Erika and Christian

Image 1 of Erika and Christian

How We Met

I saw Chris in my high school cafeteria when I was 16. I grabbed my best friends arm and said, “who is that?” I told my mom that night that I would marry him. This is us at prom in 2006.

how they asked

Chris told me we were going to DC for the weekend to see his brothers comedy show and were staying on an air mattress in his brother’s apartment. I packed my converse and some t-shirts and off we went. Chris is in the middle of his surgical residency and I’m an actress, so a weekend away together is very rare and always appreciated. As we were pulling into DC, driving down Pennsylvania Ave, I said to Chris, “Man your brother lives in a really nice neighborhood.” He said, “Actually surprise! I got us a hotel room for tonight.” I was THRILLED because I can never actually sleep on air mattresses and was grateful for a real bed. When I walked into the lobby, my jaw dropped. It was so beautiful and grand.

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I was trying to take pictures but Chris was anxious to get upstairs to “put our bags down.” We get in the elevator and he hits the button for the top floor. So now I’m feeling like Beyonce. He was just smiling as I’m saying, “I can’t believe you surprised me with this fancy hotel!” (Little did I know what was coming). He insists that I open the door to the room, and when I do I see rose petals sprinkled in a path. My heart started racing as I followed the petals through the suite, up the stairs and turn the corner to find a beautiful room FILLED with white and pink roses (my favorite).

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I turn to Chris and find him down on one knee. I think at this point I blacked out but I remember him smiling up at me with tears in his eyes, holding a beautiful ring. All of a sudden my sister (Maid of Honor/best friend/favorite lady) and his brother (Best Man/the “comedian” we were in town to visit) pop out of the closet with cameras and capture the whole thing.

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In all of the excitement, tears, jumping, and “OH MY GOSH!!!’s”) I forgot to say yes. Oops :) He bashfully reminds me “you haven’t said yes yet” so of course I scream it a thousand times and we pop some champagne and start the celebrating. Somewhere in there I changed into a sweater that seemed a little classier (trying to keep up with my new diamond and make my grandmothers proud–both of them asked, “What were you wearing when he proposed?!” I didn’t tell them that I hadn’t showered that day).

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But the best was yet to come…Chris suggests we go to a bar to celebrate. We walk a few blocks and end up at a classic historic DC establishment. I’m being led around by Chris and our siblings, and I turn a corner and hear a huge “Congratulations!!!!” And there were 25 of my family and friends. I immediately burst into tears. Chris had flown my best friends in from Chicago and NYC, his best friends came in, my cousins and our siblings and parents were all there.

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Chris had gotten hotel rooms for all of them so they could spend the weekend celebrating with us. As I went around hugging everyone who had come in for the surprise, I couldn’t believe the love that I felt and the sweet care my *fiance* (what!) had put into this proposal. I thought a room full of roses was great, but a room filled with some of the most special people in my life was overwhelming warm and wonderful. And to have them there to celebrate our engagement was so meaningful and the best way to start the rest of our lives together. My dad tried not to cry through his toast, we face-timed with all of our friends and family who couldn’t be there, and floated through the weekend on champagne and total joy.

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It was a beautiful joining of our families and friends, such a fun weekend, and probably the most beautiful room I’ll ever stay in. When it was time to go, we loaded up the flowers (but left some with the amazing staff at the Willard Intercontinental) and drove home in a very excited car bursting with roses and a whole lotta love.

Special Thanks