For some couples the engagement is just down the road. Both parties know that they are getting married, and the only thing left is the proposal. Just because the bride to be knows the moment is coming does not mean the element of surprise is completely lost!
Curtis and Vanessa started dating on December 28, 2008. Four years and one day later, Curtis asked a very important question, and Vanessa said yes! (Well, she didn’t actually say anything but we’ll get to that later…)
If you know Curtis, you know he’s not one for planning. If you know Vanessa, you know she can’t function without a plan. Yet on the day of their engagement Curtis planned every special detail while Vanessa just went with the flow. It truly was an amazing day!
Friday, December 28, 2012 was the couple’s four year anniversary but they decided to celebrate on the 29th so they could have the entire day at their disposal rather than just going to dinner after work on Friday. Their plan was to go out for breakfast and dinner and do nothing in between. On the morning of the 29th Curtis suggested they go to Anita’s Crepes for breakfast, but Vanessa insisted on going to one of their favorite restaurants, Volterra, instead. After a delicious meal, they walked out of the restaurant and Vanessa asked what they should do next. Curtis reached into his pocket and pulled out an envelope with #1 written on the front. Vanessa immediately knew this was it – they were finally getting engaged. She didn’t share her suspicions with Curtis and he was thankful for that!
The envelope contained a card that was the first in a series of clues. It directed Vanessa to Miro Tea (which is next door to Volterra, which is why Curtis didn’t want to go there for breakfast). Miro was the first place the two had hung out as friends , and they’d been back many times to play games and study for the bar. They consider it “their place.” They went into Miro, played a game, and drank some tea. When they were finished, Curtis handed Vanessa card #2.
The second card gave the option to “choose your own adventure” – go to the Ballard Locks, where they often take evening walks, or to Golden Gardens, where they have spent many sunny days reading and walking on the beach. Vanessa chose Golden Gardens, but it was cold so they stopped at home first to get some tea and hot chocolate. After walking around the beach and reminiscing about some of their favorite memories, Curtis handed Vanessa card #3.
The third card brought them back to “where it all began” – Seattle University School of Law. Unfortunately it was Christmas break so the doors were locked, but they walked around and went to the Starbucks across the street for yet more tea and coffee and exchanged “remember when” stories from law school. Curtis then gave Vanessa card #4.
The fourth card sent Vanessa to a local bar where she had thrown Curtis a birthday party a few years earlier. They had a beer, played shuffle board (Curtis won) and PacMan (If it had been a two person game Curtis would have won that too!), and just enjoyed spending time together until it was time for card #5.
The fifth card did not recreate an old memory but rather made a new one. They rode the Great Wheel! About halfway through the very long line, one of the workers asked if there were any groups of 2. Curtis raised his hand (good thing he’s tall!) and they were pulled up to the front of the line and given their very own car! Although the weather hadn’t been great that day, the view was spectacular and they were both impressed. As they stepped off the wheel, Curtis handed over card #6.
The sixth card said they should get to know the city in which they would be growing old together. Off to Kerry Park! Vanessa insisted they have a stranger take their picture because of the pretty view. After the picture they stood together looking out at the beautiful Seattle skyline. Curtis told Vanessa he loved her, and Vanessa said she loved him too. He then said, “I have a question for you,” got down on one knee, and asked her to marry him. Instead of saying yes, Vanessa started shaking and made a bunch of weird noises. He then put the ring on her finger (the ring they had designed over a year before!) and said their friends, Jared and Micol, were there taking pictures. Suddenly Micol and Jared popped out from behind an umbrella positioned across the street and Micol came running toward them. Jared asked if Vanessa said yes, and that’s when they realized she hadn’t….so then she did! At this point Vanessa hadn’t cried yet (if you know her, you know that was very strange) but suddenly the tears started coming and wouldn’t stop. They were actually getting married! Jared then took pictures of the newly engaged couple with their city in the background. It was truly the best proposal ever—but it wasn’t over yet. Curtis handed Vanessa the final envelope.
The seventh card confirmed their original dinner plans were still on but added that their moms and step Dads would be joining them This of course made Vanessa cry even more. At dinner, there were champagne toasts, happy tears, and so much love.
As Curtis proved, it doesn’t need to be just the moment by , creating a day full of surprises. I love that even after the proposal there was one more surprise, and they got to share the adventure over champagne! This story was even more special for James & Lily because we manufactured the gorgeous engagement ring designed by Cristina Podlusky.