Shazia and Shaun
How We Met
We met nearly 4 years ago, when we were both 3rd year medical students rotating at a hospital in Chicago. Our first date was at the little cafe in the hospital lobby, where we found out we both had mutual friends and similar backgrounds, despite the fact that I’d just moved to Chicago from Vancouver. Next thing we knew, we were both starting residency together at the same hospital!
How They Asked
Shaun had apparently been planning this for months. He had arranged for both our families to fly in from Vancouver and Dallas, and kept all of our close family and friends in the loop so they could celebrate with us. Somehow, I then coincidentally invited my mom and sister to come visit that very weekend, not knowing they were already planning on coming in secret. Shaun now had to come up with a plan to get me away from my family for a bit, so he could still orchestrate the surprise, intimate proposal he had planned. A few weeks earlier, he planted the seed that he had a very important work event, that could change his future career plans. He told me that unfortunately it falls on the same weekend my mom and sister are in town. He begged me to consider leaving them for a bit so I could attend this event and help him network and make a good impression. After checking a million times with my mom and sister, I agreed. Shaun told me I’d have to be dressed up, and that it would take place at the Art Institute of Chicago. I planned that I would take my mom and sister shopping on Michigan Avenue all day, and then meet up with Shaun. The week prior, he had tasked a friend with taking me out to get my nails done. Little did I know, he had me completely fooled and there were a number of surprises coming my way.
On the day of, Shaun and I were on our way to the Art Institute. He told me there’s actually a cocktail hour outside, and that we’d have to cut through Millennium Park. We walked through the park, past the “Bean” and eventually approached the pedestrian bridge that links to park to the Art Institute. With the Chicago skyline as a backdrop, the bridge is lined with beautiful red foliage in the fall, and it also happened to be a gorgeous sunny day, despite having rain in the forecast all week. We walked down the bridge holding hands, until Shaun stopped and suggested we should take a photo. He posed with me and then turned towards me, and said “I had this whole speech planned out, but I’m so nervous, I can’t remember any of it”. He got down on one knee, and the rest is a blur of happiness, tears and disbelief. Those passing by yelled out “say yes!” And I did! We then joined my family for dinner, where I was surprised with his whole family too! Afterwards, Shaun led us up to a rooftop penthouse for a surprise engagement celebration with our immediate family and closest friends. It was incredible and still feels like a dream!