Kristen and Ben

Image 1 of Kristen and Ben Mench

How We Met – her side

Ben and I met the summer before my last year of college in Boston. I was attending a close friend’s birthday party, and she’d told me a guy she invited named Ben had asked her on a date a week earlier. She was planning to decline, but I of course had to do my due diligence on him, just in case. At some point during the evening Ben and I found ourselves sitting on the stairs chatting, and soon flirting (as luck would have it, both our friends hit it off that evening as well). A week later I was headed out to visit him on Cape Cod, where he was working for the summer. Over the next few years we both moved to different places and drifted in and out of each other’s lives, but we were never quite able to get rid of one another. Fast forward to four years ago in Los Angeles. Ben had been living out there for a while and I was staying with him while in town for some music industry job interviews. The day I was supposed to leave, I skipped my return flight to take a last minute interview, got the job, and never left!

Image 2 of Kristen and Ben Mench

how we met – his side

Back in June, 2010, I was invited to a college friend’s birthday party. A buddy of mine and I decided to make the trip to Boston, MA from Cape Cod, where we were interning. The party was primarily people from the college that we attended (Berklee College of Music) so it was mostly guys. I remember seeing Kristen around campus and thinking, “That girl is 100% out of my league.” Then she showed up at this party! I saw her duck into the back stairwell away from the group and decided (with the help of a little liquid courage) to follow and join her. Picture a music geek with a really bad taste in facial hair trying to strike up a conversation with easily the cutest girl that attended our college… After stumbling through a few minutes of talking and trying to impress her, I asked her if she had a boyfriend. She replied with, “Boyfriend-shmoyfriend.” Boom. I was in. A few years later, I decided to move out to California, but we usually stayed in touch and occasionally visited back and forth. She decided to come check out Los Angeles to see if she wanted to move out here. In between booking a flight and traveling to LA, she landed a couple of interviews. She got one of the jobs, we decided to move in together, and the rest is history.

Image 3 of Kristen and Ben Mench

how they asked – his side

For those of you who don’t know me, I like to go big with surprises, and I knew asking Kristen to marry me would have to be the mother of all surprises. Since we had talked in depth about getting engaged about eight months prior, I knew that she would be expecting me to ask her at some point.

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I work in the entertainment industry and I currently work with an amazing art show called Secret Walls, which is a live illustration battle. Artists or teams of artists have only 90 minutes and black paint to create their best piece without prior sketching or referencing. I spoke with the team over at Secret Walls and started to devise my plan.

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One team of artists would collaborate using the theme of Kristen’s life while the other side would do the theme of my life. I gave each team bullet points to work from (i.e. where we grew up, what we liked, how we met, etc.). We didn’t want this to be a public event, but I didn’t want her to get suspicious if all of the attendees were our friends. So, with the help of friend’s friends, my company’s mail-room, assistants, and their acquaintances, I successfully packed the rest of the room with plenty of people I knew, but Kristen didn’t.

Image 9 of Kristen and Ben Mench

The night of the show, I was given the rundown on how the final piece would look. I was incredibly nervous. Was she going to figure it out before I could surprise her? Was everyone going to show up? Was someone going to spill the beans? The event started on time and I had less than 90 minutes before I asked Kristen to marry me.

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As the piece started to take shape, I asked Kristen’s friends to take her outside so she didn’t start to catch on. About an hour into the event, the painting started to really come together and I felt the time was right.

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I forgot literally everything I was going to say. Not only that, but I couldn’t even remember which hand to put the ring on.

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The last thing open on my phone before I locked the screen was a Google search that said, “Which hand does the engagement ring go on?” I wanted to tell her how much I love her and that I’m excited to spend the rest of my life with her, but none of that came out. I did, however, get the important bit out; “will you marry me?”…And She said Yes!

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Our Video

Special Thanks

 | Photographer
Secret Walls
 | Artists