Elyse and Ann

How We Met

I met Ann Marie when I wanted to work for her in pastry at a restaurant. However, she left the restaurant two days before my interview and I discovered it was not the place for me. I reached out to her for an explanation of why she left and we decided to meet up for drinks the following week when she was back in town. I later found out she drove multiple hours from visiting her parents just to get drinks with me! I wasn’t completely sure if it was a professional meeting or if it was a date, but I knew what I was hoping it would be. She will tell you that as soon as I walked across the patio that she knew her life was about to change for the better. I knew about ten minutes into the conversation that it was definitely not business and I did not ever want to stop talking to her.

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How They Asked

I was actually the one to pop the question first. She thought she was going to be the one, but I had other plans. Right around Thanksgiving, I started getting my plan together. She wanted her grandmother’s engagement ring so I video called her mom to say that I was going to propose. She instantly started crying and called her dad over to be a part of the conversation. They live six hours away so we had to figure out a plan to get the ring down to me without mailing it.

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I knew I wanted to surprise Ann Marie by having Nicole, her best friend from back home, be a part of the proposal, so she and I planned that she would be the one to drive the ring down. Then came brainstorming with my best friend and decided on a scavenger hunt. Ann Marie’s birthday is February 11th, so it was a way I could hide in plain sight what was really happening. She loves surprises so in her mind I was probably planning a surprise party. I planned a few of her favorite places around town as stops for clues, starting with brunch and ending with the proposal in our backyard. I was so excited and wanted her to feel so spoiled. I had so many “errands to run” and lots of “none of your business” Amazon boxes that arrived over the next couple of months. In the last ten days, before I was planning on asking, I rarely had a moment alone. It was like she could sense that anticipation was building. I had to make a lot of excuses to coordinate with friends and to be able to make the actual clues. I tell her everything so it was very hard to keep this a secret.

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One day, she woke up and I brought her coffee with her first clue. She didn’t even pay attention to the envelope that said “one.” The clue said she was having brunch with a close friend that will pick her up at 10:30. She got super excited because she was trying to figure out who the friend would be. The person who picked her up was one of her good friends, Amber. She was helping me keep her on track with my timeline since I had a lot to set up before the time I was expecting her to return. Everything was going great until two of my friends weren’t able to help set up anymore and Nicole (with the ring) called to tell me they hit some car trouble and it set them back a couple of hours. I knew I needed at least one person to help me hang patio string lights in the backyard so I sent a hail mary to one more friend. Thankfully she was free and could help. I ran across town to distribute a couple more clues and to pick up the floral arrangements, then met her back at the house. The hanging of the lights definitely took longer than I expected it to, especially since the command hooks would pop off and cause the strings to crash to the ground. Thank god for the abundance of extra bulbs!

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Ann Marie called a few times asking about clues and where they were hidden, but then she called to say they were done but the last clue she had told her she couldn’t meet me at the house until 4 (and it was only 2:30). I very quickly picked up the speed and built the arbor that would hang the garland in record time. Nicole finally arrived and when she pulled out the ring for me to see in person, I immediately started to cry. It was absolutely perfect. It was finally starting to settle in that it was happening. I couldn’t stop smiling while I got showered and dressed.

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Ann Marie and I adopted Susan, our Rottweiler, back in November. She immediately fit into our weird little family so well and meant the absolute world to Ann Marie. I knew I wanted to have Susan be a part of the proposal so I made the last clue in her words, tied to her collar. Nicole would be waiting in the driveway with Susan to surprise Ann Marie for her final clue. The whole driveway was lit up with candles but when Ann Marie arrived, she didn’t notice at the time. She screamed when she saw Nic and started to cry. They hugged and Nic told her that Susan had one more clue for her. Once she read that, it finally started to register what was happening. She looked at Nicole and asked, “what do I do?” Nic smiled at her, pointed to the stairs down to our backyard, and said, “Just go down those stairs and say yes.” Cue a lot more happy tears! Meanwhile, I am waiting for her with lots of anticipation. I can’t see anything, but I definitely heard their screams. I started to tear up. Once I saw her walk around the corner, we locked eyes and she started to really cry. I laughed and gave her a big hug. She pulled away and just started to say yes a few times. I laughed harder and asked if she was going to let me ask the question. She just nodded. So I took her hand and proposed. I had prepared things to say, but at the moment it needed to be simple. I would have forever to tell her how much she meant to me. It was perfect.

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Our Video

Special Thanks

Blake Pope
 | Photographer
Charlotte Flower Market
 | Floral Arrangements