As a perpetual planner and continual list-maker, I appreciated Jonathan’s well-planned proposal which slightly poked fun at my habit. (In fact, I have “write engagement blog post” on a list, just waiting to be crossed off as I type this!) The thoughtful and simple proposal was reflective of our natural connection, so without further ado: Our Engagement Story.
Kara: On Friday, February 7th, as I left the office, my coworkers and I joked about who was going to be getting engaged on Valentine’s Day. I secretly hoped Jonathan wouldn’t choose such an obvious date, but couldn’t quite be sure. After saying our farewells for the weekend, I walked quickly home through the cold toward our warm apartment and Jonathan, who had worked from home that day.
Jonathan: Thanks to a Pinterest post, I knew that the three rules of a proposal are to 1) get down on one knee, 2) use her full name, and 3) make sure that someone is there to photograph it. I knew that as a photographer herself, Kara would find the last one especially important. Given that I wanted a large list that would show up in a picture, the simplest solution would just be hanging up a large sheet of paper in our apartment.
Kara: When I walked in the door, he came through the kitchen doorway, fully-dressed, which immediately registered as odd. (Because, let’s be serious here- one of the best things about working from home is not having to get dressed!) As I was taking off my coat, he gestured to the wall and said, “Do you want to put your stuff down?” He thought I had seen the sign and understood what was going on, but I hadn’t!
Jonathan: When I heard keys jingle, I darted into the living room to grab the camera remote and the case I had fashioned to hold the ring and a sharpie (to cross the first thing off the list, of course). I greeted her at the opening to the living room, and gradually tried to lead her farther into the room. I was waiting for her to see the sign before executing Pinterest rule number 1, but as soon as her eyes flashed over to the to-do list, she just stood there with her coat still on, clutching her bags. As good as her new coat looks on her, I thought she would appreciate being able to shed her belongings and suggested that she put them down.
Kara: By the time I had placed my coat on the back of the couch, Jonathan had dropped to one knee. I couldn’t tell you what he said, although I do vaguely remember him saying my full name, because I was confused by the sight of the sharpie in the box. And I wasn’t sure if he was figuratively or literally asking me to “cross #1 off the list.”
Jonathan: After the coat came off, I led her over to the sign, got down on one knee, flipped open the case, asked her to make me so happy as to cross off number one. She took some convincing that I actually wanted her to physically take the sharpie to the list, but as far as I was concerned, the poster was the official engagement, not the ring!
Jonathan: I knew that as a photographer herself, Kara would find the last one especially important. Given that I wanted a large list that would show up in a picture, the simplest solution would just be hanging up a large sheet of paper in our apartment. However, I am a fairly private person, and I thought someone hiding out in the kitchen ready to pop out and take pictures might spoil the intimacy of the moment for me. Luckily, Kara has professional camera equipment, so I spent most of my preparation time while Kara was at work researching how to assemble and use her tripod, remote, and the super fancy camera itself. I chose to hang the list in the living room on the near wall that she would see last, then tried to get as much light in the room as possible without being suspicious.
Kara: My favorite part of the above photo is the kitty photobomb. Thanks, Arlo! I think this was the moment I had realized how much trouble Jonathan had gone to in order to set this up. More than anything, I was impressed with the level of commitment it took to set up my camera, tripod, and remotes- no easy task!
Below are some photos of the ring, which once belonged to my maternal great grandmother and is sentimental because it was given to me by my great aunt. Jonathan also chose one of his late grandfather’s shirts as to have remembrances from both families. Such a sweet touch!
After celebrating with champagne, we made dinner together and attended a friend’s housewarming party. The engagement was a perfect story, but our normal routine and plans are what make our life and our love special. And, as Jonathan said, “We’re not going to use the excuse that we’re engaged to bow out of parties in the future. Why start now?” Engaged, but still us.