Sarah and Shelley

Image 1 of Sarah and Shelley

How We Met

Shelley and I had been working together for a few months before we actually introduced ourselves. We ended up having a long conversation that day and told me she had just moved here, to Philadelphia, from Louisiana. My first thought was, “I bet this girl needs a friend,” so I offered to take her out for coffee a few days later. By the time our first coffee date was over, it was clear to me that I couldn’t just be her friend. I couldn’t wait to hang out with her again.

Image 2 of Sarah and Shelley

Image 3 of Sarah and Shelley

How They Asked

It was a week before the day I had planned to propose and Shelley’s parents were visiting. I hadn’t officially talked to them yet about marrying their daughter, so when Shelley was out walking the dog I initiated the conversation about two families coming together and how we’d need their support to make this work. The problem was that I was so nervous to talk to them, the minute I opened my mouth, my brain turned off.

Of course they were excited and afterward, Shelley’s mom asked if I had the ring. I didn’t have it in the house but I said I had a picture of it. Since my brain was off I couldn’t find my phone so I grabbed Shelley’s instead and showed them an old picture from when we’d originally gone ring shopping. Then I put the phone back down. Did I close the app? Sure didn’t. So the minute Shelley opened her phone when she got back she knew I’d just been showing the ring to her parents. Queue web of lies. Shelley had been planning for us to take Christmas card photos and our close friend was the photographer.

While Shelley thought she was planning the whole photoshoot, I had been talking to Danielle on the side, telling her what day and time we needed to arrange for all of this. Shelley had no idea that I was trying to pull off a surprise proposal, so she was talking to me openly about the pictures, what we should wear and if we should bring our dog, Misty Mae. We agree ahead of time that we would go to Fairmount Park, one of our favorite places and one we go to often with the dog. When we were getting ready to leave the house I pretended to leave my sunglasses inside so that I could run back in for the ring. Forgetting things is not out of the ordinary for me, so Shelley was more annoyed than suspicious when it took me 10 minutes to “find my sunglasses”. The ring and box felt so bulky in my pocket I was sure I’d be found out. I ended up ditching the box and just putting the ring in my pocket.

Once we’d gotten a few shots, the ones we could actually use for the Christmas card, I suggested we go to a different, quieter part of the park. We got there and sat down on a bench together while Danielle tried to capture a few more pictures of us and our dog who was behaving terribly. We were having a hard time getting Misty to look at the camera so instead of getting frustrated Shelley suggested we all look where the dog was looking, basically off into space. So we all looked to the left, then to the right, then I said, “ok, look now at me” and I pulled the ring out of my vest pocket. She turned to look at me, saw the ring in my hand and that’s when I asked her to marry me.

Image 4 of Sarah and Shelley

Image 5 of Sarah and Shelley

Special Thanks

Danielle Latronica
 | Planning