Samantha and Bryant

Image 1 of Samantha and Bryant

How We Met

Bryant and I had our first date at a jerk chicken joint in the city. Apparently, I was missing out by never trying his favorite food. Boy, was he right! We go looking for different jerk chicken spots now!

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how they asked

Bryant and I have a tradition of playing games at parks. Our very first game played together was Scrabble. Although neither of us is a hardcore expert at it, we are very competitive and get worked up when we try to beat each other. Often a shimmy or song will often break out if there is a high scoring word. I’ve found the trick is to land a work with a ‘Q’ on a triple word score box! One evening, we did our usual routine. It was so normal that I did not think to dress nicely, or even put on makeup! Had I known, I probably would have ditched the sweatshirt for the photos…

We bought our cheese and crackers, grabbed our beach towels, and plopped down at the park to play. Like usual, I was concentrating really hard to win.

Image 3 of Samantha and Bryant

I stared at the board with my laser eyes and wondered which letters would allow me all bragging rights once again. Bryant told me that it was my turn to grab my next letters, so I reached into the bag and told him that there were none left when all I grabbed was a fist full of air. Bryant insisted that there was another one in there, so I reached down again. My senses told me that what I touched was definitely not a square piece of wood, but a thin, circular piece of metal.

Image 4 of Samantha and Bryant

Image 5 of Samantha and Bryant

Then I started hearing camera shutters go off a mile a minute and realized then that IT was happening! I laid my eyes on the beautiful ring and became overwhelmed with emotions. However, they were not just emotions. They were the ugly bawling kind! I wish I could have cried with those single long streams, but I could not even keep my eyes open. Bryant took me into his hold and started telling me how excited he was to have a future family with me and how happy I had made him (I’m pretty sure he said some other things, I was just too overwhelmed to remember everything). Then he asked those magic words, “Will you marry me?” I was honestly so overwhelmed that I did not even remember whether I actually said yes or just nodded my emotional crying head.

Image 6 of Samantha and Bryant

Image 7 of Samantha and Bryant

(He confirmed later that I actually did say yes!) Right after we hugged and kissed, our photographer came and introduced herself. (She wasn’t just a lady with a large camera, sitting around after all!) She took more beautiful photos of us, documenting our pure joy in front of the Manhattan Bridge.

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Right after she left, Bryant said that we had dinner reservations, so that we needed to start heading back to his apartment to drop off our things. As soon as we entered the elevator, he pressed a different floor than he lived on. I became suspicious and asked where we were going.

Image 9 of Samantha and Bryant

Image 10 of Samantha and Bryant

He simply replied, “You’ll see.” As soon as we walked into the lounge space, I saw food set up, so I thought he was just surprising me with a romantic dinner with just the two of us. Little did I realize, however, he planned a huge surprise party with his big family and our friends. I immediately saw his younger brother whom I knew had a big hand in the proposal, so I teared up and hugged him right away. Then in the corner, I saw a distant figure waving her hand at me. Under the glasses and permed hair, I soon realized that it was my mom smiling and waving her hand at me!

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The last people that I expected to see were my family members because all of them live far out of New York. Once I saw my mom, I became soo overwhelmed with emotions and started bawling again. Bryant had apparently flown them out and nestled them in a hotel for the past few days so that he could keep it surprise! I was absolutely shocked and amazed at how many people came out to congratulate us and how little I suspected any of it. I’m actually pretty keen on my senses and pick up on the surprises that Bryant plans.

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Anniversaries, gifts, or dates–you name it, I’ve guessed it right before. I was so overcome with the surprise of not only the proposal but seeing all of our close family and friends all in one place for the purpose of congratulating us and following Bryant’s plan to make it special for me. The whole night through, all my friends revealed to me how hard it was to keep the secret from me and how detailed Bryant had been throughout the process to make sure that it was a perfect surprise for me. I felt like an absolute princess showered with love and support. I could not have asked for a better proposal!

Image 13 of Samantha and Bryant

Image 14 of Samantha and Bryant

Special Thanks

Jessica Lehrman
 | Photographer
Matty Yu
 | Planning
Brandon Yu
 | Planning