Emily and Caroline

Image 1 of Emily and Caroline

How We Met

Caroline and I met each other several years ago. At the time, neither of us were consciously aware of our sexuality. We met up for brunch and coffee a couple of times over the course of a few years. Looking back, we would both say that there was just “something about our connection.” Her version of the story is that she tried to be friends and I didn’t have time. Which might not be all that wrong.

Unbeknownst to one another, we were both coming out to friends and family in 2019. When I text Caroline to tell her “by the way, I’m gay”, she texts back “I’m not exactly straight myself!” SO YOU’RE SAYING THERE’S A CHANCE. Our first date lasted 7 hours and the next night I scored last-minute tickets to see Lizzo in concert. We would both say we knew right away that we were going to fall in love. And that we did!

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Some of our first dates included going to Nationals games during their run to win the World Series.

We were able to take our first vacation together to Mexico just before the COVID-19 pandemic. We can’t wait to travel again!

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How They Asked

I had ZERO chills the day I was planning to propose. Caroline knew I was going to do it before the holidays and to be fair she is really hard to surprise. But I dropped a few obvious hints that clued her into what was going on. I insisted my nails were painted despite the fact I had stitches in my fingers, I was frantically cleaning the house to do something with my nervous energy and I put on makeup – a dead giveaway. Caroline asked me no less than 15x why I was acting so weird. But even though she had a hunch it was coming, she was a great sport and played along. And I did have a few surprises up my sleeve.

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I reserved the US National Arboretum after-hours for the evening and having the place all to ourselves was so surreal. I told Caroline we were going out on a date and once we were in the car I said we were headed to the arboretum because they were open for extended hours during the peak fall season. When we arrived, the security guards did not participate in my surprise plan. The guard said, “Are you here for the surprise wedding?” 🤦‍♀️😅He escorted us (not necessary) up to the Capitol Columns where I had a friend playing “I Can’t Help Falling in Love with You” on the violin 🎻. As soon as we got out of the car the guard yelled, “Okay! Cue Violin!!” 🤦‍♀️😅

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With the beautiful sound in the background and the perfection of a fall evening at dusk, I shared some special words with Caroline then got down on one knee and asked her to marry me! Through lots of tears, she said “YES”! 🍾💍I’m glad she made her “yes” clear before she walked away from me and over to her purse. 😳 She then came back and said, “you aren’t the only one with a ring!!!” And then she asked me to marry her! 🍾💍 Leading up to Sunday night, I apparently dropped just enough clues for her to have a hunch to stick the ring in her purse before we left just in case. It couldn’t have been more perfect!

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After going to dinner at our favorite cocktail bar in DC and where we had our first date, we headed home. While we were out I had tapped a few friends to come over and fill our house with beautiful flower arrangements. They set out a chilled bottle of champagne and put a record on the record player. Then I told Caroline we should jump on the computer to video call our families. She had no idea I had invited dozens of our friends and family to jump on a Zoom call for a celebratory toast! It was perfect! (And meant we got all of the phone calls/texts over at once – I highly recommend!)

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I hope this story and these pictures give you a glimpse into the love we have for each other. Coming out is a unique journey for each person in the LGBTQ community and our journeys were hard in different ways. But to be here now has made it more than totally worth the cost. We can’t wait to spend the rest of our lives together!

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Special Thanks

Adam Mason
 | Photographer
Sarah Hanks
 | Violinist