how we met – Ariane
We first met back in 2005, during my junior year, when I transferred from a different high school to John F. Kennedy High School. It was my first day and my cousin, Jenine, had introduced me to Allen. I thought he was friendly and welcoming. Unfortunately, at that time, it was just wrong timing for both of us and we just became friends. Fast forward to senior year, we started spending more time together though outings with our mutual group of friends, feelings started developing and the rest was history.
how they asked – ariane
On the day of the proposal, I happened to have finals coming up so that’s the only thing I had on my mind. My girlfriends wanted to take me out so I can de-stress a little bit before I had to meet up with my study group and I decided that would be a good idea. One of my friends suggested that we have a picnic at the Hilltop Park on Signal Hill since she has never been there before and I agreed. When we got to the park, I felt really nostalgic being there because that was the place Allen and I had our first date. We started walking through the park and I happen to see my cousin, Brian, who tells me that he is shooting a concept video for work and asked if we would like to watch. Once the music started playing, I was surprised to see my cousin, Jenine, and my sister, Fendee, come out because I was not expecting them to part of the concept video. I started realizing something was up when each dance scene was a moment in Allen’s and my relationship. From meeting in high school, graduating high school, graduating nursing school, our first road trip to Napa Valley for wine tasting, running our first half marathon, and our first vacation outside of the US to Cabo. I was in complete shock when everyone involved started coming out through the middle to hand me orchids (my favorite flower) and revealing themselves to be some of our closest friends and family. After the parade of friends and family cleared, Allen revealed himself and proposed.
I remember telling Allen a few years ago that if he ever did propose, I wanted all our family and friends to be there. Not only were they there, but they were all part of it! Even the engagement ring was exactly how I envisioned it to look like. I loved everything about the proposal. It was perfect! It’s definitely a story to tell our future kids one day.
how they asked – allen
I guess you can say I have been planning this proposal for a long time already, even years in advance. Even before I had saved up enough to get the ring, I was already envisioning and planning how I would ask. I knew I wanted to do it in a big and special way, because let’s be honest, you only get to do this once and I wanted it to be something to knock her off her feet. I have been toying around with a few ideas like taking her on a scavenger hunt, which is how I asked her to prom, taking her to a fancy dinner, setting up a nice picnic at the beach, etc., but those ideas just did not match the feeling of how I envisioned everything to be and feel. Plus, I felt like she would be expecting it if I did plan something like that. Then it came to me, I’ll give her a small walk down memory lane by portraying little moments and milestones through our relationship, thus far, so she can be reminded on where we have been, how far we have come, and get her ready for what our future may hold together. I remember her telling me that if I ever were to propose to her that she would want her family and friends to be there, so what better way to do that then to make them be part of it. So I began my putting my planning into action.
I asked the family for permission to make Ariane my wife, they agreed, and then I went straight to Top at Beach City Jeweler’s so we could design and get the perfect ring made for her. I started scouting around for a location for the proposal and I decided on the Hilltop Park on Signal Hill because it was the place where we had our first real date together. I remember the feeling I had sitting up there and looking out at the city lights and thinking how lucky I was to be with this girl. I decided on the song, So Far by Miguel Migs because it captured exactly what I was feeling when thinking about how the proposal was going to go. I began chose which one of our milestones throughout the years we have been together to portray. It was hard picking which ones because there were so many great times I have had with her, but settled with the main “firsts” we have had. Then I started choreographing and planning everything according to the room and dimensions I had to work with at the spot. I built a mini stage for people to come in and out to set each scene.
I asked every one of our family and friends who were there for our relationship if they could be part of it, which of course they said they would so I set up the scenes accordingly, and decided who would be playing Ariane and me during each scene. One last detail I made sure of was to get masks for all the guys that would be participating in the proposal. I did the masks because I knew if she saw what was going on she would figure out that it was coming so I wanted to keep her guessing who was who when everything went down. Then practice was able to begin a couple months in advance. During those nights when I held practice I would tell Ariane I am going out for a jog with some of the guys or that I had work. I am a pretty active guy and work nightshift so she was not really too suspicious.
During the day, I made sure to get there early in order to make sure we got the right spot to set up and run the routine in order to fix and last minute problems we may have. We got the perfect spot because right behind the stage was the exact spot we sat for our first date those many years ago. I didn’t realize it was prom weekend for some school so the park was particularly busy with a lot of students taking prom pictures. I guess it worked out for the best because you could not really see the stage or any of us right away with all the hustle and bustle of the prom pictures going around. We ran the routine quite a few times until everyone was comfortable with their parts and all that was left was to wait for Ariane to arrive. I got her girlfriends to take her out on a girl’s day in order to get her up to the park and got her cousin to pretend that he was shooting a concept video for a client of his in order to help hide the fact that it was actually a proposal for Ariane. Eventually, I saw her walking up with her girlfriends and watched everything unfold to get her to watch this “concept” video.
The music began and I was even able to see her face change during the routine when she realized what was going on. The whole thing went on like a blur and I realized that it was time for me to reveal myself. I stepped out into the clearing to meet Ariane. I did not prepare any speech or anything like that because I am not really good at that type of thing and knew I would probably mess it up anyway so I just spoke from the heart. It ended up turning out pretty good and I got down on my knee and asked the love of my life if she would marry me. She said YES! And all I could do was just get up and kiss that beautiful lady and my soon to be wife.