He Asked … I said Yes!

A New York Love Affair :: Engagement Story

A New York Love Affair :: Engagement Story

In case you haven’t heard the news … Peter and I are engaged!! After almost 6 years of dating, he managed to surprise me with the most beautiful ring and an incredibly thoughtful proposal. Many of you have asked to hear the story, so here it goes! Can’t wait to share all the wedding planning fun over the next 9 months!

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First, let me set the stage … Peter and I have been dating awhile (over half a decade to be exact!). And apart from maybe my parents, I’m not sure there is anyone that knows me better. And knowing me, means knowing that I will ask a million questions, over-analyze every detail, and will comment on any out-of-the-ordinary act. So Peter had to be sneaky if he was going to surprise me. Not to mention, I have been probing for months, trying to guess how and when he will propose. WHOOPS! Sorry babe!

The seeds of his scheme were planted several days in advance, when mid-week my colleague mentioned that she and her friends were going to L’Artusi for the weekend.  I responded gleefully with “Oh my goshhhhh that is my favorite restaurant! You have to order the roasted mushrooms … and the budino … oooh! and the …” (you get the idea). 

Fast-forward to that Saturday. Peter and I were planning a pretty quintessential New York day – wandering around the Central Park Zoo followed by some much needed laundry. Peter seemed to have no concrete timeline for the day, so in my head I thought “Well, it’s probably not happening today. Maybe next weekend.”

While exploring the exotic bird coop, I get a text from my colleague. “We aren’t going to make it back in time for our reservation. I’m so bummed! Would you and Peter want to go? It’s as 6.” I immediately turned to Peter and showed him the text. “Should we go? I know we are trying to be good about spending right now…” Yes. It was decided. Date night at L’Artusi – what a serendipitous piece of news! I told Peter I would call the restaurant and change the reservation to my name when we got home.

We get back to our apartment, and its time to sort laundry. While I’m in the bedroom sorting the dirty clothes, I overhear Peter hop on a call. “Hi this is Peter calling about a reservation tonight at 6 pm under Tori. I’d like to change that reservation from 4 people to 2 … Sure we can update the name on the reservation. That’s Peter Bukowski … B as in boy – U – K – O -W – S as in Sam – K – I …” I remember thinking to myself, great! I don’t have to deal with calling after all.

As the reservation approached, I started getting dressed. And for the FIRST time in my adult life, I was ready early. Like WAY early (much to Peter’s chagrin). “Let’s head to the restaurant early … and take some blog pics in West Vill!” I suggested. NOT part of Peter’s plan. So he came up with every excuse under the sun as to why that was not a good idea … “Do you really want to lug that camera around? … My phone is still charging … The lighting is perfect right now outside, why don’t we shoot downstairs?” Fine, fine. We’ll shoot in our neighborhood.

A New York Love Affair :: Engagement Story

Blog pics done. STILL running early. And after a few last ditch stalling efforts by Peter we finally  grab a cab and head to the restaurant.

As we are pulling up, I hear Peter say “Oh my gosh! Is that Lex?!” Sure enough, Alexandra Dieck, blogger bestie and future bridesmaid is in the middle of the street shooting some street style. WHAT! SMALL WORLD! I immediately run out of the cab and hijack her photoshoot. “What are you doing here?! Let’s get a picture!”

A New York Love Affair :: Engagement Story

All of a sudden I feel Peter grab my right arm, turning me around toward him. In a serious voice he says “I need to talk to you about something.” I’m confused, but then he reaches for my hand to kiss it and I immediately look to his other hand and notice the ring box. The wheels start turning and I realize what is happening and I instantly start to cry.

A New York Love Affair :: Engagement Story

A New York Love Affair :: Engagement Story

A New York Love Affair :: Engagement Story

The moment I have been waiting for — and trying to predict for months — went off without a hitch. I was completely surprised. And it was the most perfect moment. Peter got down on one knee in the middle of a busy West Village street outside of L’Artusi, saying the sweetest things that I barely processed through my shock and tears. And the best part is — it was all caught on camera!

A New York Love Affair :: Engagement Story

A New York Love Affair :: Engagement Story

A New York Love Affair :: Engagement Story

Sneaky Peter managed the ultimate surprise:

  1. No, Tori didn’t actually have a reservation at L’Artusi. It was under Peter’s name the whole time. He just had to GET me there unsuspectingly.
  2. No, Lex was not there by coincidence. He had to find a way to distract me when I got out of the cab.
  3. No, those were not Lex’s photographers. They were hired by Peter to capture the whole proposal!

Little did I know … the surprises didn’t stop here. Keep reading! 

We were able to get some great pictures afterward, and enjoy the sheer joy of the moment together. Words cannot describe all the exciting and emotion I was feeling. And the ring — oh my gosh, I couldn’t stop staring at it!

A New York Love Affair :: Engagement Story

A New York Love Affair :: Engagement Story

If you’ve stuck with me this long — you are amazing! Because there was one more surprise up Peter’s sleeve. After my heart rate came down to more normal levels, we headed into the restaurant. “Peter for 2 @ 6:00 pm” … “Welcome! Right this way.” Up the stairs we go…

Peter was leading, and right as I rounded the top of the stairs my eyes gazed to the back of the dining space to the private wine room, where my entire family (minus my brother) + Peter’s family was waiting for us! They had all traveled in from Milwaukee and D.C. to be here for the post-proposal celebration! I was immediately overcome by tears again. It was the most special surprise of the night.

A New York Love Affair :: Engagement Story

I’m so incredibly excited that I get to marry this man in T-minus 283 days. I feel so blessed to have such a thoughtful, loving, and supportive person in my life. AND such an amazing family (and future family) that traveled so far to be there.

A New York Love Affair :: Engagement Story

Lastly, a few thank you’s are in order:

  1. Peter, of course, I love you. Thank you for orchestrating the most memorable surprise of my life!
  2. Families, thank you for traveling from far and wide to be with us. Can’t wait to celebrate with you all!
  3. Jakiur & Manny, the photographers, thank you for capturing the moment perfectly.
  4. Lex, you sneak! Thank you for being part of the grand scheme – you totally had me fooled!
  5. My colleague, Tori. Thanks for helping Peter with the misdirect. I definitely fell for it.
  6. And to all of you! Thank you for your outpouring of love over the last 2 months. I’m so lucky to have your support and friendship.

Stay tuned for much more wedding planning fun over the next 9 months!!

xoxoelenamichelle-200

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