This proposal is probably one of the most anticipated events for me... not to mention Kailen, the girl who actually was proposed to. You see, Dan and Kailen are some of Pete and my favorite people. They are good friends who we used to spend countless hours at each others houses when we lived blocks from each other in West Seattle. It's been some years now since we were neighborhood buddies, and since we live across town from each other now, we see each other much less, but that just means we love the time we get to spend together that much more. Dan and Kailen have been together for over 5 years now, and like most girls when they hit that time in a relationship, a certain finger on their left hand starts to itch a bit. So, being girls, Kailen and I had had many conversations about marriage, when Dan was going to propose, and the fledgling plans for her wedding she already had in her mind. Well, Dan was going to propose, but knowing just how important this moment would be for Kailen, he knew he couldn't do something small. It had to be epic... and it was!
A couple of months back, Dan, Kailen, Pete, me and 4 other good friends went on this dinner cruise around Lake Union. It was dinner along with stiff drinks and a first night out on the town since Lincoln was born. All in all, a memorable night.
The people who know me well know me to be a bit blunt while sober, and when drinking... well... let's say Im a bit more blunt *hehe*. So I pulled Dan aside, and straight up asked when things were gonna get a movin for them. To my surprise, not only did he have a plan set out, but he told me about it and asked if I'd be interested in photographing their proposal.
So, the plan was set. I knew it was to happen in NYC when they went on vacation in December, and he wanted to propose in front of this fountain at Bryant Park which is one of his favorite places in the city. The plan was for them to show up early on Saturday morning when the park was still quiet, and I would be "hiding" off in the distance waiting for the perfect moment when he drops down on one knee.
It was the perfect plan.
I decided to bring Pete along with on the trip seeing that we had both always wanted to go but had never been, and what a better way to spend your first time in NYC but with two people you adore?
Now we had to wait the couple of months till December, trying to keep the secret, not only from Kailen, but from all our other friends so that there was no way for it to accidentally spill. Even with our secrecy, I had to come up with a quick lie when a friend spills to Kailen that we are going to New York and hoping she believes it when I tell her we are going in March.
I try to sound like an interested but clueless friend when I talk with Kailen the week before they go and she says she has "suspicions" of a proposal that will happen while they are in New York. She thinks it will be on the Brooklyn Bridge and I know it won't, so I have to act excited but tell her not to be let down if it doesn't happen... knowing full well it will, at some point on their vacation. Trying to be the interested, excited friend, while not blowing what it is that I know isn't easy. I'm not a good liar..
The day comes and we get to New York, and with the amazing help of my Aunt and Uncle who live in Manhattan, find our way to Bryant Park where the proposal is to happen. We find the perfect spot, set up Pete, Rob and Joan so that they block other's views of me, but lets me see through them to where I know it will happen.
And we wait...
and wait... and wait...
You see, the problem with doing a surprise like this is that you have to depend on the stars aligning and everything happening as you expect it to which rarely ever happens. The time they were supposed to be there was 9am. At 8:45 we get a text from Dan saying it will be another 45 minutes. So we shuffle around . Pete and I running on exaustion after taking the redeye out the night before and coming straight over from the airport. We are running on 24 hours without sleep. We watch the ice skating rink that is set up at Bryant Park slowly get busier, and the shops start to open. A sleepy New York City begins to wake up...
and we get another text "another 45 minutes...blame Kailen".
Okay, so we wait, and get to chat with Rob and Joan (my aunt and uncle who are amazing). We get hot chocolates and wait.
around 10:45 we get another text " we are here"
my heart goes into my mouth and we all get into position. I try and revive my frozen fingers and keep a look out for Dan and Kailen.
Then I see Dan. Our eyes meet and he has a super major grin on his face.
There are people everywhere. New York is now most definitely awake at 10:45 on a Saturday morning, so I keep an eye on them and move to a spot not blocked my random New Yorkers and tourists.
Dan goes down on one knee... and Kailen bursts into tears.
Pretty sure the answer is yes...
and then the second part of the surprise... that Pete and I are there to capture this moment and to photograph their engagement session on the streets of New York.
Dan tries to point me out, but Kailen can't see me in the crowds at first... Apparently I did a good job of camouflage.
From here, we set out to have an amazing weekend in NYC. Between my aunt and uncle and their friend Trevor who they were staying with, we were able to see so much of the city and capture fun images through the whole weekend.
One reason I love these two so much.. I say "do something crazy" and most will give me a funny face... these two straight up jump out and be crazy. Awesome!
Thank you Dan for thinking up this whole adventure and bringing me in on it. Thank you Kailen for saying yes and being so unbelieveably happy about it!
Next will be my touristy post about how AMAZING New York City is !