Zara and David

How We Met: David and I met in April of 2012. We were introduced by a mutual friend and since we both went to grad school at Northwestern University, we first crossed paths at an alumni mixer of sorts.

Image 1 of Zara and David

We didn’t talk much that night but when we ran into each other a few weeks later at the mutual friend’s birthday, we just clicked. We went to our first dinner at Slurping Turtle in Chicago on May 21, 2012 – he asked me to marry him exactly three years later.

Image 4 of Zara and David

how they asked: The Public Hotel is one of my favorite places in Chicago – I love the interior so much that I’ve mentioned that it would the perfect place to throw a wedding reception or engagement party. As it turns out, my fiancé was listening: He proposed there on May 21 and had our friends meet us afterwards for an impromptu engagement celebration.

Image 2 of Zara and David

We went to the hotel’s restaurant for an anniversary dinner the night of our engagement. After we finished our meal, I suggested we order dessert (there’s a deep dish cookie on the restaurant’s menu – how could I resist?) but David made up some excuse about wanting to go somewhere else for dessert.

As we were finishing up, he asked me if I had ever been inside a room in the hotel. I said yes and he said something along the lines of “I’m really curious to see how they look, do you think they would let us tour a room?” I replied by saying “no, they probably wouldn’t” but he insisted on asking the front desk if they could accommodate his request. He had tipped the concierge off and when he made he asked if we could peek into a room, the concierge handed us a key after going to “check with his manager.”

We headed upstairs and walked into a suite he had reserved and decorated. David played “I Choose You” by Sara Bareilles as I walked into the room and told me there was a gift waiting for me on the coffee table. I opened a small box…and it was empty.

When I turned around, he was standing behind me, ring in hand. He made a short speech about our relationship (I don’t remember any of it!) and then got down on one knee and asked me marry him. I said yes (of course!) and we called our parents, who were waiting expectantly, before meeting our closest friends at the hotel for a celebration.

Image 3 of Zara and David

It was the most perfect proposal I could have imagined because it showed that my fiancé truly knows me. Was I surprised? No. I even got my nails done the day before I had a feeling a lot of people looking at my hand the following night….but I just chalk the lack of surprise up to the two of us knowing each other so well.

Photographer: Lee Singletary