Since Brian and I are celebrating our second wedding anniversary this week, I thought I’d share a few stories about the beginnings of our relationship. Yesterday I shared about how Brian and I met and what our first date was like. Today, I’m going to let you in on the details of one of the best days of our lives…the day Brian asked me to marry him!
In a nutshell…
+ Malibu Wines Tasting Room
+ 363 sunflowers
+ “Will you marry me?”
For those of you who care to know the details, here’s the whole story (thankfully, I wrote it all down the day after it happened—otherwise there is no way I would remember all of these details!)…
First, let me just say that I was totally oblivious until the moment his knee hit the ground. Second, it’s important to know that he didn’t just pop the question. There was much more thought and intentionality put into it in order to prepare my heart for what was to come.
Brian decided to drive up to Malibu to spend time with me since I’d had a tough week and we were frustrated with only having the phone as a source of communicating. As soon as I told my friends and coworker Emily, she emailed him to ask if he was going to propose, since that was the obvious thing in her mind. I assured her that he wasn’t going to, and he even emailed her back affirming my thoughts. What we didn’t catch was the specific language he used, “I’m not proposing to her tonight.” That’ll come into play later.
He ordered takeout from Cholada, my favorite Thai restaurant, and he gave me the first part of my anniversary gift: a printed booklet of almost every email we had written to each other over the past year that we’ve lived in different cities. “This is how we fell in love,” he said. We spent the evening reading through all of them, making fun of each other a little bit for our cheesiness, and delighting in some of the more profound statements we made as we grew to know each other more and more.
I was sad to see him leave, but I knew I’d have him back the next night and that he’d be staying for the whole weekend to celebrate our anniversary.
Brian had a half day on Thursday and I usually did tutoring for a couple hours in the afternoon, but it got cancelled that day so I told him he could show up as soon as he wanted to. By 5:00, we met up and grabbed a quick dinner at Subway. The real event for the night was the Maundy Thursday service at Malibu Pres, which I had to play a very very small role in. Nonetheless, we could not have picked a better way to spend our time. Since we lived far away from each other, we never get the chance to do those kinds of things together. In hindsight, that service was crucial for us to have our hearts fully prepared for what was to come.
The most special part of the service for me was getting to serve communion to Brian, and have him serve it to me—something so meaningful for us in our faith, and a representation of selflessness. It was a small part of the service, but there was something so intimate about it, I’m thankful that we had the opportunity to do it the day before we got engaged! The reason I share these little moments about Wednesday and Thursday night is to show how much thought he put into preparing my heart for engagement. I love him for that. And for about a million other things too.
This was our anniversary celebration day that became the proposal day!! We started the day leisurely with breakfast and coffee at Starbucks before heading to Zuma Beach for a run. As soon as we got to the beach, Brian said he wanted to read some scripture to start off our day right. We read through Psalm 139 (our favorite chapter in the Bible), and also Ephesians 5, the chapter about wives and husbands (how I didn’t catch on at this point, I have no idea. I just kept thinking back to the email he sent Emily about not proposing this weekend and I didn’t want to create any false hopes). We prayed together for a bit, and then took off on a beautiful run by the beach.
He told me we were going on a picnic next, but he couldn’t give me any details. All he said was, “I’m going to wear a button-down shirt, so you might want to wear something nice.” We first made a stop at Ralph’s to pick up food for the picnic and got all my faves–a veggie sandwich, carrots and hummus, strawberries, and of course, chocolate! Then we got cleaned up and hit the road, driving up beautiful Mulholland Highway toward the undisclosed location. Before I knew it, I was jumped out of my seat with delight because we stopped at Malibu Wines, a quaint little winery in the Malibu canyons that my friend Kristie and I had discovered the year before.
Since it was our anniversary, I had a couple presents to give him and we decided we’d bring them to our picnic with us. He told me that he’d bring the gifts I’d bought him and the card he got me, but that I’d have to wait to see my gift because he had it in the trunk, unwrapped, because it was “oblong and odd-shaped.” And being the naive girl that I could be sometimes, I believed him!
When we walked in, everyone was staring at us and I brushed it off as them gawking at Brian’s extra-tall stature or the HUGE presents he was holding (again, I had no idea what was going on). As I walked toward tables near all of the staring people, he suggested that we sit in another more private area. As we walked up the hill toward the other tables he was referring to, I saw a breathtaking sight: hundreds of sunflowers making a pathway to our private table, and pots and vases filled to the brim with the happiest flowers that exist. He later told me there were 363 of them, one for every day we’d been together.
We sat down and ate our picnic lunch while sipping wine and reminiscing about the past year we’d spent together. Since my gift was supposedly in the trunk, he opened his anniversary gifts first. I got really excited when he opened them because I was convinced the gifts I got him were going to be better than his gifts for me! In about 5 minutes from that very moment, I realized I was wrong.
We then got up to get my “present” in the car, but after a couple of steps, he stopped and turned to me. He told me how much he loved the past year of our lives and that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me. Then he got down on his knee and I couldn’t believe what was happening! He said, “I love you so much. Will you marry me?” I said, “YES!!” and gave him a huge kiss (probably more like 20 kisses).
At that point, he revealed the third surprise of the day (#1=picnic at Malibu Wines, #2=proposal): Brian had our friends Jenn, Kenna and Ron take pictures of the whole thing!! We spent some time with them, feeling excited about all that had just happened, and then I found out there was yet another surprise! We drove to John’s Garden and there waiting for us were our friends Patrick and Jenn!! The rest of the weekend was filled with celebrations, our families meeting, a beautiful Easter service, and the beginnings of wedding planning.
What a special time that was—and now I’m so thankful that the man who went to such an ordeal to ask me to marry him is the man I spend every single day with. I love you, Brian!
If you’re engaged or married, I’d love to hear your proposal story! If you’re not, what might a great proposal look like to you?
Photo by Ron Nord (who cleverly hid in the bushes during the whole thing)