How We Met
Rob had just rotated onto the P&G team at Starcom ad agency and took a meeting with Christy, one of the partners they were in business with. Rob had seen her LinkedIn request the day before while on his train ride home and wondered what it would be like to meet Christy (her LinkedIn pic is so adorable – see above).
That next day, they went to Starbucks (Rob was 10 minutes late) and drank Green Teas (iced/unsweetened) on the terrace of Starbucks in the Leo Burnett building. Rob had a dentist appointment he had to run to after their chat, but those 20 minutes would stick with him for the rest of the summer. He was already smitten by her approachability, charm, beauty and the connection he seemed to have with her instantly. Sparks were flying everywhere! He tried to find ways to email Christy about team outings they should put on together over the next few months, but never made it obvious he was interested in her…until later that summer.
Rob took a job at Pandora Radio in late August and on the day he put his two-week notice in, he emailed Christy and gave her the news that he was leaving Starcom to start a new adventure. In that email, Rob proposed they grab “going away lunch or drinks” to say goodbye properly. Christy thought to herself, “clients never ask ME to a going away lunch.” She knew something was up.
Christy was nervous, not for the fact that she wasn’t interested in Rob, but because she knows the importance of being respected in her industry and didn’t want to cross any client/publisher boundaries. To calm her nerves, she called her BFF/advisor, Mary, to determine what she’d say if he asked her out. They agreed that she would say “maybe” and see what happened.
Rob and Christy met the next week for lunch at RPM Steak and split steak and salad (totally normal non-date). Rob and Christy chatted all lunch, talking about Christy’s dad’s love for hotdogs, where their careers were headed, how they were both interested in the idea of moving to Denver someday and much more. As they were leaving, Rob and Christy hugged goodbye and he asked if she would ever want to get dinner or drinks outside of ‘work’ – Christy actually finished his sentence in agreement! The next week on 9/4/15, they would go on their first date and begin to fall deeply in love with each other.
how they asked
Rob wanted the proposal to be something they would never forget. He pondered where in Chicago to do it, how to do it, whether people should be there, etc. Christy and 2 of her friends (Allie Shaw and Sarah Kossek) had planned a quad-couple date the second week of September and he decided this was the perfect cover for a surprise engagement. A few weeks prior to proposing, Rob reached out to Allie to let her in on the secret and to start spinning the web of secrets that would unfold on the day of the quad-date.
Allie and Sarah began texting “with Christy on the group text” about places to go for the date. Since Christy is usually slow to respond during the workday ;), the two of them decided on Perennial Virant in Lincoln Park at the bottom of the J. Parker (prompted by Rob). However, that reservation would only be for two and not eight.
While Rob wanted the moment of the proposal to be intimate, he also wanted to have a celebration after. He began by contacting his family, then Christy’s family, followed by close friends to let them in on the plan. Some of Christy’s friends found out on the same day so they wouldn’t have to worry about behaving in a way that caused red flags for her leading up to that big day.
Fast forward to 9/10/16, the day Rob would propose to Christy. The dinner reservation was scheduled for 6:45p, and Rob planned to propose just before that time. During the day, Christy and Rob worked out, cooked breakfast, and went to a few stores on Michigan Avenue…just a casual Saturday. Rob ended up sweating through 3 shirts that day as all he had on his mind was proposing to his future wife! He struggled to hold his nerves and excitement by drinking mass amounts of coffee…not the best choice. Little did Christy know, her family and friends (Jim, Carol, Jill, Eric, Cora, Mary, Nick) had flown in from Omaha and were in Chicago already.
Fast-forward to 6p…Christy is running late (shocker). Rob grabs the Uber he had ordered while Christy forgets something upstairs and runs back up to the apartment. This works out great so Rob can tell the cab driver the true destination, which is the South Pond Bridge in Lincoln Park, adjacent to Perennial Virant/J. Parker. They are cabbing up to Lincoln Park and Rob has the ring in a lipstick carrier hidden in his sock, and Christy notices them veering off away from the restaurant and starts to wonder what is happening.
They arrive at the bridge at the South Pond and Rob asks Christy, “Are you ready?” with a sly smile. They exit the cab and start walking up to the bridge where Rob’s co-worker, Stacey Hultgren, is waiting among the small crowd of passers-by with her camera capturing all the moments leading up to, during and after the proposal. Rob talks about a few things and lets her know, “when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.” His voice quivers and his hands shake but Christy’s face is the moment he’s been waiting for his whole life. She says “Yes!”
After revealing Stacey on the bridge, they snap a few more pics and walk over to Perennial Virant for dinner – alone! Rob’s sister and brother-in-law (Athena & Josh) have a bottle of fancy champagne waiting for them at the table. Christy and Rob take-in this moment for a few hours until Rob let’s her know the night isn’t over.
“Finish your drink, we have to go!” Christy and Rob jump in the cab and he throws her off the scent by telling her “we’re going to make a few stops to commemorate our time together.” That’s not the plan at all. They are heading to Kirkwood Bar & Grill (a popular Nebraska bar in Lincoln Park) where all of their family and close friends are awaiting their arrival.
They pull up in the cab and Christy is obviously excited…she loves Kirkwood! She thinks they are going in to get a drink or potentially meet a few of their friends they were supposed to go out to dinner with to celebrate! They walk in and head to the side room and that’s when they see ~30 ppl yelling “SURPRISE!!!!”
Christy is overcome with disbelief and excitement as they go into the crowd and start hugging folks, then appears her family and then Mary! She is overcome with a few tears and Rob can see how truly happy she is (there’s a video of that moment). They would continue to mingle, drink, and celebrate this amazing night, with the amazing people in their lives.
They will never forget this special time and CANNOT WAIT to celebrate with everyone in Vail next August! Cheers!