Brittany and Dan

How We Met

Dan and I met in college and were a few years apart. Although sometimes it was tough, there wasn’t a doubt in my mind that we would make it- and we did!

Image 1 of Brittany and Dan

how they asked

The decision to ask Brittany to spend the rest of her life with me was an easy one. I knew from the beginning that we were meant for each other, and I never doubted for a second that that was how things would go. But when it came down to the where and when the question would be asked, that’s where the challenge arose. Luckily for us, I was up for the task.

I always pictured myself proposing to Britt on a beach somewhere. Mainly because that’s where we are at our happiest, but also because, let’s be real, it makes for a great Instagram background.

Those plans quickly changed last fall when we decided that we were going to visit my sister in Ireland for a weeklong Eurotrip in March 2015. I had never been to Europe before, but knew that this was my chance to swing for the fences and sweep Britt off her feet and into my arms forever.

The majority of our trip was going to be spent alongside my sister in Dublin and London, but throughout the planning process I always made sure that I’d have some alone time in Paris, the city of love.

I bought the ring in January but knew that it would do no good inside our small studio apartment, so I purposely didn’t go and pick it up until a couple of days before our trip. I stowed it away in the outer most pocket of my backpack, and almost had my surprise spoiled before we even left the city. The night before we were set to leave Britt texted me while I was at work asking for my passport so she could check us in for our flight online. I was working the overnight shift at the time, and right before leaving for work that night had placed my passport in the same compartment as the ring to make sure I wouldn’t forget it. I began to panic and eventually hit her back with “we’ll do it tomorrow.” Luckily, that answer sufficed and she didn’t press the issue. She must have been tired.

When we got to the airport we were greeted by another fear of mine- the metal detectors at the TSA. To counteract my panic, I came up with the genius idea of suggesting we go in separate check in lines and “race” to see who gets through first. Little did know I was using this game as insurance in case something in my backpack cause the agents eye and I was asked to display its contents out in the open (for the record, I went 1 and 1 during our two races prior to the engagement).

We arrived in Paris on Monday, March 23rd. We checked into our beautiful air bnb apartment at around 5:30pm, and saw the sun shining on the Eiffel Tower as we turned down the street on to our block. I made sure to shower first, so I could slip the ring into my pocket undetected while Britt got ready.

So here I am, sitting on the bed with my hair gelled, suit jacked on and a diamond ring in my pocket. It didn’t really hit me until I saw the box bulging out of my pocket, but I knew there was no turning back now. Britt took her sweet time getting ready as I sat their sweating, trying not to move a muscle. Eventually I got tired of waiting and actually left the apartment before her just to get the ball moving. I couldn’t wait any longer.

On the five minute walk to The Tower I made sure to stay to her left with my hand covering my pocket. Someone should really invent a skinnier engagement ring box. Those fuck are very conspicuous.

When we got to The Tower the sun was still shining (I had googled “Paris sunset time” no less than 15 times in the weeks leading up to our trip) and now the only question that remained was where to do it. I had always envisioned just asking a stranger to take our picture, then popping down and doing it, but the butterflies in my stomach had me debating calling an audible and just plopping down in the grass at the first spot I saw. This ring was burning a hole in my pocket.

After much flip-flopping “Hey! let’s get someone to take our picture. No, never mind they look sketchy, let’s just go sit in the grass and drink wine” (this happened no less than five times), I finally saw a teenage girl (who was, appropriately, taking a selfie) who I deemed trustworthy enough to take our picture. There was definitely a language barrier, but the act of handing a camera ready phone to a person while smiling is universal.

She took three pictures and then I stopped and let my animal instincts takeover. I hopped on one knee without Britt even noticing and asked “Will you marry me?” I don’t think Britt even noticed what was going on until she saw the girl with our camera’s jaw drop. She quickly turned to me, did the Kevin McCallister two hands on your cheeks pose and yelled “WHAT ARE YOU DOING” twice.

Image 2 of Brittany and Dan

The rest is kind of a blur, but it involved lots of laughing, crying and kissing. Luckily for us, our photographer took three perfect pictures and then had the wherewithal to switch my camera over to video mode and recorded our embrace.

Image 3 of Brittany and Dan

Afterwards I bowed in thanks, and we walked to a spot on the grass as strangers clapped and cheered us on. We did it! After five amazing years we doubled down and agreed to a lifetime’s more. I had never been happier.

We’ll always have Paris.