Anna and Stefan

Image 1 of Anna and Stefan

how we met

Stefan: We originally met in elementary school. We were class mates in the 5th grade. After the 5th grade, the next time we saw each other was 13 years later where we remet at a mutual friend’s Halloween house party. At the time, we were both in a relationship with other people. Nevertheless, as soon we made eye contact, we recognized each other. Anna asked me as I approached her, “Hey, do you remember me?” I quickly answered, “Anna… Anna Akopyan…” She replied with, “Yeah! And you’re Stefan Ulubabyan right?”

We both laughed about how we remembered our full names after not seeing each other for 13 years. We didn’t talk that much for the remainder of that night as to not upset the significant others who were with us at the moment. Things were kind of rocky with my then-girlfriend, and shortly after the Halloween party, we broke up. Although we never really talked, Anna and I were Facebook friends. Early January I decided to message her and say hi. I was disappointed with Anna’s cold and short conversation with me, as she informed me that she too had broke up with her boyfriend just a couple weeks prior. Nonetheless, I told her it was nice chatting with her and to keep in touch.

With no hope that I would ever actually hear from her again, about a month later, I was pleasantly surprised with a message from Anna. It was early February. According to Anna now, she says she wanted to ask me out for a drink. But I beat her to it and asked her out instead, and we went out on a date on valentine’s days as two friends with broken hearts. With no expectations as to how the night was going to go, I immediately fell in love with her from the moment I picked her up from her parents house that night. What was meant to be a casual night of two friends catching up after 13 years, ended up being forever. As cheesy as it may be, that first date on Valentine’s Day is our relationship anniversary.

Image 2 of Anna and Stefan

Anna: I was pretty excited to be going out, but I had no expectations of what he or the night were going to be like. After all, I was fresh out of a relationship. It just so happened that two broken hearted old friends were going out for Valentine’s Day to catch up and keep each other company. Stefan offered to pick me up from home and I accepted. When the day arrived, he came to my house with a bouquet of white roses. He said he wouldn’t be so bold on a first date but it is Valentine’s Day. I quickly ran in and left the flowers inside and we left. Earlier in the week when he was deciding on a restaurant, he ended up asking me for ideas and I steered him in the direction of my favorite restaurant in Los Angeles, Rocksugar Pan Asian Kitchen. We arrived at the restaurant and was quickly seated. Having no expectations whatsoever, I was pleasantly surprised with Stefan’s gentlemanly manners and engaging conversation. I remember so perfectly at one point when he was telling me something about himself, I spaced out and thought to myself, “This is the man I’m going to marry.” And I decided to keep that thought to myself if/until the day Stefan proposes to me. After that day, we couldn’t stop talking on the phone and texting, and soon became girlfriend and boyfriend.

Image 3 of Anna and Stefan

how they asked

Stefan: Around 4 months before I decided to propose, Anna’s sister decided to plan a trip to New York for Thanksgiving. Coincidently, I was already thinking of how and where I should propose. So when Anna’s sister told me about the New York trip, I immediately thought about making the proposal there. I chose this trip for the proposal because I figured Anna wouldn’t think of me proposing there since her sister is the one that planned the trip; Also, what better place to propose than New York.

First, I contacted Anna’s sister and told her about my proposal idea. She was thrilled and was happy to help me plan out the whole process. I remembered early on in our relationship, Anna mentioned to me that it is her dream to have the proposal recorded on video and for us to take many pictures. I did some research and found Proposal 007, an online business that does exactly what I wanted. I spoke with a very helpful lady named Tatiana. She helped me pick out a location and plan the entire proposal day, including a detailed map on how to get to the proposal location. We decided to have the proposal at the Shakespeare Garden in Central Park. I chose this location because it is a little more private and has beautiful scenery. 4 months later, it was time for our New York trip. At this point I was very anxious for the proposal. Even though I had every little detailed planned, I was still a little nervous that something might go wrong; after all, it was my very first time in New York.

Image 4 of Anna and Stefan

On the proposal day, I texted Tatiana to confirm the plan for today. We continued secretly texting throughout the morning to make sure our timing was correct. As we got to Central Park, Tatiana let me know that the photographer was delayed on the subway. Not a problem; I delayed our walk to the proposal location by taking pictures around the beautiful park. As soon as Tatiana let me know the photographer was there, we started to head towards to the Shakespeare Garden.

Image 5 of Anna and Stefan

Image 6 of Anna and Stefan

As we approached the garden, I slowed our pace right before the proposal location. I wanted to talk to Anna first before she saw the prepared proposal location with flowers and our personalized pictures. I started of by telling her that there is something I need to talk to you about. I told her, “I am unhappy right now”. She was started and asked me why. I told her, “Before I tell you why I’m unhappy, I just want to tell you that I love you so so much.” I then began to tell her why I love her and how much she means to me. She then asked me, “So then why are you unhappy right now?” As we approached the proposal location, I told her, “I’m unhappy right now because we are not married yet, and I wanted to changed that today… right now.”

Image 7 of Anna and Stefan

Image 8 of Anna and Stefan

At the same time, she glanced over towards the garden and saw our pictures surrounded by flowers. Her reaction was priceless. I took out the ring from my pocket, and got down on one knee and said the words that I have been waiting so long to say, “Anna Akopyan, will you marry me?” She covered her face and began to cry. She was crying so much that she couldn’t even answer. However, she did give me a confirming nod.

Image 9 of Anna and Stefan

I took out the ring from the box and put it on her finger. I then pointed to the cameras so that Anna can see that this is being recorded. I have never seen her this happy before. And the overwhelming feeling I had was just indescribable. It was perfect.

Image 10 of Anna and Stefan

Anna: Over the summer that year, my sister decided to plan a trip to New York City for the week of Thanksgiving. Throughout the month of November, I began to get suspicious that Stefan might propose soon because of small hints he was giving me. But at the same time, he was giving me mixed signals like, “We’ll probably get engaged early next year. You seem like you want it to happen soon but I’m afraid it’s not, so please don’t get your hopes up.” As bummed as I was, I always pretended like I don’t care and would tell him, “Whenever you’re ready.” But I really did want it to happen! On one of the days during our trip, my sister planned a day long trip to Central Park. We were strolling through the park talking and taking pictures of the beautiful Autumn scenery. As we kept on strolling, I suddenly noticed my family disappear into the park. It was just me and Stefan. Then he said, “Babe, I need to talk to you, I’m not happy.” My heart sank, I thought he was breaking up with me… He was rambling on about how much he loves me but he’s just not happy; it wasn’t making any sense to me! We somehow ended up going up these little stairs when I noticed benches on two sides of me covered in rose petals and mini frames with some of our best pictures. Right then he said, “I’m unhappy because I’m not married to you, and I’m going to change that right now.” And he got down on one knee and proposed to me!

Image 11 of Anna and Stefan

Image 12 of Anna and Stefan

I was in utter shock. I immediately burst into tears from the shock and intense mix of emotions. When he stood up, I finally told him of that special thought from our first date. We were then reunited with my family. Turns out everyone was in on it and had been for nearly two months! Stefan gave me a fairytale proposal, and now I’m the happiest girl in the world! Let the wedding planning begin!

Image 13 of Anna and Stefan

Image 14 of Anna and Stefan

Image 15 of Anna and Stefan

Special Thanks

Vlad Leto
 | photographer
Proposal 007
 | proposal planning