How We Met
Dylan and I met when I was a sophomore in high school (he was a junior). I was the captain of the dive team and he was captain of the swim team. Growing up I was always known as the girl with the dad that would do anything to intimidate any guy that approached me and while most boys saw this as a deterrent, Dylan saw it as a welcomed challenge. After weeks of a budding high school romance, Dylan sealed the deal by having “the talk” with my dad on the pool deck after swim practice and asked for his permission to date me (so old fashioned, I know)! We dated for a couple years in high school and fell madly in love. Since our first official date when I was 16 years old, I have known that Dylan was the man I wanted to marry, however the journey to this special day, was not so instantaneous. We split up for a couple years when we went to college and took some time to grow up on our own, date other people, and learn exactly what it meant to love and be loved. It was in these years apart that I learned, through trial and error, just how special and rare it is to find a love like mine and Dylan’s, let alone to find it at such a young age. There were years when I wanted nothing more than to have my man by my side, and years when I thought I had lost him forever. It was also in this time that my dad became seriously ill. As my dad grew more and more weak, Dylan made the effort to continuously check in on my family, have long phone calls with my dad where he would encourage and love on him, stop by my parent’s house when he was in town from school, etc. Meanwhile we were still not together or even really talking at all, but he still was intentional about loving on my family and in doing so, loving me.
how they asked
It had been almost two years since being back together and I was so ready to be married to this amazing man! We had gotten to the point where we were basically wedding planning already and had a lot of things in place, minus the ring. The week leading up to the proposal I was getting so antsy and thought for sure it was going to happen that coming Friday. I had told a couple friends about being onto him and one of them had this “genius” idea to ask Dylan if he wanted to do a double date with them on Friday night. If he said yes, then obviously he wouldn’t be proposing on Friday, or so I thought…
Needless to say, we had a great double date planned for Friday evening. My friend (who I came to find out later was in on the entire thing) even suggested we get dressed up and go somewhere fancy and just make a whole night out of this supposed double date. So Friday comes around and I am so thrown off and in a bit of an off mood since I had thought for a while that today would be the day. Around 3pm I get an email from my boss telling our whole team to get out of the office early and enjoy our Friday afternoon. Stoked for an early start to the weekend, I head out of the office with promises from the rest of my team that they would be leaving soon after me. I get home and, thinking that this night wasn’t about to be the most special night of my entire life, take my sweet time to get ready for our night out. As I’m dilly dallying around my apartment, I get a text from Dylan saying that he was also able to sneak out a bit early and that we should grab a drink together before heading to the restaurant for our double date. I agree to this and immediately pick up the pace and get ready for him to grab me from my apartment in a short 30 minutes. Once he arrives, I put in my last bit of detective work and do a full visual pat down of his outfit, looking for a ring box. With no box in sight, I have at this point COMPLETELY lost all hope of tonight being the night.
Defeated and confused on when he could possibly ask and how he would do it, we head to the Edition Hotel in NYC for a quick pre dinner drink. We get to the bar and it is completely packed. As we are walking through, I notice one couch that is empty, but there is a reserved sign on the table in front of it. Now before I continue with the story, I should tell you that I am the world’s biggest rule follower. Never, under pretty much any circumstances, do I intentionally break rules and Dylan is well aware of this little quirk of mine. So… back to the story…
We walk past this couch and up to the second floor lounge to see if there is by chance any room up there. But low and behold, there is no room. We head back down the stairs to do one final lap around the first floor lounge and as I’m walking a bit ahead of Dyl I hear him say “hey Brooke, the people who booked this table just called to cancel so they said we can grab a seat here”. Stoked about finding a seat, we sit down and order a drink. Shortly after getting our drinks, the lounge manager (or again, so I thought) came by our table and asked how things were going. Dylan went on to explain that we loved the spot and were having a great time and then proceeded to ask about whether or not they had roof access or a bar up at the top of the hotel as he had noticed that it appeared there was a deck up top. The manager explained that while there was no rooftop lounge or anything of the sort, they do have a bell tower up there but mentioned that no one really goes up there.
He then went on to say that they occasionally allow some people up there that have a big Instagram following so that they can take photos and help promote the hotel. So, in typical Dylan fashion, he butts into the manager’s explanation and asks “so can we go up there?” The manager, being someone that is not supposed to say no to his guests responds that he’s not sure that’s possible but that he will check in with the GM to see if he can pull any strings. And in a brief parting statement, Dylan goes “okay cool, and by the way, she has a ton of Instagram followers”.
Now remember that little thing I mentioned about being a massive rule follower? Well as Dylan is telling this hotel manager that I have a huge Instagram following and that by me having that following we may be able to get up on in a bell tower that no one gets in to, I am freaking out beyond belief. The manager walks away and I proceed to vocalize my panic to Dylan.
