Sunday, February 8, 2009

Tom and Sarah's Engagement Story

I began planning how I would propose to my girlfriend prior to our August 2007 trip to Walt Disney World. Sarah and I are huge Disney "nerds" and have vacation there about twice a year. I knew I wanted to propose at Disney,and I knew around Christmas-time would be perfect (as that would mark being together for two years). I hardly had to push with a suggestion for a Christmas WDW trip on our return from WDW in August. That really got the ball rolling. After the trip was set, I wrestled with some ideas in my head,but had nothing fully solidified. After receiving a blessing from Sarah's parents, her mother and I went ring shopping, in September. I picked up the ring before our trip in November of 2007. The night before we left for Walt Disney World, I voyaged into the one place no man should ever go: a woman's closet, to find a dress for Sarah to wear to dinner the following evening. I located what I needed, but left it there, knowing she would head into the closet again before we left and would suspect foul play if any of her clothing was misplaced.The following morning right before we left for the airport, I went back upstairs to grab my backpack which I had purposely left behind. While grabbing my bag, I slipped into her bedroom and quickly grabbed the dress and threw it in my bag. After arriving at our resort, meeting our friend, and checking in, we went to Downtown Disney. During our trip planning, I had told Sarah we would mini golf that night. I could tell she wasn't thrilled by the prospect (which was good, since I didn't want to plan something too fun so she would be disappointed by the eventual change in plans) but she agreed to go anyway. After we returned to the resort, we wandered around, before leaving to go mini golfing. Our friend who is doing the College Program at Disney, left for "work" after having secretly given me a couple bottles of champagne and wine, and we returned to our room. Not wanting Sarah to see the bottles and get suspicious, I hid them at the edge of the bed.Then I informed Sarah of the 'bad news'--that I unfortunately had to change the plans. At first she was taken aback, but I informed her that we were going to dinner instead of mini golfing. When, after asking what I was wearing, I responded "suit", she was taken aback yet again. Uh oh, she had not packed any 'dressy' clothes. I pulled out a black dress, and asked if that would work. Surprised and elated, she responded affirmatively.We got dressed, and prepared to leave. I told Sarah I was going to take the tripod so that we could take pictures after dinner. So I put in my backpack,along with the ring (which was the true motivation for taking the bag, since the ring stuck out like a sore thumb in my pocket), however, I intentionally left the bag in the room when we left the room.About halfway down the stairs, Sarah noticed I forgot the bag. I told her I would run upstairs and get it, she should just wait. I rushed back to the room, threw the champagne and wine in the fridge, and grabbed the bag. Off to dinner we went, with about half the plan going perfectly.

Having had no failures thus far, I knew something in my extremely precise plan was about to fail...I just wondered what. After a car ride of Sarah trying to guess where dinner would be, we headed for the monorail. Sarah kept guessing, and I got up from our seat at every monorail stop, only to sit right back down. What can I say, I enjoyed tormenting her. After heavy delays, we finally arrived at the Grand Floridian 1 minute after our reservation time. We quickly made our way to Narcoossee's (a restaurant at Disney World). The hostess informed us our table would be ready shortly. In Disneyspeak, I figured this meant it would take 20 minutes. I was concerned that we might miss the fireworks (which were the 'main event' of the night). About five minutes later, my buzzer went off. Phew. We enjoyed dinner, although towards dessert, I informed the waitress we would like the bill with dessert, as we were in a hurry. She kindly obliged, and I thanked her.
After dinner, we headed out to the dock to take the ferry over the Polynesian. We got there 10 minutes before the fireworks started. The night was chilly by Florida standards, so I gave Sarah my coat to wear.
I set up the tripod, as I "thought it would be nice to get some pictures of Christmas Wishes" (the firework show). I had watched a video of Christmas Wishes several times on YouTube, so I knew exactly how the dialog corresponded with the grand finale, which was when I planned on proposing. Right before the grand finale was going to start, I told Sarah it would be "nice if we had a picture of us with fireworks in the background." So I set the timer up, and went by her side (she didn't know I set the camera to take 10 pictures with a 2 second lapse between). This is when I planned on proposing. Unfortunately, I forgot to press the shutter. I ran back over to the camera pressed the shutter, and hoped things would still time perfectly. I stood next to Sarah for a few seconds, planning our "pose". Then I dropped to a knee, and began. I planned on delivering a long, emotional proposal, but I was incredibly nervous, and I have no idea what I even said now. The pictures lined up perfectly, for the most part, and I think they speak for themselves.

And that's the story. Afterward, we went to the lobby, called our families, etc. We then returned to the resort, where we enjoyed chilled champagne while I spilled the details I had so difficulty kept from her for the past months.Now, I am engaged to my best friend and couldn't be happier as we plan the wedding that will join us for the rest of our lives! Our wedding date is June 12, 2010. We are waiting to get married until after I graduate law school and Sarah gets her second bachelors degree. Thanks for reading!


Victoria said...

I am a hopeless romantic, and this thread just made my day! I can only hope that one day, I will be engaged to someone who will propose to me like this!

Great job! And you two look so great together.

Jenna said...

After 4 years of college, 300+ sorority sisters(and their engagement stories) this rates right up there in the top 5 best stories I've heard.
I think the only guy who surpasses your planning is my friend's sister whose (now) husband wrote, illistrated, a children's book and set it up in her favorite book store to propose.
Congrats to you!

Anonymous said...

Wow! A beautiful story. May you have a long and successful marriage.

Kilee said...

Very cute!! Loved reading this story. Thank you for sharing.