk out. I’m the only one who closes my eyes.

As I’m being led out of the elevator, the last thought I had was “this is a cruel level of surprise to be doing to someone who could be getting engaged this year,” then Chesley lets go of my hand, I open my eyes, and Kevin is down on one knee. In full body shock, I look over my shoulder and can see my family and friends who have flown in from Hawaii, London, Seattle, Denver, and up and down the East Coast to be there for the surprise of my life. I can barely register, but over the other shoulder is the most stunning view of the midtown skyline, and in front of me is the most perfect ring I’ve ever seen.

I say yes.

The night ensues with food, drinks, and dancing on the private rooftop until the party heads home and Kevin and I have the night to ourselves in the adjoining penthouse suite overlooking the Hudson River. We don’t talk about the wedding at all, just let the lightness and the gravity of the moment all sink in.

Special Thanks

Kathryn Sheldon
Photographer
Chelsea Vaughan
Planning