Rachel and Luke

Where to Propose in Annapolis, MD

How We Met

Luke and I met when I was just 13 years old. My friend and I were getting off the bus after a cross country meet and she walked over to a boy sitting outside of school. He was in a football uniform so I was down to go talk to him! He had known my friend since they were kids and when we were done talking to him, my 13-year-old brain became instantly infatuated (quarterback in uniform, duh.) and I turned to her and said “I’m going to marry him one day.”

We became best friends and started dating when were 16. We’ve been through absolutely everything together and after almost 7 of dating he finally asked me to marry him!

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How They Asked

My sister and her husband were moving into a new house outside of Annapolis, MD and they told everyone they were throwing a housewarming party on Friday October 4th. Earlier that morning I begged Luke to leave work early and take me to lunch in Annapolis because it is my favorite place to eat/walk around. Little did I know this was his plan all along (I made it too easy for him!). We had lunch at an adorable restaurant and then he took me to my favorite pottery spot to make paint a jack-o-lantern candle holder. After walking around for a bit, we stopped at my favorite bookstore for a cup of tea. When I tried to ask him when we should leave for my sister’s party he said “Let’s leave at 4:30” and I instantly burst out laughing because he never cares about time and was being so specific! After we left the coffee shop I looked down and Luke’s hand was shaking holding his coffee cup (so sweet my heart dropped!) We got into the car and he started to drive me to “the party” but we ended up at a dead-end and I was very suspicious! We pulled up to a yacht club and a woman approached us and asked “Are you Luke?” I knew it was going down! Luke and I love spending time on the water and I always beg him to take me sailing during the summer. I looked out and there was a gorgeous sailboat decorated with greenery. I was completely shocked I could not believe he had planned something so personal and wonderful. I was so nervous as we started to leave the dock. Once we got out to the bay he told me to go sit at the front of the boat. The boat was rocking and it was so windy but it was about to be a gorgeous sunset! He came back with a letter, sat down next to me, and started reading…”Today I get to express my love for you in a way that is forever…I have literally loved you since we were kids. So few people are lucky enough to grow up with the person they are going to marry…” he then went into some of our favorite memories and all the reasons he loved me…”Rachel, you are my crush, my best friend, my soul mate, my love bug, my taquito (when we wrap each other in blankets, haha!), my everything, my sweetheart, my darling, my Rachel, my Rachi. Please wake up next to me every day. Please spend the rest of your life with me. Please grow old with me.”

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I was sobbing! He then asked me to stand up (with a lot of holding onto the sides of the swaying boat) and asked me to marry him. When I saw the ring I started sobbing uncontrollably again I didn’t even hear what he said! Still not sure if I technically answered.

Rachel's Proposal in Annapolis, MD

Rachel and Luke's Engagement in Annapolis, MD

I turned to look back at the boat and his sister (a wedding photographer-what a blessing!) was standing there getting all the pictures, which made me cry even more! We walked to the back of the boat and the crew brought us a picnic basket with a blanket and champagne flutes that said Mrs & Mr Abell.

His sister handed me a card that said “Rachel (almost) Abell” and I started crying again! We then took some time to get some sweet newly engaged pictures on the beautiful boat and watched the sunset!

I love him so much more than the day I saw him in his football uniform, but my heart still jumps the same way when he smiles at me with those dimples!

Special Thanks

Anna Grace Paulovkin
 | Photographer