Melanie and Donovan

Melanie's Proposal in U.S. Captiol; Washington, DC

How We Met

Donovan and I met on Bumble in 2017. Our first date started at a Starbucks in the Eastern Market neighborhood of Washington, D.C. With a single table more suited for laptops and minimal conversation, we opted to take our first date conversations on a stroll through the neighborhood and the market instead. An hour later, we found ourselves at a different Starbucks, where we sat at an outdoor table under an umbrella as it rained. After 3.5 hours of seamless, easy conversation, we said goodbye in front of the U.S. Capitol (where I work).

We’ve both said the simple goodbye hug felt unique, genuine, and comforting. We both knew at that moment the other person was special. In the last two years, he has become my closest, truest friend. He’s the one that deeply understands the complexities of my hearts, and always seeks the way to comfort my soul. His love is proactive, protective, and comforting.

Wedding Proposal Ideas in U.S. Captiol; Washington, DC

How They Asked

Donovan made dinner reservations on a random Thursday at my favorite restaurant in the same neighborhood we had our first date. As dinner wrapped up, he asked if I wanted to walk back to my car (30 minutes by foot). Of course, I didn’t want to walk since it continued to rain and I had worn my nice Lilly Pulitzer dress for office photos that had been canceled earlier in the day. “Let’s just walk a little bit,” he suggested. I obliged, but by then I suspected something was up. In hindsight, he had checked his watch a little too frequently and he wore a nice coat he doesn’t usually wear to work.

As we took the metro one stop in the direction back to my car, Donovan stopped holding my hand because he was visibly shaking. When he insisted we walk in the direction of the U.S. Capitol (the exact opposite direction of my car), I grew speechless as I suspected what would come next. From there, it’s all a little bit of a blur. Donovan dropped to one knee—in the rain—and asked me to marry him. Forever with my best friend was the easiest yes I’ve ever said.

To my surprise, he had asked my good friend (and our wedding photographer!!) to take photos of the special moment because he knew we’d want to remember that day. Hidden from sight, Erin captured the start of this journey to “I Do.”

As we began to head home, a sign hung high in the sky over the U.S. Capitol that our relationship had come straight from a fairytale. From an early age, rainbows became important in my spiritual and religious life and always remind me that someone in Heaven is watching over me with peace, love, comfort, and approval. I will never quite be able to put into words the emotion that came with that rainbow, but I’ll cherish that moment and these photos for the rest of my life.

Special Thanks

Erin Julius
Photographer