Kylie and Matt

How we met: Matt and I met while working together at a science summer camp for middle school students. We became friends and kept in touch through the fall while I studied abroad in Italy and Matt returned to college at Virginia Tech. When we both came home that December, we went on our first date. When we returned to separate colleges, we continued dating long distance and never looked back.

how they asked: Matt and I had talked about getting married, so I knew a proposal was coming in the near future. I was convinced that Matt would not be able to surprise me. I was wrong.

December 17th is the anniversary of when Matt and I went on our first date. Each year the weekend of our anniversary we go out for a nice dinner date in downtown Frederick, our hometown, to celebrate our love. So, I was not suspicious when Matt told me he made reservations at a surprise restaurant for us for Sunday night (it was supposed to be bad weather Saturday). I was especially unsuspecting, as Matt knew I did want to be proposed to somewhere so public as a restaurant.

Matt and I spent that Sunday doing completely normal activities, we went for a coffee date and walked around downtown, made a potato casserole for my work potluck the next day, and spent time talking with my parents before leaving for dinner. Since I had no idea which restaurant we were going to, and Matt did not want me to guess, he took a very backwards way to a parking garage downtown.

When we got out of the car, Matt immediately grabbed my hand and led me towards an exit. Later, I would find out that he made sure he had my hand at all times because he didn’t want me to brush against the ring box in his pocket. At the time, I just thought it was sweet of him to want to hold my hand even in the freezing cold.

We were the only two walking down one of the usually crowded main downtown streets. Just as we were walking past the Weinberg Center of the Arts, where we had gone to see a show every year of our relationship, Matt grabbed my shoulders and said “I have one more surprise for you tonight” as he turned me around to see the marquee that read: “Kylie Alexis Ford, Will You Marry Me?”

Image 1 of Kylie and Matt

When I turned back to see him, I heard him say the words out loud while on one knee, holding out the ring. All I could say (over and over) was “oh my gosh” and eventually a yes.

Image 2 of Kylie and Matt

My sister, Shelby, and Matt’s sister, Emily, were hiding so they could capture the moment. Being so good at staying hidden, Emily and Shelby missed the whole thing and had us reenact for the picture taking. My other sister Christine also came running up the street from a coffee shop where she had been waiting.

After a beautiful dinner overlooking downtown Frederick, Matt took me back to his house where we were welcomed to a surprise engagement party that Matt had also planned as my last surprise for the night. Friends from home, school, and work were all in attendance!

Image 3 of Kylie and Matt