Samantha and Chris

Image 1 of Samantha and Chris

How We Met

Chris and I met in 2013 in our hometown of Ellicott City, MD, about a year after I had completed my undergraduate degree at Ithaca College. It was surprising how quickly we fell in love and pretty much knew after only a few months that we wanted to be with each other through everything life had in store for us. We went to Orioles and Ravens games, got a dog together, went on vacations to the Caribbean, Mexico, and North Carolina, and gradually became each other’s best friend. We lived together almost immediately because I had my own apartment and we learned each other’s pet peeves and house habits and are still in love four years later.

Image 2 of Samantha and Chris

how they asked

My parents like to stay at the Bellagio in Las Vegas every year and Chris and I had gone with them once before, a trip Chris had loved. This year we were going over Super Bowl weekend and I was excited for us all to experience the amazing craziness of the Bellagio Super Bowl Party my parent’s had attempted to describe to us in the past. My thoughts were mainly on that fun night to come when we were checking in Friday morning and my parents told me that because they belonged to the Bellagio rewards program they had won a free formal photo shoot on a private balcony at the Bellagio by the fountains.

Image 3 of Samantha and Chris

They were very excited, saying they wanted the pictures to be our Christmas cards for the upcoming year and while I didn’t mind dressing up a little more to take pictures, Chris was not enthused. Having spent most of his teenage life dressing up in a jacket and tie for private school, Chris is not a big fan of dressing up. He will when he has to for our friend or family events but largely he avoids it as much as possible. So my lovely boyfriend proceeded to complain for the next 36 hours about how he didn’t want to dress up and he hated taking posed pictures and why did we always have to do silly stuff like this with my parents, etc. I was beyond done with his attitude by the time Saturday afternoon rolled around and we went to take the photos.

Image 4 of Samantha and Chris

After we had met the coordinators and the photographer, Chris took me by the hand and led me outside onto the balcony where we walked down the stairs to a bouquet of white roses on the staircase railing, a bottle of champagne with four Swarovski studded champagne flutes, a small box of gourmet chocolates, and a heart made out of rose petals on the ground. He told me I was the love of his life and asked me if I would do him the honor of marrying him before getting down on one knee and proposing. Of course I said yes!

Image 5 of Samantha and Chris

It was magical and while I wanted to cry I was very conscious of the the professional photographer taking my picture so I buried my head in his chest and took a few deep breaths.

Image 6 of Samantha and Chris

My parents were crying and filming it on their phones, smiling like crazy. Then Chris told me that he had been allowed to choose one of the famous Bellagio fountain shows to play just for us and he had picked out “This Kiss” by Faith Hill. The song began to play almost as if on cue and we stood and watched and took pictures in front of the beautifully choreographed cascading water, soaking in this wonderful moment in our lives.

Image 7 of Samantha and Chris

After it was done we took many more engagement photos, including toasting with our parents and my mom giving me some personalized M&Ms she had made for the occasion.

Image 8 of Samantha and Chris

Image 9 of Samantha and Chris

I have never been more grateful for such a loving fiancé and a wonderful family who would go to such lengths to surprise me and make me happy. Chris truly is my person and I cannot wait to see what amazing things life has in store for us.

Special Thanks