Melissa and Sean's Proposal in the Rain Room

Image 1 of Melissa and Sean

How We Met

Two of my best friends were in town from NYC celebrating their birthdays so a big group of us went out to dinner and drinks on the Sunset Strip. After bar hopping for a bit, we ended up settling in at a bar with games. Two of my girlfriends were sitting at the counter playing Jenga while I was chatting it up with my out-of-town friends. At one point, we noticed a tall guy in a sport coat — definitely the fanciest dressed guy around. I noticed he was trying to hit on my two girlfriends, both of whom had boyfriends. After a quick nudge from my friends, I approached him, tapped him on the shoulder, and said “Don’t talk to them, they have boyfriends – you should be talking to me!” Without hesitating, he said “Only if you kiss me first!” which I happily obliged! We spent the rest of the night talking until the bar closed and my girlfriends dragged me away. I insisted on putting my number in his phone, hoping he would call me.

The next day, he asked me out to dinner. We dated casually for the next couple months and slowly fell for each other. We made it official during a trip to Santa Barbara where he showed me around his college town and introduced me to his parents!

how they asked

We have lived less than a mile from LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art) for a year and a half, but we’d never visited together. When I heard the Rain Room exhibit by Random International would be opening in the fall, I knew we needed to buy tickets right away, since the NYC exhibit had lines over 8 hours long to get in! Most of the tickets were sold out, so we had to wait until February. The exhibit is a dark room with a solitary spotlight in the corner. Rain falls from the ceiling, but when someone walks under, sensors detect the human body and the rain above you stops.

Sean had been asking a lot of questions about Rain Room in the two weeks ahead of our visit, such as how long are guests permitted to be inside the exhibit, how many people went in at once, were we allowed to take photos, etc. He asked me to bring the new camera he’d gotten me for Christmas so we could try to take some cool shots inside.

As we walked to the museum from our apartment we chatted about what we were doing later i the day — going to dinner for his business partner’s birthday. Once we got in line for the exhibit Sean started asking the museum attendant questions about the exhibit. He asked me if I felt hot, and it was an unseasonably warm day, especially after we’d walked there. “Oh good, I thought it was just me.” He started asking if my camera took video, but I’d never shot video with it, so I couldn’t get it working.

When it was our group’s turn to go in, I told Sean to walk through first, so I could determine the best camera setting, take some shots, and then he could get some of me.

Image 2 of Melissa and Sean

After our individual photos, he said he wanted to get someone to take a photo of the two of us. I’d already planned out a pose, facing away from the camera and into the spotlight, so you’d see our silhouettes. After giving the camera to a complete stranger, he joined me under the rain and held my hand and said “Let’s turn towards the camera for a minute.” I turned, and instead of turning too, he dropped down on one knee. He asked “Will you marry me?” and obliviously, I said “Are you joking?” Then I saw the ring and knew he was serious and that this was all planned. By this time, the other museum guests were clapping and cheering and we both had tears in our eyes.

Image 3 of Melissa and Sean

After hugging and kissing and reviewing the pictures we went to the museum’s restaurant for a celebratory glass of champagne. It was there that he told me the “birthday dinner” we were going to was actually a dinner reservation for the two of us at our favorite steakhouse, which was also one of our first dates, and after dinner we were going to the bar where we first met, where he had invited all of our closest friends to join us! He had even asked both of my parents for their blessing a few days earlier.

Image 4 of Melissa and Sean