Olivia and Paul

Image 1 of Olivia and Paul

How We Met

We met in Newport, Rhode Island at the Blues Cafe while watching one of my favorite local bands play. I was out with my girlfriends for a girls night and he was out with his friends. At one point my friend spotted on of his friends on the dance floor and decided to go and talk to him. A few minutes went by and my friend had not returned so I decided to go check on her. Turns out, Paul was having the same thought and decided to check on his friend at the same time. Long story short, our friends didn’t hit it off, but we did! We ended up spending the rest of the night talking until the bar closed. We exchanged numbers and the rest is history!

how they asked

My friend who had just gotten engaged a few weeks before invited me to her “engagement party” at Fort Adams. We planned on having cocktails by the water before going out to dinner. That night, Paul and I headed to Fort Adams only to get a phone call from my friend telling me she was running late. She told me to scope out a good spot for “group pictures” and said she would be arriving shortly. Paul and I walked down by the water. The park was virtually empty and we basically had the whole place to ourselves. It was a bit windy and I kept asking Paul to borrow his sports coat but he refused insisting that he wanted to wear his jacket for pictures. Paul had brought along his vintage Polaroid SX-70 and asked if he could take a picture of me before everyone arrived. I struck a pose and he asked me if I was ready.

Little did I know, he wasn’t talking about the picture. I heard the shutter click and I went to take a look at the photo and found that the picture had already been developed and looked nothing like me. Instead, the picture said “will you marry me?” I was shocked! I couldn’t believe what was actually happening. Then he got down on one knee and asked me himself. I was so excited that I’m not even sure if I answered him right away.

Eventually, of course, I said yes!

Image 2 of Olivia and Paul

Paul then explained everything. He had planned every detail of that night and figured out a way to get me to Newport, the place we met, without me suspecting a thing. Although my friend had indeed gotten engaged recently, there was no engagement party. Rather, Paul had asked her to make the party up in order to get me to Newport and they coordinated for weeks to make it seem realistic. He couldn’t give me his jacket because the ring was hidden in the pocket. Perhaps one of the most unique details of how they asked is the polaroid. He had taken the picture in advance and figured out a way to have it come out of the camera when he pressed the shutter button. He had even hired a photographer to capture the whole surprise. I honestly could not have done it better myself. It was truly the best night of my life.


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Special Thanks

Nicole Ellen Gowan
 | Photographer