Mary Kate and Taylor

Where to Propose in Upper East Side NYC

How We Met

Mary Kate and I met in 2013 at Fordham College Rose Hill during a night out at one of our local college dive bars. I originally was not feeling like going out that night but my roommate Ryan pushed me to go as we were in our senior year of college and only had a few months left of college life. Upon arriving at the bar, Ryan was the first person to spot Mary Kate with a group of girls we knew and asked me if I knew her. After we not so secretly stared at her for a while, I said, “No, I don’t know her but she’s cute so I’m going to go meet her.”

I crossed the bar and walked up to her and introduced myself. After this night, I tried all the tricks in the book to get her to spend more time with me and all social media reach outs: texts, snapchats, liking all of her Instagram posts, etc. Nothing really worked as she was playing very hard to get (which I loved).

Wedding Proposal Ideas in Upper East Side NYC

One night she walked by my apartment while my friends and I were out front and we started talking as she passed by. I told her that her shoe was untied. She proceeded to lift up her foot and tell me to tie it (which included me kneeling down to tie it – who would have thought that this was foreshadowing!) It took me probably two months of courting to finally get her on a date in Manhattan and I knew from the moment she fearlessly took my hand and dragged me across Lexington Avenue after we got out of Grand Central to head to dinner that she was the one.

We’ve been together for an amazing 4 years and live together with our baby, a perfect Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, on the upper east side of Manhattan. Every day we fall more in love and we’re so excited to spend forever together.

Mary Kate and Taylor's Engagement in Upper East Side NYC

how they asked

Mary Kate and I had been saving up for months for our first big European adventure. France is special to us because Mary Kate studied abroad there in college, fell in love with the language and the culture, and has a group of amazing friends that she went abroad with that I’ve become lucky enough to become friends with as well (including our amazing photographer, Ryan, who met Mary Kate while she was abroad). After MK and I decided that this summer was the right time for us to get engaged, I did a lot of thinking and planning with my family & close friends to figure out how I could make it a special moment.

Instead of doing a foreign proposal while on vacation, I chose to propose to her the night before we flew to France (because what better way to celebrate being newly engaged than going on a foreign destination to her most favorite place in the world the next day?). An “engagement moon” would be an excellent idea and she would not see it coming since she would be thinking I would be proposing in France.

I set up dinner for us on that Monday at a cute French bistro a few blocks from our apartment on the Upper East Side. During dinner, we chatted about France, how excited we were to go, tried a few french phrases with the waiters/bartenders and had a lovely meal. I was SO nervous the entire time because the moment had finally come. The actual proposal was scheduled to happen after dinner and I would ask her in a special way that ties in with our relationship. When we first started dating in the city, we would write notes on the receipt to our waiters/waitresses if they were funny/happy/liked us/were nice. I’m not sure why we started doing it but it was probably a silly little thing we did because we were really falling for one another so we were happy/bubbly all the time. When I initially asked MK to be my girlfriend, I “surprised” her by asking her to be my girlfriend by writing on the back of a receipt, “Will you be my girlfriend? Check Yes or No”. Luckily she checked yes. My proposal idea was a tie in to me asking her to be my girlfriend, but this time, to be my wife.

Once we got the check at the end of dinner, I took the carbon copy receipt into the restroom with me to write her a special note. “Mary Kate, Veux-tu m’épouser? Oui / Non. Amour, Tay”. This was special because it ties in our original relationship building, me asking her to by my girlfriend, and then eventually ask her to marry me. Doing it in French (thank you Google translate!) was something special because we were about to fly to France the next day and MK was worried about not being able to read anything even though I totally knew she could so I wanted to give her literal proof that she can read French.

Once we left the restaurant, we were walking back to our apartment and crossed over Park Avenue, a big street on the Upper East Side that has a pretty little median in the middle with flowers, grass, and city backdrop that feels peak NYC to me. Because MK was born and raised in Manhattan, she’s the biggest New Yorker I know so I knew that doing an NYC proposal would be perfect. I mentioned Ryan earlier – he studied abroad with MK in France and is an amazing photographer. He was hiding waiting for us to finish dinner and arrive in the median.

Once we got there, MK and I hugged and shared a few kisses when I made my move. I told her, “Hey I forgot to mention, the waitress left us a note on our receipt and it’s in French and I can’t read it. What does it say?” Once she opened it and scanned the first few words, I reached my hand into my sport coat, grabbed the ring, got down on one knee, and said, “Mary Kate, will you marry me?”

Proposal Ideas Upper East Side NYC

At this point I blacked out and I literally can’t remember what I said except for making sure she checked “Yes” on the receipt so I knew that she really wanted to marry me. Ryan was there snapping pictures the entire time and also got a gopro video of the proposal that we will be getting once he finishes updating. We were so excited and a few city bikers/taxi cab riders shouted congratulations to us as we walked back.

I organized an immediate family celebration to make sure both of our families were at our apartment when we got back as MK wanted family to know first (to make sure her friends would wait as long as possible to build the anticipation to see the ring :)). After our family left we went to sleep and woke up to pack for France and eventually headed to the airport for one of the best and most exciting vacations I’ve ever had.

Special Thanks

Ryan Baker
 | Photographer