Monika and Trae

How We Met

Trae and I met in the 8th-grade history class. We became very close friends, frequently hung out in the same friend groups, and we both had little crushes on each other. But, we ended up dating other people for years. It wasn’t until a week before our senior trip to Disney that we finally both acknowledged we liked each other as more than friends, and the rest is history!

Monika's Proposal in Dallas Arboretum

how they asked

“Everyone always knows when they’re going to get proposed to” – Monika

“You’re not going to know! I’m going to make sure it’s a total surprise” – Trae

Since my dad is a photographer, Trae asked if he was free on September 23rd to take Patterson family pictures. Then Trae told me since he was going to be dressed up anyway, I should also tag along to get some cute couple pictures. I had no suspicions. Zero.

About a week before, Cassidy, Trae’s sister, texted me saying she had won a free manicure for herself and a friend and asked if I wanted to go. Now I was suspicious! I texted Trae and asked if he was planning to propose. Trae responded, “Not yet…we haven’t even gone ring shopping yet!” True, I thought, I’m reading too much into this.

Engagement Proposal Ideas in Dallas Arboretum

So, September 23rd arrives and we all head to the Dallas Arboretum for the Patterson family’s pictures. After about an hour of family poses, we all got to this amazing bench in a garden pushed back from the crowds and Trae suggested he and I get a picture together. Little did I know, Trae and my sister Emily had previously mapped out the entire day and that we’d end up here. We took several poses and then Trae looked at me and said, “I’m going to be a hooligan” – what we always say to each other before we surprise the other one with something! He then got down on one knee, pulled out the ring and popped the question. My first response? “Is this real life?!”

Note from Trae: “After Monika said ‘Is this real life?!’, she got so excited that she couldn’t wait for me to put the ring on her finger and had to grab it and do it herself.”

Our Video

Special Thanks

Ross Hailey
 | Photographer