Push Pin Portrait Marriage Proposal

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How We Met: James and I met in 2009 standing up in our friends wedding. Our friends who were getting married thought we would be two great friends to set up in their wedding party. (note: this couple also had met standing up in a wedding..so you could say they wanted to carry on a tradition). At the time, James lived in Milwaukee and I in Chicago. The weekend after we met at the wedding, James came down to Chicago to take me out on a date. After a great first date, a cab driver thought we were newlyweds and we decided to play along with it…little did he know we were on our first date and little did we know at the time that we would date for 3 years!

how they asked: After 3 years of dating, I figured James would propose soon because he was starting to act fishy. He was always having to work on the weekends or run errands, when typically we would do things together on the weekends. What I did not know was that he was creating a memorable proposal idea for us. About 6 months before we got engaged, James had the idea to make a mosaic of me. Using over 16,000 push pins, James started making a portrait of me. It took months to complete and over 64 hours to make.

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Many people ask here if James is an artist, but he is not, he is a investment advisor. However, he saw a push pin artwork before which gave him the idea to do a portrait of me. What he didn’t know was how to incorporate it in the proposal. This is where I help him in the making of this proposal without knowing it was in the making… I had mentioned a couple of weeks before our 3rd year anniversary that I had not been to the Milwaukee Art Museum yet and I said it would be a good date idea. This is where the light bulb went on in James’s head. What better place to celebrate our 3rd anniversary and to display this portrait and to propose to me then in the Art Museum!? He made a few cold calls to the Museum and eventually got the wedding coordinator to help him out. Once she saw what he was working on she immediately said she would love to help him out and display it in the Museum. With the mosaic to finish and details to figure out, James had a busy few weeks to plan a memorable night that both of us would remember. On December 15th, James and I went to the Art Museum with dinner plans to follow. A good part of me thought we would get engaged that night being just because we were celebrating our 3rd year. I thought he was acting a little different as we were walking throughout the exhibits, but as we approached the gift shop, nothing had happened yet so I thought if he was planning on proposing, that maybe he would just do it on the way to dinner since we had some time to kill. I was trying not to get my hopes up though. As we were exiting the Museum, we were looking at some bronze statues in the hallway leading to the exit doors. I had only looked at one before noticing a piece of art work that looked exactly like me! I said “What is that?! Is that my face?!” I quickly got closer to it and said “James, who did this?!” He said he did and wished me a “Merry Christmas.” I couldn’t believe how much it looked like me! As I was admiring his work, he said it wasn’t quite complete. In my eyes, it was 100% complete…what else needed to be done!? He told me to look a little closer and pointed out a corner that had a missing push pin. As I took a few steps closer to look, he took a couple steps back and got down on one knee. When I turned around and saw him, he said “Over the last 3 years, I have realized it is you who completes me. If you would do me the honor, please let me complete you. Anne Mudlaff, will you marry me?” Inside the ring box was my beautiful engagement ring and the missing push pin. He put the ring on my finger and told me to put the push pin where it belonged to “complete” me. Little did I know, he had a photographer there to catch it all! So glad he did…I love seeing the pictures!

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