Alex & Ariel | Surprise Marriage Proposal at Coffee Shop

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How We Met:  Interestingly enough, Alex and I don’t have a distinct “first meeting.” We had a class together during our freshman year at Gonzaga University, but we didn’t really get to know each other until our senior year.  The first conversation I recall having took place in downtown Spokane during a music block party over the summer. When I told him I was a psychology major, he proceeded to tell me about a random study related to remembering different people’s names.  I remember laughing with one of my friends later about that funny guy named Alex, whose name I definitely wasn’t going to forget after that random conversation we’d had. Little did I know, Alex and I had several mutual friends, and one happened to be one of my roommates at the time. Consequently, a few nights later, our paths crossed again. Alex was just leaving our house shortly after I’d gotten home from a late night at work. It’s a funny memory, because for some reason I started doing dishes right when I got home, and about a minute later I heard someone coming up the stairs from our basement directly to my left. I looked over, expecting to see one of my roommates, but instead I saw this incredibly tall and handsome hunk approaching me.  Suddenly, I recognized him. It was that goofy guy named Alex that I’d talked to a few nights before.  In no time, we started talking and hours flew by until we realized it was 2:00am! Our relationship blossomed from there, and of course was followed by several all nighters of endless conversation. So, though we’d known of each other prior, I consider that night of wonderful conversation at my house to be the first time we truly “met” one another.

How He Asked: For the past year, Alex and I have been separated by thousands of miles as he has completed various training courses as a 2LT in the Army. This February, I had the privilege of flying from Washington to Oklahoma for Alex’s graduation from Field Artillery school.  The day after I arrived in OK, we decided to go on a coffee date before church started at 10am. We got to The Bakery Emporium, ordered our coffees, and as we walked around admiring the shop’s charming atmosphere, I noticed a guitar set up on a tiny stage-like platform.  I told Alex they must have live music come in, and he just laughed to himself and didn’t really say much in response. We sat down at a table near the stage and enjoyed our coffee over some nice conversation. As we were talking, Alex pulled a bundle of papers out from his back pocket and started looking through them.  When I asked what he was looking at, he said they were his church notes from last week. Naturally, I asked if I could see them because I wanted to know what he was learning about in church.  He was quick to say “Noooooo!” and stuff the notes back into his pocket, but I didn’t know what to think of it.

Our conversation turned to the guitar that was setup, and Alex kept insisting that whoever owned it wouldn’t mind if he played/tuned it.  He got up and started tuning the guitar on the stage, and I of course was freaking out and looking around, expecting that any minute someone would come yell at us for touching their guitar! Alex reached behind him and placed his “church notes” on a music stand, and it became clear that those weren’t church notes after all; they were lyrics! As he strummed the first cord of a song, my heart melted.  He played and sang 5 songs for me, each of which has special significance to us.  As he was playing and singing, I tried to keep my cool, because I was still paranoid that we were going to make some musician really angry.  The thought of a proposal certainly crossed my mind, but I didn’t want to get my hopes up, because this wasn’t the first time Alex had spontaneously serenaded me in public.

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With each minute that passed, my heart beat faster, and tears built up in my eyes as I realized what was about to happen. The last song played was one he’d written for me, and in his final lyrics Alex asked me to marry him! I was so excited and didn’t know if I should scream “Yes!!” right then or wait for him to come over and get down on his knee.

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I was so overwhelmed with happiness and I could see my hands trembling with excitement.  Before I knew it, Alex had set his guitar aside and kneeled in front of me to propose with the most stunning engagement ring.  As I said “YES!” I heard a bunch of clicking noises and looked over my shoulder to find an adorable couple snapping pictures of us with their cameras. As if that incredibly romantic proposal wasn’t enough, Alex had hired Chantal Brown Photography to capture our proposal, and we spent the next hour or so enjoying an awesome photo shoot as a newly engaged couple! To top it all off, Alex then asked me how I liked “my new guitar!” I couldn’t believe it, but the guitar Alex was playing (that I’d assumed belonged to a random musician), was actually a gift he’d bought for me!

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An engagement ring, a photo shoot, and a new guitar all in one day! Oh! Did I mention that “The Bakery Emporium” wasn’t normally open on Sundays? Alex had made special arrangements with the owner to have it open.

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It was an over the top and completely unforgettable day, and it still blows my mind just thinking about how incredibly special Alex made me feel. I know that I’m a very lucky lady to be spending the rest of my life with him!

Photos and video by Chantal Brown Photography