Paul and Stephanie
How We Met
I’m from Detroit, MI and Paul is from NYC, however, we first met at the 8th Wonder Brewery during the 2016 Knanaya Convention in Houston, TX. The brewery provided souvenir pint glasses along with the purchase of 3 drink tokens. We bonded over a glass of their “Intellectuale” and got to know each other a little bit. At the end of the event, we left with everyone else on a bus back to the hotel. Once we reached the hotel, we both realized we left our souvenir glasses at the bar! I was super bummed and Paul suggested we walk back together to grab our glasses (we paid for them, after all!) and I quickly agreed. After a few wrong turns in the Texas heat, we finally made it to the brewery and retrieved our glasses!
Paul and I exchanged numbers and ran into each other here and there throughout the rest of the convention. On Monday morning, I left directly for a work trip to South Jersey, and we continued texting throughout the week. Paul was actually living in Newark, NJ at the time, and at the end of the week, he drove two hours to surprise me in Glassboro, NJ. He brought his souvenir glass from the brewery along with him and told me to hold on to it. He said he would get the glass back from me the next time we saw each other. The two glasses have stayed together ever since and joined us in all our travels and adventures. We took turns holding onto them between NYC & Detroit over the next two years until I eventually moved to NYC, where they found a permanent home!
How They Asked
A few weeks ago, my mom texted in our family chat that she wanted to go to downtown Detroit at night and take family pictures by the tree. She also said she had a happy hour coupon for Parc restaurant and made reservations for December 27th. I didn’t think anything suspicious of this since my mom has been especially sentimental lately since I moved to New York City, and she’s been asking to do family activities while we were all home for Christmas. I later found out that my sister, Nikki, actually made this fake coupon and it was just the beginning of the most thoughtful and memorable surprise I ever had!
Despite the rainy weather, Paul, along with the help of our family and friends, secretly planned out a whole scavenger hunt for me around the D. Each clue led to a spot we visited during Paul’s first trip to Detroit over 2 years ago and incorporated little details special to our relationship!
1st clue: This marks the beginning of your journey. Grab a cup of coffee, it’s going to be a long ride. Enjoy the maze above while it’s brewed!
Answer: Roasting Plant! My cousins Mike and Derek were waiting at the coffee shop for me and handed me my souvenir pint glass from 8th Wonder Brewery, where Paul and I first met, and my next clue….
2nd Clue: Early on I enjoyed the spirit of Detroit almost as much as Newark!
Answer: The Spirit of Detroit statue! My cousin Sarah and my friend Neethu were standing in front of the statue wearing Paul’s t-shirt (bought from Dally in the Alley during his first trip here) and his signature Newark fitted hat. Of course, a proposal from Paul would not be complete without including Newark, NJ ;)
3rd clue: I began to see the <3 in this place…or plaza
Answer: Hart Plaza! We found my cousin Mariya and friends Sonia & Alexa holding signs that read “Work trips weren’t so bad after all” and a collage of items and photos Paul secretly collected over the past 2 years of our relationship!
4th Clue: After all our adventures you still had to go back to your day job.
Answer: The Deloitte office was in the Renaissance Center! My parents, brother, sister, and Paul’s brother were waiting for me with beautiful Venus et Fleur roses, signs that read “Detroit will always be in your heart….but now you can say I <3 NY”, and my final clue….
Final Clue: Our love goes beyond borders
Answer: The US/Canada border! Or at least as close as we can get without passports… the Detroit Riverfront!
Paul was waiting for me with a bottle of champagne and our two glasses from 8th Wonder Brewery. He made a beautiful toast to us, and as I was asking him why he was standing in the rain all this time, a barge on the river suddenly lit up with “718 to 313: WILL YOU MARRY ME?” There are no words to describe the next few minutes, but I all I know is I said “Yes!”, and the sky lit up with an amazing fireworks show over the Detroit River. Paul told me to turn around, and I saw my family and friends waving from the restaurant behind us. I’ve never been so happy while standing in the pouring rain!