Ashley and Brandon

Ashley and Brandon's Engagement in Brooklyn Botanic Gardens

How We Met

Brandon and I met while I was in college; he was the baker at the Panera Bread by my apartment when I was attending Texas Christian University. We talked through Snapchat for 6 months before our first date and found out we had a ton of mutual friends! Our first date was in late February 2016. He had cancelled 3-4 times before we finally met up, he said it’s because he was so anxious about messing it up that he would just end up cancelling! After that he would bring me fresh baked cookies, pastries and bagels to my apartment when he got off work (I still blame him for making me literally fat and happy). We traveled the US on weekends and decided to move together to Michigan (Brandon’s home state) in September 2016.

How They Asked

When we first started dating we went on a camping trip in Carlsbad, NM. The desert is possibly my favorite place on earth – I did a lot of geologic field work in Big Bend National Park in Texas when I was in college. BBNP is my happy place. He wanted to propose there, but it’s hard to travel to being in the middle of the Chihuahuan desert, especially living across the country where we couldn’t drive there. We were going to New York City for Thanksgiving with one of my oldest and dearest friends, Ariana. On the Saturday after Thanksgiving, my friend suggested we go check out the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens and their conservancies – specifically the cactus conservancy since I love the desert so much. While we were there, Brandon told me to stand on this big rock “for a photo,” but I refused because it was past the path and against the rules.

Marriage Proposal Ideas in Brooklyn Botanic Gardens

I later learned he was going to get on one knee while we stood on the rock together. We walked further down the path, and I heard Brandon say my name behind me. I turned around and he was on one knee with a beautiful pear cut diamond ring in a box. His voice broke as he said, “I love you. Will you marry me?” I said yes and we were hugging and kissing and I just couldn’t stop laughing. My best friend Ariana pointed to a stranger with a camera who was also in the conservancy and told me they had hired him to get the proposal on camera! I was just overjoyed. We walked around the gardens and took a million pictures as I absorbed the news that I was going to be Mrs. Brandon Zipf!

Special Thanks

Ariana Fowler - best friend
 | Planning
Jason Llaguno
 | Photographer