We had been together for only 1 1/2 years and we both wanted to get married right out of college. Knowing this, I stayed on the alert for hints and sign about things she “wanted” at her envisioned proposal (ie she needed to have her nails done, she wanted her best friends there, and there needed to be a picture). I made the mental notes and frantically started arranging the details: calling friends (hoping they wouldn’t hint to Jill any ideas), setting dates for the surprise engagement party afterwards, making sure her friends or mother would take her to the nail salon for a pedicure or manicure (whatever one the hands are) and booking the photographer (the AMAZING Rachel Jane Wise).
After all this was in order, I knew I wanted to propose early in the morning (around 7 am) so the next trick was getting her down to the beach for donuts and coffee that early without spoiling anything or generating too much suspicion.
So the way I worded it was more or less like this: Hey babe, so remember the spot we had our first date at, do you want to meet me there tomorrow morning for donuts and coffee just so I can spend some time with you before I go into this big interview at 8:30? (I blamed a job interview as the reasons for my stress although this interview wasn’t until next week, but she didn’t know that.)
I arrived at the spot at 6:30 and made sure the photographer and all her friends were out of sight and continued to tell them all my plan. This is when my heart started to really pound. “Oh S*** this is really happening.” Everything was in order and she pulled up. I went to the car and she asked why I was so quiet. I said I was very stressed about my “job interview.” We laughed a little bit and put blankets down on the beach, sat down, and sipped on coffee as we talked. Although, as we talked the only thing going on in my mind was “We are sitting down. I cant propose as we are sitting down. How do I get her to stand up. Oh the sun is perfectly peeking through the clouds. This would be AMAZING photos. I should get up. NO! Too early! NO GET UP!…”
I stood up as I acted like I was stretching my back..I went up to Jill and grabbed her hands and asked her to stand as I pulled her up. Now she was really wondering what was going on; the place where we first met, donuts and coffee early in the morning, I’m in my nice grey coat, asking her to stand up randomly…that’s when I did it.
Boy lets talk about slow motion. Her eyes were huge as were mine. I felt as if I was in a dream and it wasn’t happening. I asked “Jill will you marry me?” She said yes in her cute little, fragile voice as I put the ring on her finger.
She was a little speechless but so excited at the same time. I then pointed down the beach where the photographer was on the lifeguard tower and all our friends ran toward us. Boy it was the best moment ever.
Photos by Rachel Jane Wise