Tracy and Scott

Wedding Proposal Ideas in Bethesda Fountain in Central Park, New York, NY

How We Met

We were both living in New York City at the time. One cold winter night I tagged along with my friend Andrea to a party. Scott was also at the party – he had his eye on me from the moment I walked in the door that night, but never came up to talk to me. He later asked Andrea to put us in touch. A few weeks after that, we had our first date – he asked me to play hooky from work to build a snowman in Central Park! We spent the afternoon crafting a masterpiece, or at least a tall blob that kind of resembled a snowman. Then he took me for burgers and fries so spicy we were both in tears. It was pretty much my dream first date – and he was my dream guy. I was hooked.

how they asked

He really tricked me, that sneaky dog!!

We moved from New York City to Knoxville, TN, last summer. In March, Scott called me one afternoon while I was home visiting my family in KC, MO, to tell me his brother’s girlfriend, Rachel, invited us to a charity event she was putting on in May. He pointed out that we had only been back to NYC once since the move, and we were both missing the city pretty badly (and BAGELS). It took very little convincing that it was a good idea. Within minutes we had flights booked.

Other than stressing about which of our favorite restaurants to visit (there are too many for a short trip!), I didn’t think much of the upcoming trip. Ever since we had left NYC, I hoped Scott would whisk me back to the city for a surprise engagement. But I tend to think I’m capable of catching on to even the most tight-lipped surprises, so in my well-thought-out reasoning, there was no way it could be happening that weekend. I was definitely bummed out.

We flew up on a Friday. The flight was quite turbulent, and we shot back into the sky right before the wheels hit the runway. We circled for a while – at one point it looked like we might not even be landing at Newark anymore. Scott was really anxious, but given the rough flight I didn’t think anything of it. We finally landed and made our way into the city. The plan had been to visit my old neighborhood haunts on the Upper West Side, and then stroll through the park to my favorite ice cream spot on UES. Then we would go back to his brother Max’s apartment in East Village where we were staying to get ready for the charity event. Since we were running late, I suggested we move our adventure to Saturday so we would have time to enjoy it and not be rushed to get to the event. Scott insisted we still had time, so we went ahead with the plan.

Max met us at Penn Station to take our bags back to his apartment so we could walk around unhindered (what a guy!). Our first stop was Levain, where we bought cookies for us and for Max’s roommates (a thank you for letting us crash with them). Then we devoured bagels from my favorite spot up there, and then strolled to my favorite coffee joint. We walked through the park to the Bethesda Fountain. Scott wanted to walk down to take a picture by the water since this was one of our favorite spots in the park. As we were walking down the stairs, I was in my head revisiting all of the reasons he wasn’t tricking me this weekend. I was completely convinced I was right about nothing happening. Little did I know…

Scott took my hand and led me around to the side of the fountain. He took the coffee and cookies out of my hand and put them on the ground. I thought this was to take a picture. He took both of my hands in his and asked if I heard the song the guitar player next to us was playing. I realized it was our song. He proceeded to tell me all of the reasons he loved me, and then he got down on one knee. I was in such shock – I forgot to say yes out loud and just started crying! He had a photographer sneakily taking pictures throughout the whole thing, and we had a New York-style crowd of visitors cheering. It was beyond perfect.


Marriage Proposal Ideas in Bethesda Fountain in Central Park, New York, NY

Where to Propose in Bethesda Fountain in Central Park, New York, NY

The photographer whisked us off to take pictures in the park. I had so many questions and was just baffled. And on top of that, Scott told me the charity event was still happening in a few hours! After pictures, we parted ways with the photographer and walked south just to take a few minutes to ourselves so we could process everything. We both tried calling our families, but no one was answering their phones. I was so anxious to tell them!

Despite my protestations to get a cab so we could rush down to Max’s to get ready, we kept walking – all the way into the Mandarin Oriental. And then up to the lobby. We walked into a room with an amazing view of Central Park that was decorated with candles, balloons and rose petals. Minutes later, Max and Rachel surprised us. And then a few minutes after that, my parents and Scott’s parents strolled in!!

The surprises kept coming. The charity event was, in fact, completely made up and just a rouse to get me to the city without much questioning. We had dinner reservations in a private area of a great Italian spot downtown. Toward the end of dinner, I look over to see some of my best friends walking up the stairs (none of whom live in NYC). Cue screams, more tears, and a lot of hugs. After dinner, we went to a bar to keep celebrating. I opened the doors to a private room upstairs and was surprised yet again by 30 of our friends.

We spent the rest of the weekend celebrating with family and friends. It was the most magical experience of our lives!

Special Thanks

Greg Rhein
 | Photographer
Ryan McCurdy
 | Guitarist