Ronja and Michael
How We Met
Michael and I first met 10 years ago, or more precisely, that‘s when we could have met. I had just taken up a class in improvisational theatre as a new hobby and Michael was the musician for one of the more popular local groups, to whose shows I often went. Thus it happened that I saw him on stage a lot of times before we actually got to talk to each other at a bar after one of those shows. This was in May 2010. We got connected via Facebook afterwards, but we didn’t really talk again until I asked him to play in a small gig we did with our improv class. Oh, by the way, we‘re both German, so imagine this whole thing taking place somewhere in the middle of Germany ;) After that, we frequently chatted online, and in early 2011 our conversations often continued until long past midnight – it wasn’t a rare occurrence to find me sitting in front of my PC at 4 am, laughing uncontrollably at something Michael wrote. I should have known then that there was something special between us, but, having only ever been unhappily in love, I was really reluctant to get emotionally involved with him.
I really liked him, but I just couldn’t seem to think of him as anything other than a really close friend. When he started to develop romantic feelings for me I almost pushed him away for fear of hurting him. I was afraid that, if I got myself in a rushed relationship with him, I would panic and destroy not only the relationship but also our friendship. But he was incredibly persistent and understanding, he put up with all my emotional confusion and was determined to make things work between us. After living in that weird kind of in-between not-quite-friends and not-quite-lovers stage for almost 6 months, I finally realized I was in love with him. I realized that he deserved all of the feelings I held back, and just when he had thought it wouldn’t happen anymore, we officially got together in November 2011. Our love has only grown since then and I am endlessly thankful and happy that he didn’t ever give up on me. After seeing each other almost everyday for 2,5 years and me basically living at his place most of the time, we officially moved in together in April 2014.
Over the past years we also went on some amazing holidays together, including Paris, Greece, Scotland, Canada, and even Mauritius. We first started talking about getting engaged in the summer of 2015, approaching our 4th anniversary. He later said it was just to theoretically „test the waters“, but it was then that I knew our relationship was serious and I would definitely say yes should he ever ask me to marry him. Fast forward a few more months, to when our talks about marriage became more frequent and he would sometimes hint at things like, for example, potential wedding locations. When I told my best friends about this, they got really excited and we all assumed that he would pop the question sometime soon. (Little did I know that it would take almost two more years, but as you will see, the proposal was absolutely worth waiting for in the end).
So when we went to Canada for our summer holiday 2016, I was almost sure he would ask me there, considering all the beautiful locations and the fact that he knew how much some of them meant to me, because I’ve been there several times ever since my childhood. When it became fall and still nothing had happened, I was getting quite frustrated. He still didn’t stop with the hints, though, so one day, after an exasperated phone call with one of my best friends, I decided to talk to him about it. He admitted that he didn’t realize how much his comments had made me anticipate a proposal, but he assured me that it was definitely his plan and that he had already thought about how 2018 would be a nice year to get married.
how they asked
Michael knew that I always said I wanted to have at least a year to plan the wedding, so when spring 2017 approached, I anticipated it more than ever. He also knew that I was frequently reading proposal stories here on howtheyasked.com, so he felt quite pressured by the „expectations“ I supposedly had. He thought I wanted ALL of it – the surprise, the perfect location, the perfect outfit, the perfect photos. I told him not to put himself under so much pressure, and that just because I liked many of these proposals, that doesn‘t necessarily mean there is just one perfect way to do it and I would say yes either way. Back in December a local photographer I follow on Facebook was looking for couples for some portfolio projects in the following months, and luckily, we got chosen. The shooting was scheduled for early April, and when the photographer asked me a few weeks prior if I would be okay with the shoot being a styled wedding shoot and me modeling a wedding dress, I got a little suspicious.
But as the day of the shoot came closer and it became abundantly clear that Michael did not communicate with the photographer at all, it seemed entirely impossible that he had planned something for that day. So on the day before the shoot my frustration bubbled up again, and I impulsively said something along the lines of „this would have been the perfect opportunity to propose“, and he absolutely stunned me by answering that he had indeed thought about proposing during the shoot, but had discarded the idea for some reasons, one of them being that he did not speak to the photographer beforehand, and worrying that her expectations for her portfolio shoot might clash with his plans for the proposal. However, the incident made us talk about our wedding plans once more, and I told Michael that if we were truly planning for 2018, we would have to start looking for locations soon.
