Katelyn and Brian

Engagement Proposal Ideas in Cafe Clover in Manhattan

How We Met

Brian and I met at work after I started a new job that allowed me to move to the city I had always dreamed of—New York City. He’d bring me sweet treats, I’d laugh at his dad jokes, and we’d dish about our bad online dates over lunch together. We were friends for one year. Then one day, we were walking to our train after work and in front of the Flatiron building he asked me out to dinner. I was shocked and super awkward. This was my work friend and now we were going out on a date?

Katelyn and Brian's Engagement in Cafe Clover in Manhattan

He had walked past my desk each morning and would wave hello but that Friday morning of our first date when he strolled past, I felt so nervous. Oh my gosh, he’s wearing a tie? He had traded in his ironic video game t-shirt for a button down dress shirt and khakis—and it was for me. After work, we headed out of the office for our dinner date. His tie seemed more fitting at this West Village restaurant compared to our office. I began to breathe again.

We ordered cocktails and I scanned the menu. I wanted to order every dish—which is usually impossible as a vegetarian—but this menu had plenty of delicious options.

Marriage Proposal Ideas in Cafe Clover in Manhattan

“How did you find this place?” I asked as I dipped homemade crackers into butternut squash hummus (Seriously! Butternut squash hummus? I was in heaven). “I feel like this menu was designed especially for me.”

Brian glanced up from his plate and took a deep exhale.

“After lots…and lots of research.”

I imagined him scouring the internet for Manhattan eateries that would cater to my unique pallet, reading customer reviews, and sifting through menu details. I could see him filtering out restaurants that simply wouldn’t do before deciding on this one—the perfect restaurant choice for our first date. The perfect place for me. I couldn’t contain my smile; his efforts had made me feel so special.

I realized at that moment there was something nice about the first date with a friend who I had known for a year. We could skip the idle small chat.

“So what kind of work do you do?”

“How long have you lived in New York?”

We skipped all of those obligatory first date questions.

I looked around the restaurant and loved everything about the décor, my meal—even the silverware. Everything was so me and I could tell he knew that. I could see that’s what he had aspired to achieve.

That first date led to a second and over the next four years, I continued to fall more in love with who I have come to know as the most thoughtful, funny, and supportive man.

How They Asked

Weeks before he proposed, Brian asked me to take a half day off from work on Friday, April 26th. He had planned to take me out to lunch and had a surprise planned for after our meal.

It wasn’t out of the ordinary for him to plan surprise dates but something inside me screamed—give yourself a manicure before this date!

He told me to meet him in the West Village. I had a sneaking suspicion that this surprise date would lead to a proposal but it wasn’t until I saw where we were going to for lunch that I become more certain.

Cafe Clover—the backdrop to our very first date and where our love story began.

We walked in and sat at a table near where we sat on our first date. We clinked glasses and made a toast to who we were then and who we have since become together.

When the cocktail glasses were empty and our plates were cleared, our server asked if we’d like to see a dessert menu. Brian said no and I knew something was up! Never in our four years of dating had Brian turned down dessert—ever!

“So,” he began. “Do you want to know what the surprise is that I have planned for after lunch?”

“Sure!” I exclaimed.

“We’re actually going to be celebrating…” he said with a smile.

“Celebrating what?” I asked.

“We’re going to be celebrating the fact that we get to spend the rest of our lives together.”

Then he stood up, walked around the table, and got down on one knee.

And there in the middle of where our love story began, customers clapped, I cried, and the next chapter of our love story had begun.

The surprises continued. Brian booked a photographer who I love and she captured the entire moment. After snapping a few pictures with her, Brian then whisked me away to the Hudson Valley for the weekend where we did celebrate. There we had an opportunity to get out of our normal routine in the city and just bask in the afterglow of being newly engaged.

Saying yes to his question was the easiest choice I ever made. Now, as a professional wedding vow writer, I have my work cut out for me when it comes to finding the words I’ll choose to say on our wedding day!

Proposal Ideas Cafe Clover in Manhattan

Special Thanks

Asher Gardner
 | Photographer