Sabrina and James

Where to Propose in Westin Hotel’s Rooftop Bar. Also known as L27

How We Met

James and I met on May 6, 2017, at the Westin Hotel’s rooftop lounge, also known to us locals as L27. I was there for a birthday gathering for a girlfriend of mine who was celebrating her birthday. I was also there with another guy. I had been in a relationship with that particular guy for 3 years and it was going nowhere. I was unhappy in the relationship but didn’t quite see a way out at the time. I happened to be standing alone at some point that evening and noticed a very tall gentleman in a suit walking in the door. James immediately caught my eye. He’s 6’6 and handsome, so all of the ladies were checking him out. James walked right up to me and struck up a conversation immediately. We hit it off and I began telling him about my career shift into entrepreneurship. We exchanged business cards and right after that, a male friend whisked James away to let him know that I was “taken.” James emailed me the following Monday and respectfully asked me to keep in touch. We became Facebook friends. A few weeks later, my relationship dissolved and I moved on. I got on Tinder and met someone else and wanted to see where that would take me. It took me to a dead end. As a hopeless romantic, I was trying my best to make it work. Meanwhile, James was also dating and things weren’t panning out for him either. We maintained a professional, Facebook friendship and James even invited me to his job to do a speaking engagement. We kept it 100% professional. I didn’t see James again until May 5, 2018, for the same birthday gathering as the year before! This time, he was formally invited by a mutual acquaintance. I had ended things with the guy from Tinder, and James was also single. By that evening, James walked me to my uber and asked me for my number before opening the car door for me. I gladly gave him my number thinking “This guy just feels different. It’s worth a shot!” He texted me that night and called the next day. A few days later, James had invited me on our first date. He’s a member of a fraternity and they were having a gala. By May 12, 2018, James and I were on our first date. I wore a long black gown and he wore a suit. We had a perfect evening. By the end of the month, James and I decided to try something new. Neither of us had ever actually courted another person. We took it old school and decided to date with the focus being on marriage and what that would look like for us. We had an amazing Summer! From hiking to festivals. From arcade games too long walks in the park. We did it all. By the end of the Summer, I knew I was in love with James and I told him. He replied, “I really care about you but I’m not sure I’m ready to tell you I love you.” For the first time in my life, I didn’t even care. I knew that I loved James and that eventually, he would wake up and love me too (lol)! And he did. Before Labor Day, James had told me he loved me and he never stopped saying it. There has not been one day where James hasn’t told me he loved me. By Christmas, we were head over heels in love with each other and ready to meet each other’s family. James’ family took me in as their own that Christmas and my family got to meet James during the Spring of 2019. All of our families and friends spoke so highly of each of us and it made my heart so happy to be in a relationship where things were so solid and consistent. He was the one. We began discussing marriage in 2019. It was clear that God had given us something so deep and so special that we knew that we wanted to honor him through our marriage. We were best friends. We spoke every single day for hours on end. We declared our love for each other endlessly. James had a way of making me believe in angels on earth. He rescued me from a mentality of believing that true love took me losing myself. I lost nothing with James and gained everything. He’s my angel.

How They Asked

I had no idea when James would propose. He literally let every single holiday go by without a ring. I felt that there were so many opportunities for him to do it. By New Year’s Eve 2019, and no proposal when the clock struck 12, I figured James was going to propose when James was good and ready! Our love was so strong, he didn’t have cold feet, and I knew it would happen eventually but stopped trying to guess when. My birthday is on January 29th. I had plans to celebrate that weekend with a group of girlfriends. We rented a cabin in Gatlinburg and were excited to take a girl’s trip and get away for a bit. Sadly, one of my close girlfriends passed away very suddenly on January 14th. My heartfelt like it was ripped in two. James was there to comfort me but by the time my birthday came along, I wasn’t in the mood to do anything. I had been feeling so sad about my friend and the recent events going on in our world that I just wanted to get out of the month of January and move forward. James and I decided on doing dinner on my birthday and then calling it a day. Just a simple dinner for two. After dinner, James asked me if I wanted to go back to where we met. We had been talking about going back for a year and never did so I thought it was sweet! We walked into the lobby at The Westin Hotel and the hostess asked us “Are you here for the party?” to which I answered “No. Who throws a party on a Wednesday night?” We walked in and to my surprise, tons of my friends had shown up with birthday gifts and cards wishing me a happy birthday! I cried of course. It had been a long month and I didn’t feel like celebrating. However, seeing their faces made me so happy!

I absolutely do not like surprises. I like to be in control. I ended up feeling very awkward while everyone sang happy birthday to me, but it was a sweet moment nonetheless. I went around and hugged everyone and after ten minutes or so, James had an announcement. The next thing you know he was down on one knee with tears streaming down his face asking me to be his wife. I was in shock because I figured that the surprise was in the actual party itself. Looking back at the video, I realize that people were actually cheering. I swear to you, I heard nothing. By the time James put the ring on, I was in full sob mode. I was engaged to the man I not only had dreamed about but a man who I didn’t think I would ever have. For it to be at the place where we first laid eyes on each other made it even more special. Needless to say, this is a birthday that I will never forget. He proposed, and we are getting married! I am overwhelmed with joy and gratitude to be preparing to marry my best friend. My true love. My best decision. My angel.

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