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.

On my way to Kerrin’s I received a text from her that read “Where’s Jimmy bobo?”.All she said was “wrong text”. I should have known then what was up but I didn’t. Within minutes of getting to the field and meeting John out of the dugout walked Jimmy; the guy they had been trying to set me up with for weeks. There was no time to talk while he was playing but I must admit he looks pretty cute in those white baseball pants. After the game we all went to Applebee’s for lunch. We were all having a really good time so we decided to me back up that night after the guys’ softball game in the evening. Before we departed from Applebee’s Jimmy asked for my number. He said something to the effect of apologizing for being awkward in advance. I told him not to worry because when I’m feeling awkward I talk enough to fill any awkwardness. When we met up later that night we had such good conversation it was as if no one else was there. I’m pretty sure we talked to no one but each other.

Three days later we went on our first date. Jimmy took me to this cute little Italian restaurant for dinner. He was so nervous at one point he even had to stop the conversation and give himself a little pep talk at the table. He said things like “don’t worry… be cool… you got this”. While some people might have found it odd, I found it really endearing. All I could think was “wow this guy must have really like me. We shared our first kiss that night in his car as he was dropping me off. After that we were basically inseparable. In November just to make sure I asked him about our relationship status. Jimmy told me at then that he had consider me his girlfriend since day one and he hoped I felt the same. I told him I did. We shared “I loveyou”s shortly after and by May we were living together.

Courtney and Jimmy's Engagement in The Bronx Zoo

Wedding Proposal Ideas 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.

A few months ago while browsing Facebook I came across a video of a guy who proposed to his girlfriend at the zoo. He had somehow trained the Otters to lift up signs that said “will you marry me”. Since I love otters I immediately sent the video to Jimmy. His response was “how the heck do you want me to train otters?!”. Even though I knew it was unrealistic for him to train zoo animals I still kept that as my dream proposal in the back of my head.

This summer was really crazy for us every weekend was taken up with some type of party or event. We really had no time to spend alone. Towards the end of August I asked for him to pick out a date that we were both available so we can do something together. He suggested September 23rd at the Bronx Zoo. I was so excited!

That Saturday began to like every other. I woke up alone because Jimmy had left hours ago to play softball. When he arrived home everything seemed normal. He picked up breakfast, got ready for the day, but didn’t seem to be in any rush to get to the zoo. In fact I had a doctor’s appointment that I kept debating going to or not before the zoo; knowing that going would probably make our day run late. Jimmy even encouraged me to go to the appointment but I ultimately didn’t. On our way to the zoo we got lost twice, almost ran out of gas, and couldn’t find the parking lot for over 45 minutes.

By the time we got to the entrance it was 1:45 and the Zoo closed at 5:30. A staff member suggested since we were a little late taking the long path around the zoo which ended at the otters so we could take the trolley back to the entrance when we were finished. I wasn’t too keen on this plan as I didn’t want to leave the otters till last minute just in case we didn’t make it. Jimmy didn’t seem to care one way or the other so I grabbed the zoo map and led the way towards the otters. On our way we saw a bunch of animals; flamingos, Jaguars, some birds, and tigers. But all the while I was only focused on making it to Jungleland in time to see the otters.

Once we got into Jungleland I’m not sure what we saw because most of the day was a blur from this point. We finally got up to the otter exhibit and I pushed my way into the middle because it was pretty crowded. Jimmy turned to me and said “I love you”. Since I had no idea what was going on I said “I love you too”, kissed him, and went back to looking at the otters. Then he said “You’re the best thing that ever happened to me. I want to spend the rest of my life with you”. At that point I was wondering why he was being so mushy so I turned to face him. That’s when he took out the ring and drop down to one knee. I was so surprised I just kept waving my hands and saying “oh my God, stop, stop, stop!”. I completely missed the part where he said “Will you marry me?” so he had to ask again. When I said “yes” the crowd started clapping and burst into cheers. I was so shocked I didn’t realize anyone was around us until the clapping started.

Then I noticed a couple taking pictures of us. I didn’t know what to do; I was still in shock, so I let them take a few. Afterwards the man said to me “Hi, I’m Brian. I’m your photographer. I got the whole proposal in photos and my girlfriend’s got the video”. I was stunned. I had always dreamed of having a surprise photographer for this moment and Jimmy had pulled it off. Brian and his girlfriend were waiting for us in the zoo all day. They had even scouted some of the best places to take pictures. So once I had calm down we walked around a bit and took some photos.

Jimmy informed me that our families and some of our close friends also knew about the engagement and were waiting at his parents’ house to celebrate. When we arrived the house was decorated, food had been catered, and everyone was there to congratulate us. We popped champagne and celebrated long into the night.

So that’s it. I got the proposal of my dreams from the man of my dreams. It took me about an hour to stop shaking in over 4 hours to stop crying. I’m beyond happy and cannot wait to spend the rest of my life with this man.

Our Video

Special Thanks

Brian Servellon
 | Photographer