Kelly and Alex

Wedding Proposal Ideas in A bridge over Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago, IL.

How We Met

Alex and I, while attending the same college, didn’t formally meet until a Chicago Cubs baseball game in 2015. I grew up in Dallas and attended college in Austin, so I was new to the Midwestern life and big city living. Alex is from Chicago originally, so he spent 4 years in Austin and returned to his roots. We hit it off while in the bleachers and the rest is history!

We have spent the last 3 years loving, laughing, crying, exploring the world and just doing life together while continuing our walks in our Christian faith. We continued to grow and learn from each other as we experienced new jobs, new neighborhoods and everything in between. Late last year, we had talked about marriage within the next year and were ready for the next step after 3 years of dating, but the timing was totally up in the air (or so I thought).

How They Asked

Enter: January 2019. My roommate, Michelle’s birthday was Tuesday, 1/29 – so I planned a girls dinner for the Saturday before on 1/26. I made a Facebook event and even coordinated a surprise gift for Michelle with the girls that were invited. I called to confirm the reservation on Friday afternoon and we were set. I was counting down the days and looking forward to an incredible weekend spent with friends.

Finally, Saturday arrived and I couldn’t have been more excited to celebrate Michelle and have a wonderful day with friends. The plan was for me, Michelle, and our boyfriends to meet up for drinks ahead of our girl’s dinner, and Alex and I were to get together ahead of that. Alex really wanted to visit Cafe Brauer, a mostly-outdoor cafe nestled within Lincoln Park Zoo in Lincoln Park, one of our favorite neighborhoods and a place of many memories. I was a little worried about his location choice; while the Polar Vortex hadn’t yet hit Chicago, it was starting to snow heavily with dropping temperatures. But I bundled up and looked forward to spending quality time with him.

Our ride dropped us off a few paces ahead of the restaurant, so after insisting we get out of the Uber quickly to minimize the walking time (it was below freezing!), Alex suggested we cross a bridge nearby for old times sake. I wasn’t having any of that – I was ready for a warm drink! But he was determined and off we went.

We approached the bridge and soon, rose petals, twinkling lights and lanterns came into view, and Alex’s plan he had along unfolded. I honestly don’t remember what happened after he said my name, turned me around, and I heard the flutter of a camera. Soon I had a new engagement ring and so much shock and happiness I could have burst. I’m a crier, so I wept and wept while our close friends took our photos (thank you, Eric and Dayna Benavides!) and Alex’s best friend came in for a hug (hi, Will!)

After that, we were able to spend quiet moments together in prayer and just to give ourselves a minute back at his apartment before resuming the excitement. We then headed to his apartment’s reception indoor rooftop space to call our families and friends, champagne in hand. Lo and behold, we walked into a surprise party of nearly 60 – family and friends had flown in from Texas to celebrate. I was so shocked and the waterworks continued. I felt so special and loved and thankful for everyone who put their efforts in pulling off the biggest surprise of my life.

Proposal Ideas A bridge over Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago, IL.

And, of course – it came to light that while I had planned a birthday bash, it was all fake and Michelle had simply called to cancel the reservation and clued the girls in on the plan. She selflessly gave up her birthday celebrations to help Alex pull off the world’s biggest heist. I couldn’t be more thankful for her!

Needless to say, I’m incredibly blessed and thankful for my community and for an amazing fiancée, who went to great lengths (including harassing my friends to unfriend me on Find My Friends, a location-sharing app) to give me the surprise of my life! We are so happy to be engaged and look forward to how the Lord will use us in marriage.

Special Thanks

Michelle McCloskey
 | Planning