On January 10th, Eugene and I had plans to go on a double date with his best friend + girlfriend because they were in town visiting from Atlanta. They had never been to Chicago before so we were going to spend the evening in the city sightseeing. (At least those were the plans I was told. Little did I know…)
Eugene picked me up from my house that afternoon as planned, but then he told me we needed to make a pit-stop back at his house. (This was odd and made me a little suspicious, but I didn’t think too much of it.) We arrived to his house, walked through the front door, and then he stopped me! He said I needed to stay right there and he began to blindfold me. I was so confused — “Was he proposing? Right now? In this hallway?”
After blindfolding me, I heard a female voice (later I found out it was one of my closest girlfriends) and she asked for my hand to help me walk down to the basement. She opened the door, guided me down the first step, and immediately my ears flooded with music. I heard singing! Singing from voices I could recognize to be my five closest girlfriends. My girlfriends are blessed with really nice voices, but I had never heard them sing together so it was the most heavenly sound ever. The first lyrics they sang were “Oh, this is the start of something new? Don’t you agree?” Yes, cue tears. They continued to sing a mash-up of Eugene and I’s favorite love songs! Still blindfolded, I got to the last step of the staircase and my friend took my blindfolds off. In front of me I saw a hallway glowing with Christmas tree lights, photos strung along the halls, rose petals, and mason jars holding twinkling candle lights. At the end of the hallway were my girlfriends singing.
NONSTOP TEARS. I was literally so shocked that they were all there especially because I had been texting them that day and none of them left a clue anything was going on.
I entered the main basement area, which was decorated as Red Mango, our favorite frozen yogurt spot in town, and there Eugene was sitting with his guitar.
He began to play/sing the last song the girls sang which was One by Brian McKnight. This was also super meaningful because it was the very first song he had ever sang to me. I sat there in this cute little spot I was instructed to sit and watched him sing. :) After a couple of minutes, suddenly I see five guys (Eugene’s closest guy friends) come from behind me, each with a dozen roses in their hand. One by one, they handed the flowers to me. I was… Blown Away. Overwhelmed. Butterflies. Surprised. Just by how many romantic gestures were happening at once and I didn’t know what to do with myself!
Eugene finished his song, came up to me, and began to talk. He shared that the moment he knew he was going to marry me was when were sitting at the bench in front of Red Mango. We had talked about picking up our lives and moving to Minnesota, what God’s plan was for us, and our future; and he wanted to recreate that scene for us. (He also mentioned that he wanted to bring that exact bench to me, but the city said no, so he brought the store to me.)
Then he got down on one knee, popped the magical question, and I said yes!!!
It was incredible and special and perfect – especially because all of our closest friends were right there so we were able to immediately celebrate together!
He had made dinner reservations at our favorite Italian restaurant, so we headed over there to eat a meal together, then went back to his house to take photos, eat cupcakes, and drink champagne. It was just absolutely perfect. I felt so loved and like the luckiest girl in the world.
Photos by J Chung Photography