He agreed that we should start making appointments to look at locations, and we very soon realized that most of the locations were already fully booked or at least reserved for almost every Saturday during the summer months. So when I found the perfect location on a wedding blog we directly scheduled an inspection for the following week. Just as anticipated, the location was wonderful. We knew we had to act quickly if we wanted to secure a date, so we sent out a booking request, which was confirmed a few days later. I was so happy about it that I could hardly wait to tell everybody. Now what? We had a date and a location, but still weren’t officially engaged. It‘s not even that our families expected an official proposal, in fact they already knew all about our plans, but it somehow still felt too weird to tell anyone else. I suggested we should just officially call ourselves engaged and get on with the planning, but Michael was a bit disappointed in himself that he had underestimated the whole timing of the situation and said that he still wanted to surprise me with a proposal at any cost.
Now here it comes, the actual proposal. Just when I thought I couldn‘t be surprised at all anymore, I got the most perfect proposal I could have ever imagined. We go to the theater on a regular basis with our good friend Silke, so it was nothing out of the ordinary that we had tickets for a performance of „The Addams Family“ in our local theater on a Friday night and dressed up to go out for drinks afterwards. The theater in our town is stunning, it has an old baroque style lobby, where the audience can go for drinks and snacks during the intermission. We usually take a few pictures there when we‘re all dressed up and Michael had even suggested it in the car on our way to the theater, but when we returned to our seats before the second half of the play, I realized that we had totally forgotten about it. When I remarked that we would have to take some pictures later, Michael said that we should just ask the theater staff if we can get in the lobby after the show to take a few photos. Just as the lights went out and the second half started, Silke said she had lost her bracelet and, as I had seen her still wearing it when we returned to our seats, I offered to help her look for it once the show finished.
That very same morning, Michael told me that he feared he had caught a bladder infection, because he had to run to the toilet very frequently. I was quite worried, but apparently he was well enough to go see the show and I didn’t think about it again until during the second half, when he was fidgeting in his seat because of it (or so I thought) and excused himself to go to the restroom during the applause at the end of the play. When the lights came up I helped Silke find her bracelet and when we finally left the room, most of the other people were already gone. Michael still hadn’t returned, so I was a bit reluctant to follow Silke, who was apparently very eager to ask the theater staff whether we could go inside the lobby (which was already closed) to take some pictures. But when they opened the door and we stepped into the lobby it all clicked – The first thing I saw was an aisle made of string lights on the floor, which led to a red velvet chair placed next to a grand piano, at which Michael was sitting and starting to play the moment I entered the room. The whole thing looked like a scene out of a Disney movie, and I felt like Belle entering the ballroom.
As soon as I realized what was happening, my legs started shaking. I was absolutely overwhelmed, because I had never expected to be so completely surprised by the proposal since I knew it was coming, but the situation just caught me off guard entirely. I just stood there for a moment listening to him playing „I see the light“ from Disney‘s „Tangled“ as the realization sank in that I should probably stop staring and walk down the aisle to him.
As I sat down in the chair I heard the clicking of a camera, so I knew we were being photographed. What I didn‘t know at the time was that some of our friends were hiding on the balcony and watching the whole thing as well. When the Disney song turned into a song that he composed for me a while back, I lost it. I always wondered why so many girls on „how they asked“ have their hands on their faces in the pictures, but in that moment it became clear that apparently this is just the natural reaction to emotional overflow, haha. After he finished playing I stood up to hug and kiss him.
He had tears in his eyes as he told me that, after all the waiting and planning, he had wanted to do this properly. To be honest, I don‘t remember every word of it, as I was too excited in that moment, but when he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him, of course I immediately said yes (and I think I added another „yes of course“ and „but you already knew that, didn‘t you“ just for good measure).
He even bought the most perfect engagement ring that I had fallen in love with at Tiffany & Co almost two years ago. When he tried to slip on the ring my hands were still shaking, I just couldn‘t believe that this was finally happening.
Just as the realisation started to sink in that we were now offcially engaged, I turned around to see people coming down the stairs. One of my best friends and her girlfriend – who I thought weren‘t even in town for the weekend – had helped plan this whole thing, along with two of their good friends who work at the theater. There was also my future sister-in-law, her best friend, and of course the photographer.
After everyone congratulated us and my pulse was slowly returning to normal, we went to a posh restaurant to celebrate. I was truly overwhelmed by the incredible effort he put into surprising me after all, and I couldn’t be happier to spend the rest of my life with this thoughtful, loving and talented man.