Ani and Josh

How They Asked

He planned an elaborate surprise on our trip to Traverse City, MI! We were staying at the West Bay Beach hotel and had just gone downstairs for breakfast. Josh had planned out the details of this trip, so as we’re sitting at the table I asked him which wineries we were going to visit on the wine tasting tour we booked, and he gave an incredibly vague and nondescript answer. I was a little frustrated at his lack of organization and vowed to myself that he wouldn’t plan other vacations (LOL). Once we finished breakfast, he grabbed my hand and led me down the hallway into the hotel’s event space, which had these floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking Traverse Bay. I was hesitant because it was empty, and I was sure he was going to get us into some kind of trouble. “Wonderful Tonight” was playing over the speakers, and I noted that I liked the song. I noticed someone behind one of the bars, and nudged Josh, telling him that we had to get out of there because there was a bartender. I believe his response was something like, “It’s okay, I’m sure she won’t care.” We walked towards the windows, where a small couch and a large easel was set up with what looked like a piece of artwork with a wood background, attached wine bottles, and a little basket (for corks). Oblivious, I said, “That looks cool, I wonder if they’re having a wine event later.” (The oblivion continues, don’t worry.) We stood in front of the large windows and looked out at the bay; it was a cloudy day. Josh put his hand on my shoulder, which I noticed was shaking. He said he probably had too much coffee at breakfast, and that totally made sense. After a minute or two, he pulled me over to the wine artwork. “I made this for you,” he said. My brain was going a million miles an hour — it was super romantic, but I would have noticed if that giant thing had traveled with us (no joke, it took up the entire back seat). My face probably looked like that meme of the woman trying to do complex equations. He began to tell me about the bottles — one from our Painting with a Twist date night that, one from the night we made sushi at home for the first time, one from our first fight (which we made it through), and one from the night he asked me to be his girlfriend. He’d been saving these bottles for two years, and I think my first comment was, “But I helped you move. I packed your house, and I didn’t pack these.” There was also an empty spot for a bottle from the night we got engaged. He said he made this, hoping we’d hang it over our fireplace mantle in our house someday. My brain was still trying to make sense of this — it was probably just a ridiculously romantic and loving gesture. He reached into the basket and pulled out a ring box. Me on the inside, “He’s gotten you small boxes before. There are probably earrings in there.” All the denial was happening until he got down on one knee. I know he said incredibly sweet things, but I completely blacked out and heard nothing, other than, “Will you marry me?” to which I promptly answered, “Yes!” The “bartender” was a photographer, who caught all of these moments, and after a little time to decompress on the small bench, I was greeted by the front desk staff with a bouquet of roses and a limo with champagne ready to take us to any winery we wanted.

Seriously, I don’t even know what could top this.


Special Thanks

Michigan State Capitol
 | Engagement Shoot Location