Courtney and Jimmy

Courtney's Proposal in The Bronx Zoo

How We Met

It was almost the last day of summer; Sunday, September 20, 2015. I was trying to enjoy what was left of the warm weather but didn’t have much to do so I planned various errands. I was going to get a car wash, go food shopping, and maybe hit the mall. While I was getting a car wash my friend Kerrin called me to chat. She asked me what I was doing for the rest of the day. When I told her my plan she told me not waste my day and to come with her to watch her new boyfriend; John’s, baseball game. I was not about to spend my day watching a bunch of grown men throw a ball around so I told her no. However, when she conference called in John it was hard to stick to my decision. I hadn’t met John yet and he emphatically swore it would fun, a good chance to meet each other, and of course that it wasn’t fair to make Kerrin sit at the game alone. So I begrudgingly headed to Kerrins after my car wash.

While on my way to Kerrin’s I received a text from her that read “Where’s Jimmy bobo?”. When I asked what that meant she just said “wrong text”. But I should have known what that mean. Within seconds of arriving at the field with Kerrin and meeting John, out of the dugout walked Jimmy; the guy they had both been trying to introduce me to for weeks. This was a set up.

We didnt get much time to talk at the game but I had to admit he looked pretty good in those white baseball pants. After the game we all went to Applebee’s for lunch and had a really great time talking. So much in fact we decided to all meet up again later in the day after the guys’ next game. Before we parted ways Jimmy asked for my number. He said something to the affect of apologizing for being awkward. I assured him that I talked enough to fill any awkwardness that may arise in the future. When we all met up later that night we were so deep in conversation that it was like no one else was in the room.

Three days later we went on our first date. Jimmy took me to a quite casual Italian spot. I could tell he was really nervous. In fact, he was so nervous that at one point he called a time out in our conversation to give himself a pep talk. Literally sat there at the table saying things like “its ok… calm down… you got this”. Now some people may have found this odd but I was enamored. I was like “wow this guy likes me this much? this is really something”.

From then on we were basically inseparable. I got up the courage to ask him if we were an item by November. Jimmy’s response was we’d been in a relationship since we first met. It seems we both knew almost immediately we were “the one” for eachother. We moved in together that May.

Engagement Proposal Ideas in The Bronx Zoo

Where to Propose in The Bronx Zoo

how they asked

When Jimmy and I first met we created a “to-do list”; a list of thing we would like to do, places we would like to see, etc. One of the places on our list was the Bronx Zoo. I’ve always had an immense love of animals; I want to have a farm one day. Jimmy loves animals too. I took him on a date to the Central Park Zoo one day and he enjoyed it so much; that’s how the Bronx Zoo ended up on our list.

One day while scanning Facebook I came across a video of a man proposing to his girlfriend at a zoo. He had somehow trained the Otters to hold up signed that read “will you marry me”. I immediately sent the video to Jimmy as Otters are one of my favorite animals. His response was something along the lines of “how the heck do you want me to train Otters?!”. Although I knew it was terribly unrealistic to have him train zoo animals it was still a dream proposal I held onto in the back of my mind.

This past summer was so crazy for us. Every weekend was accounted for by a wedding, birthday, baptism, or some other type of event. It felt like we had absolutely no time to just enjoy each other’s company. Sometime in late August I asked Jimmy to pick a day soon that we could go on a date together. He suggested September 23 at the Bronx Zoo. I was beyond excited! The Bronx Zoo had been on our list for over a year and with the fall weather rolling in I knew if we didn’t go to the zoo soon we’d be waiting til next year.

That day began like any other Saturday. I woke up alone cause Jimmy had left for Softball earlier that morning. He was late to come home as usual and didn’t seem to be in any sort of a rush. I actually had a doctor’s appointment before the zoo that I debated going to up until the last minute. Jimmy wasn’t even phased by the appointment possibly pushing our day back and told me to go if I wanted; although I decided ultimately not to go to the appointment. On the way to the zoo we got lost twice, almost ran out of gas, and couldn’t find the parking lot entrance for almost 40 minutes. Yet Jimmy remained calm,cool, and collected.

We arrived at the zoo about 1:45 and the zoo closed at 5:30. I was nervous about how we were going to see everything since its such a large zoo. A staff member suggested that if we were worried about time then we should walk the long path that ended at the Otters so we could take the trolley back to the entrance. Leaving the Otters to last didn’t sound like the best idea to me since they were my favorite animal in the zoo and I wanted to make sure I saw them. Jimmy didn’t seem to have an opinion one way or the other so I took the zoo map and led the way.

The zoo had so many animals. We saw Flamingos, Jaguars, Giraffes, Antelope, tropical birds, and many more. When I saw the archway that read “Jungleland” I knew the Otters were close. Jimmy just followed, acting as if he had no idea where we were going. Walking through Jungleland we saw a few different animals before we got to the otters; I honestly don’t remember which since everything happened so fast around this point. When we got to the Otters it was pretty crowded. I squeezed my way into the middle of the exhibit because I was determined to get the best view. They were so cute!

As we’re watching the Otters Jimmy turned to me and said “I love you”. Having absolutely no idea what was going on I replied “I love you too”, gave him a kiss, and went back to looking at the Otters. Then Jimmy said “You’re the best thing that ever happened to me. I want to spend the rest of my life with you”. At this point I was totally confused about why he was being so mushy so I turned to look at him head on. This is when Jimmy took the ring out of his pocket and dropped to one knee. I was in such shock I didn’t hear him say “Will you marry me?”. I was too busy waving my hands and saying “Oh my God! Stop! Stop!”. Then I kissed him, he asked “So is that a yes?”. I said “yes” and the entire crowd burst into claps and cheers. I was in such a state of shock I didn’t know anyone was even around us until I heard the crowd cheering.

Some couple started talking pictures of us and I just went along with it because I didn’t know what else to do. After snapping a few the guy said “Hi, I’m Brian. I’m your photographer. I got a bunch of pictures. And this is my girlfriend; she recorded a video of the proposal”. Jimmy had planned a surprise photographer to wait for us at the zoo. He had been there all day just waiting for us to arrive. Jimmy had remembered me mentioning sometime ago that I’ve always wanted a surprise photographer for a proposal. Brian had scouted a few places nearby to take more photos so we had a small photo shoot in the zoo.

Afterwards Jimmy informed me that our families and close friends already knew about the proposal and were waiting to celebrate with us at his parent’s house. They had decorated and catered food. We popped champagne and celebrated late into the night.

So that was it. I had the proposal of my dreams from the man of my dreams. I was so overwhelmed with emotions it took over an hour to stop shaking and another 4 hours to stop crying. It was better than I could have ever imagined. And I cannot even wait to spend the rest of my life with this man.

Our Video

Special Thanks

Brian Sevrellon
 | Photographer