Holly and JT

how we met

HOLLY: We met in college. We had a lot of mutual friends at Princeton because we were both heavily involved in theater, but we didn’t start really getting to know each other until our sophomore year when we both joined the Tower Club (one of Princeton’s co-ed clubs, kind of like a frat or sorority). We were friends for two years, performing in multiple shows together through the drama department and the Princeton Triangle Club. We started dating midway through our senior year. We ended up living next door to each other in the dorms that year, and all of our roommates were friends with each other as well, so we hung out constantly. It eventually became clear we liked each other as more than friends!

JT: I first saw Holly our freshman year at Princeton, while she was onstage as Mary Lane in the show Reefer Madness. We met and became close friends at our eating club, Tower, and in various theater productions around campus. We played Ophelia and Claudius in Hamlet (an admittedly unlikely pairing), and spent most of our time backstage goofing off and playing Scribblenauts on my iPad.

how they asked

HOLLY: I was completely blindsided. (You can probably tell in some of the photos!) I was invited to a book event at the New York Public Library for that Saturday morning and decided to go with JT’s sister Rachel, who had been invited to the event as well. JT said he had plans with a friend and we planned to meet up later. When Rachel and I got to the library, though, it didn’t look like any event was taking place. That’s when JT popped out from behind a bookcase and handed me a book, in which he explained that the book event had been completely fabricated — just a way to get me to the library. On the final page of the book was a library check-out card that said “Will You Marry Me?”, and he got on one knee and proposed. I think I said yes — I was mostly still trying to catch up with what was going on! I am notoriously difficult to surprise, so I was impressed with just how thoroughly he got me. I didn’t see it coming at all! It was amazing.

JT: I always wanted the proposal to involve books in some way — we’re both voracious readers and getting engaged surrounded by books seemed magical and perfect. I’d actually originally planned to do the proposal at a bookstore in Brooklyn, until Holly showed me an article about a different couple that got engaged at that same bookstore, saying, “Isn’t this amazing?!” I knew I was on the right track, but I decided to go with something slightly different. I recruited my sister, Rachel, to help me set up a surprise at the New York Public Library’s Schwarzman Building. My older sister thinks of herself as a terrible liar, but I know from years of being tricked into doing the dishes as a kid that she’s actually a great con artist. She looped in a group of her and Holly’s friends on Instagram to get Holly to the library under false pretenses. I was so nervous that Holly was onto my plan, but Rachel and I managed to pull it off! When I (somewhat abruptly) popped out from behind a bookcase with a ring, Holly just looked at me and said, “What? How did you get here? What are you doing here?” Then she realized what was happening, her eyes lit up in surprise (and maybe mild alarm), and I got down on one knee!

Special Thanks

Cinder & Co.
 | Photography
The New York Public Library
 | Location