How We Met
Allie and I first met in Philadelphia in August of 2015 while we were both serving a year with an education-focused non-profit called City Year. At the time, we were both in relationships, but I couldn’t help but note how wonderful she seemed.
Fast forward to June of 2016, our program was coming to an end and conveniently, our relationships had fizzled out at some point during the year, as well. On June 16, during a night of celebrating the end of our service year, we ran into each other at a nightclub and I mustered up the courage to ask her to dance with me. While we danced, our mutual love for a local West Philly taco spot somehow came up, and we made plans to meet up there for lunch the next day. We spent hours talking and I knew I wanted to spend more time getting to know her. The only downside…I was moving to NYC the following day.
After lunch, we parted ways and I’d accepted that we’d probably never hang out again (who wants to do a long-distance thing with someone they’ve essentially just met?). Lucky me, though, Allie reached out a few days later and told me she was also hoping that we could somehow see each other again. Realizing that it wasn’t THAT far from Philly, I invited her to come, spend a day in NYC and made plans for us to go to Coney Island.
Maybe both of us were having an off day, but it was the most awkward few hours either of us could have imagined. This time, I REALLY left thinking that we’d never hang out again. But, my luck struck again, and Allie reached out a second time. This time, it was to let me know that she would be in NYC for a few hours and to ask if we could meet up for dinner.
I agreed, and we made plans to meet up for a happy hour and then head to dinner after. When the day came, I was a little nervous, but definitely excited to see her again. We never actually made it to dinner that night because we ended up talking for HOURS over drinks. Noticing how late it had gotten, I offered to walk her home, and it was then that we had our first real kiss! Two weeks later, we had our first official date in Central Park, and a month after that, we made it official!
Three years, a dog, and a move across the country later, the rest is history!
How They Asked
As I tend to be a little “extra” sometimes, I knew that my proposal to Allie had to be no different. I was going to do it in France, in a lavender field, making sure that there was a photographer to catch the moment on camera.
I planned our engagement for over a year, making sure that every single detail was nailed down. I surprised Allie with the trip to France as a gift for finishing out a two-year teaching program that she was doing and to throw off any suspicions that she might have, I framed the trip around the Women’s World Cup (Allie isn’t a huge soccer fan, but I am, so I’d hoped she’d think nothing of it).
As my luck would have it, Allie was offered her dream job a few days after surprising her with the trip, and she was told she wouldn’t be able to take the full trip with me. A whole year of planning was completely thrown off track. I did some quick scrambling and was able to re-arrange some of the travel plans, keeping the original proposal plan intact. She would just be missing the first week of a two-week trip.
Once she finally joined me in France, I was a nervous wreck. The day of the proposal, we’d planned to spend the afternoon swimming at a Lac de Sainte-Croix, and then head to the lavender fields in the evening, where I told Allie that I’d scheduled a “private tour” for us. The whole day, I barely spoke a word because I was so nervous about the proposal later!
Once it was time to head to the lavender field, I told Allie that our “tour guide” had texted and suggested that we meet her in the town of Moustiers-Sainte-Marie so that we could have the “full lavender experience.” This “guide” was actually the photographer that I’d hired and we planned the tour of this town to make the plan more convincing.
We met up with our “guide” and her husband and they gave us such a lovely tour of the beautiful town, rambling off facts and even taking us to try the famous lavender ice cream. If I hadn’t known any better, I would have thought that they were actually tour guides! Knowing Allie’s love for lavender, I knew that she would eventually have a million questions about the fields, so I gave Andrea (the photographer/tour guide) a heads up. She took that into consideration when planning our “tour” and even printed out a fact sheet to study before she met up with us!
After the tour of the town, Andrea and her husband, Cyril, asked us if we were ready to head to the fields and Allie could hardly contain her excitement. Once we arrived, Andrea walked us through the lavender and told us a little about it. As predicted, Allie had a pocketful of questions, and Andrea didn’t skip a beat when answering them.
Eventually, she asked us if we’d mind if she snapped a few pictures of us, “for their tour guide website.” We agreed and for one of the shots, she told us to turn our backs towards each other and close our eyes, “for an artsy shot.” As discussed during the planning process, I knew that this was my cue to go down on one knee. When I was in place, Cyril cued the music (an instrumental version of “Closer” by The Chainsmokers, the song that was playing the night we first hung out), and Andrea told Allie to turn around, where she found me waiting with the ring!
The plan went off without a hitch! She said yes and Andrea and Cyril were there to capture every moment of it!