Molly and Austin

How We Met

We actually met on Tinder! I was in my second year of law school at the University of Baltimore. My roommate was going through a tough break up and we decided to have a wine and Tinder night. While on Tinder I came across Austin. All of his pictures were of him shirtless and at a swimming pool, which led me to believe he was a swimmer. The app also lists your mutual friends. Our mutual friends include my roommate’s ex-boyfriend and all of his high school friends. Turns out he also went to high school with them but I never met him because he had just moved back to Maryland for swimming.

We started talking and hit it off right away. I could already tell we had a compatible sense of humor. What really sealed the deal was him trying to show off that he knew how to speak Japanese by saying that he knew a joke but it was only funny if I knew the language. Little did he realize that Japanese Studies was my minor in college and I had studied the culture and language for 10 years. Turns out, the joke wasn’t that funny. After a few more laughs, he finally asked me out. He suggested sushi at a restaurant near my apartment. The date was so much fun and because we didn’t want it to end we went for a little walk and grabbed some ice cream! A few days later was Halloween and I invited him to the bar where I was at with my friends. Two friends and I went as “Cat In The Hat” characters and I was Thing 2. When he showed up to the bar, he happened to be wearing the SAME costume. While at first, I thought this is creepy, turns out it was the only costume he had lying around his house! It was so funny and at that moment I knew that this was someone that I wanted to keep around.

Molly and Austin's Engagement in Riverside Park, Baltimore, Maryland

How They Asked

Our first date was on October 28, 2014. We never really celebrated anniversaries because 1. I am of the opinion that anniversaries aren’t real until you’re married and 2. We didn’t make our relationship “official” until March 2015 so we never knew what day should be our “anniversary.” Austin moved to Charlottesville, VA in August for a job as a swim coach. We have done long distance before but this time we had been living together and knew we wanted to spend the rest of our lives with each other. Before he moved, we went and looked at rings together but I didn’t think a proposal would be happening any time soon because of the move. Before he left, we had dinner at his parent’s house and he invited my parents to come. At one point during the dinner, Austin took my parents to give them a “tour” of his house. After 15 minutes, I realized that they were gone an unusually long time and it hit me that he was asking for permission!

We did long distance a few years ago not even a year after our first date. Austin moved to Tempe, Arizona for swimming. Austin was training for the Olympic Trials and I was gearing up to take the bar exam. Long distance wasn’t as bad this time around and we see each other every other weekend.

As we were scheduling what weekends we would visit each other, Austin was adamant about coming to Baltimore the weekend of October 28th, stating he wanted to go to spend Halloween together and wear a couple’s costume (which we have done every year we’ve been together). I didn’t think anything was unusual about it. The night before he proposed, a few things happened that should have popped up as unusual. 1. He was trying to hide from me that he wasn’t feeling 100% (We later learned that he had strep throat but he wasn’t going to let that get in the way of proposing!) 2. He received a mysterious phone call from his Dad and insisted that he take the call privately (also learned that his dad gave him a proposal pep talk) and 3. After we left for the party, he turned around and said he left his phone in my apartment and needed to run back inside but insisted that I meet him in the lobby. (turns out he was putting the ring in the vest he knew he’d be wearing when he proposed).

The next morning, he woke me up to go for a walk. When we lived together we would wake up early, grab a cup of coffee, leave our phones at home, and go for a walk around Riverside Park. I love Riverside Park because there are always so many dogs out, especially in the morning, and I am a HUGE dog person. During our walks, we usually plan out our future, including what type of dog we want to get!

Before we left for this particular walk, Austin was adamant about leaving promptly at 8 am. I threw on some comfy clothing for our walk and shoved my hair into a messy ponytail. Austin put on a sweater, jeans, and a belt. I was so confused as to why he was getting dressed nicely and for a brief moment I thought “is this about to happen?!” But for whatever reason, I told myself no chance.

Molly's Proposal in Riverside Park, Baltimore, Maryland

Where to Propose in Riverside Park, Baltimore, Maryland

We started our walk and Austin reminded me that it has been exactly 4 years since our first date. He then asked me what I did earlier that day before our first date. We both started reminiscing about our lives right before we met and how wonderful that first date was. As we turned a corner and I was still talking, Austin insisted we stop at this random bench. Because it had rained the night before and it was soaking wet, I told him no and that we should keep walking. He took my coffee out of my hand and placed it on the bench. I was so confused and started to get annoyed because I told him I wanted to keep walking… plus, he grabbed my coffee! So I asked him confusedly, “What are you doing?!” then he got on one knee and without realizing what was happening and thinking he was just being a weirdo, I repeated, “WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!”

Marriage Proposal Ideas in Riverside Park, Baltimore, Maryland

Wedding Proposal Ideas in Riverside Park, Baltimore, Maryland

Right after I basically yelled at him, he started telling me how much he loves me and it finally hits me. I couldn’t tell you exactly what he said at that moment because I was crying uncontrollably but I know it was beautiful. As soon as I saw him reach for his pocket and heard him utter the words “Will you marry me?” I could barely speak but got out a “yes!” and pulled him in for a hug and kiss. I was speechless and so happy.

After hugging for a while (and me crying), I suddenly remembered that he pulled a ring from his pocket. I was so engulfed in everything else that I didn’t even look at it when he pulled it out of his pocket! When I finally took a look, it was a stunning emerald cut diamond on a pave setting with a halo. Exactly what I wanted. Which of course made me cry some more (and also break my sunglasses in the process!). We continued to walk around the park and enjoy the moment with just the two of us. Plus we got to see a few cute dogs!

As soon as we got home I Facetimed my mom and she was sitting there ready for me to call her. Austin had been planning this moment since August when he asked my parents for permission just as I suspected.

Austin suggested that we stop by his parents’ house to take some engagement pictures. When we got there, I was surprised to see a house full of people. Austin’s whole family, his grandma, his aunt, his uncle, my whole family (minus my youngest sister who was still in school), my grandpa, (who, by the way, is 94 years old) and my aunt. I was completely overwhelmed with love.

When we walked in, Austin’s sister pulled me to the side and said they had another surprise. She opened up her laptop and revealed that she was hiding behind a utility box at the park and was taking pictures the whole time! I was so happy that she was able to capture the moment.

I couldn’t have asked for a better proposal and I cannot wait to marry my new fiancé!