“DYLAN! Why did you tell him that?! I do not have a big insta following and if he says yes he is totally going to grab my phone and check how many followers that I have and kick us out of New York forever when he sees I don’t have hundreds of thousands!!! I hope he comes back and says no”.
He comes back and says yes. And not only did he say yes, but he said that the way he was able to get us permission was by telling the hotel General Manager that I was a MODEL with a huge Instagram following and that I was going to take some photos to post about the hotel. So at this point I am COMPLETELY freaking out. Like in a full blown panic because now not only do I apparently have this huge Instagram following, but I am also now a model. As we head towards the elevator I am in the process of changing my entire demeanor and doing everything in my power to act like I am this successful model. It was the longest elevator ride of my life. We get to the top of the elevator (by which the GM had to swipe his card for special access) and the doors open to what looks like an unfinished basement. We walk out of the elevator and up to a huge door. At this point the GM is on his walkie talkie telling security to not worry if an alarm goes off when he opens the door because he is bringing a valued guest (cough cough, Brooke the renowned model) up to the bell tower. He then opens the door and in front of us stands a huge marble staircase that looks as if it hasn’t been touched since the early 1900s. As we are walking up the stairs (and as I am still panicking about my new identity as a model) the GM explains that because the hotel is a historical landmark, they are not allowed to make any updates to the property beyond the floor that the elevator opened to. AKA, these stairs actually hadn’t been touched since 1906.
After walking up about 10 flights of stairs and one tiny spiral staircase that leads to the top, we make it to the bell tower. Now if you are near a computer, I highly suggest you google “New York Edition Hotel”. Once you do so, take a look at the images and do you notice the little thing at the tip top of the building that is encased in gold? Yep, that’s where we were. So here we are inside of this gold bell tower, and because I am so stressed out about the fact that I am lying to these poor people about being a model, I don’t even think twice about it. Never once did it cross my mind that of course we were going up here so that Dylan could get down on one knee and propose. In fact, nothing of the sort crossed my mind until I turn from looking out the window to see Dylan on his knee with the most beautiful ring I’ve ever seen held out in his hand. Startled, confused, and elated I remember asking Dylan what “that” was and if it was mine to keep forever because I couldn’t comprehend what I was looking at.
Finally I am able to compose myself enough to get the words “YES, of course I’ll marry you” out of my mouth and as I am saying this I hear the pop of champagne as the two guys that brought us up there come around the corner with our drinks. The two men then head back down the stairs and give us a few minutes up there alone to just take it all in. As Dylan and I are talking and dreaming and drinking champagne, he mentions that as much as he would love to stay up here forever, we need to get going because he has an entire agenda for us to stick to.
We leave the hotel and quickly facetime our parents to share the news on our walk to grab a cab. After getting in the cab and hanging up the call, I ask Dylan if we can start calling our friends so that they don’t find out about the engagement from anyone other than us, and he asks for me to hold off until the cab ride to our next location since we were already running a bit late for our reservation. I oblige and proceed to walk into the lounge that was next on the agenda. We walk in and Dylan starts pointing to the tables on the left side of the restaurant to show me how adorable the place was. He then directs my attention to the right side of the room at which point I about collapse. As I turn my head to the right, I see a table full of all of our best friends that he had flown in from all around the country (and even some from out of the country) to celebrate our engagement with us. I immediately start bawling and found myself too overwhelmed to even get words out. I just stood there, tears spilling down my face, in complete shock and awe over how amazingly special this man had made this night that would forever be engrained in our minds.
But wait, there’s more…
After having a round of drinks with all of our best friends, we all headed out to an adorable Soho restaurant where Dylan had hand selected a huge table next to the open kitchen that we stayed glued to for the next four hours. Never in my life had I ever felt more loved and cherished than in this moment. Here I was, in NYC with the love of my life, a ring on my finger, and all my favorite people there to take it all in with me. It was something that will take my breath away for years to come.
After dinner we had a quick nightcap with friends and then headed to our hotel in Chelsea. At this point it is now 3am and as we get to the hotel reception, the amazing woman Dylan had been coordinating the reservation with greeted us with an energetic hello and congratulations. She mentioned that they had upgraded us to one of the nicest suites in the hotel and that the room was ready for us to head up. As we opened the door to the room, I found myself unable to stand on my own two feet anymore. As if Dylan hadn’t already pulled off the surprise(s) of a lifetime, he had the room decorated with Balloons covering the floor with various reasons why he loves me written all over them, picture frames filled with pictures of Dylan and I, chilled champagne, cupcakes, and little candles covering the room. On top of all of this amazingness, we open the floor to ceiling windows to find a perfect view of the bell tower Dylan proposed to me in. Day. Night. Life. Made.
We ended this epic night eating sandwiches in the bath with a glass of champagne in hand. The following morning we went to brunch with all of our friends where we stayed for four hours talking, dreaming, laughing, and just enjoying the end to the most memorable weekend of our lives.