Tony and I just celebrated our 5th dating anniversary recently and I thought it would be fun to share my engagement story with you guys! I don’t know about you, but I am a total sucker for all those youtube videos or reading stories on how people got engaged. It’s a little long but I think you may enjoy it!
So my husband Tony and I started dating in 2012. We actually spent the first year-and-a-half of our relationship long distance because he was still living in Hawaii, and I had moved to New York for school. We would spend any time that we weren’t at work or in school on the phone. We would fall asleep on the phone together (good thing we had the same provider haha!), we would have ice cream and a movie dates, or watch tv shows together on our computers so we could watch them at the same time and interact with each other. Anything that made it feel like we weren’t so far apart. But in October of 2013 he joined me in the big city and we had so much fun going on adventures together. Just before my graduation in May of 2015, we found out we were pregnant. We already were making plans to marry but with the new addition, we decided to speed it up a bit.
Summer came and it was not a fun time to be pregnant in the city. I know some ladies have good experiences in the city while pregnant but mine personally was not. I was working long hours that honestly were making me sick, I felt like I had little to no time to relax, and lets face it, New York in the summer is really hot and bathrooms are rare in some areas. My little bean was still giving me waves of morning sickness, though it was more like all day sickness cause it would never end. But I was finally starting to be able to eat again which was a plus!
Now Tony knew all this. He knew I was tired and he knew I was eager for time with friends away from work. But you know what else he used to propose? He used the fact that I’m gullible and that I’m also very competitive!
I first want to add here that I told him that how and whenever he decides to propose, that I wanted a photographer there. Another thing that I love about my husband is that he is really good at keeping conversations going and keeping in contact with people way better than I am. One night I saw him in a group chat with a bunch of my friends from school (keep in mind, I was in photography school). I asked him what that was all about and he said something along the lines of he had a question and not to worry about it. I told him “ohhh now I’m gonna be careful of any time all those friends are together with him cause I’ll know something is up!” His advantage again, I was tired and ready for friend time.
So a week before proposal, I get into a group message with my friends saying they found this Instagram photo contest that was going to be happening in the city that was like a scavenger hunt. I said yes to that so fast! And the days leading up to it I was so excited to get out and hang with my friends instead of work. I was excited to do some photography and take some awesome pictures, and of course, I WANNA WIN!
June 27th 2015.
We all meet at Penn Station and grab some breakfast and snacks as we wait for our first clue. Then it finally came!
I got super excited when I figured out the first clue and led everyone to the first spot (or at least attempt to lead cause I’ll admit, I have no sense of direction). I even texted Tony about how I was proud I got the first answer.
We headed up to 71st to the tiniest park in Manhattan called Septuagesimo Uno. It’s the park that is featured in the movie Little Manhattan. We had watched the movie near one of our anniversaries so we thought why not take a visit there for the anniversary. So we did and we were a bit let down. It looked so much more beautiful and healthy for the movie then it did when we went. We had a good laugh though and sat on the little bench for a while before going and getting some hotdogs and pineapple juice and Gray Papaya.
Our group went up and we snapped a few pictures and then applied a filter to it with the hashtag #manhattanhunt519 and then waited for the next clue.
This excited me. We had to go take a picture with one of the carriage horses. You know how in romance movies, there’s always the part where they go through the carriage ride in the snow? This was always a dream of mine. One year, it had snowed before Christmas! It even flurried a little bit that Christmas eve and Tony’s Christmas gift to me was to either go ice skating in Central Park or to go on a carriage ride. I chose the carriage ride. And while it didn’t snow during the ride, it was still a perfect time with my love.
Now for this one, while I really wanted to go on a ride again, I know we had no time. This was a scavenger hunt contest after all and speed is everything! So we walked down near Columbus Circle and found the horses to take a picture with. At this point I got a little sad because I didn’t feel like our pictures were epic enough to win anything. But we continued. We also had a few stops along the way like Dave’s Candy Shop cause I had never been in there and if you’ve never been there, you totally need to check it out!
This one made me laugh. One of our first times together we went to Serendipity III because of the movie Serendipity. We actually kinda reenacted the whole movie. One time we either got really lucky or possibly accidently stole a reservation that was also under Tony and got to sit at the exact table the filmed at. But for that day. I got one of the menus out of the restaurant to take a picture with since it was way to busy and expensive for us to eat there. I was so sad that the contest asked for us to put this horrible filter on the picture. How can you win a contest if the filter makes the image look crap?
This was when I should’ve been suspicious but my happiness of being out and tired from work blinded me. I told you how we reenacted parts of Serendipity during his visit here? Well if you’ve seen the movie, the Waldorf Astoria plays a HUGE part in the movie. So we went and took a picture by the hotel while I tell them the story about this place and why it’s special.
In Serendipity, they were trying to test fate, and see if they weren’t meant to know each other now or later. They ran into the elevators of the hotel and they each picked a number. If they ended up on the same floor they could be together now. If not, they would part ways. While in the movie, they picked the same floor, the guy got stuck with a kid who ended up pushing all the buttons delaying him to get to his chosen floor. So as a joke we each got in an elevator and chose a number. He knew my favorite number was 28, and I didn’t want to be so obvious, so I chose 15. This was my number in elementary school being in alphabetical order with all my peers, something he didn’t know. Now something weird happened with my elevator and I got super nervous so I actually ended up going back down cause I was scared of getting kicked out by security. Tony joined me down there after saying how it was a bummer we didn’t pick the same floor. I asked him which number he chose and he said he went to floor 15. I couldn’t believe it! We weren’t dating at this time, but could you imagine if I didn’t chicken out and get to that floor?
My friends couldn’t believe I wasn’t catching on yet. Even though I was like “Wow! This contest is like taking all the big romance movies and making a hunt out of it! This deals with all our favorite movies!” I even texted Tony saying that he should’ve been there cause it’s like every milestone/date for our relationship. I’m so dense haha!
Stardust is so much fun! I came here with my mission group upon coming back from a trip and fell in love with it. It had such a great atmosphere with such talented people and the great food was also a plus. If you have a chance, you should totally check it out! But I loved it so much, I convinced Tony for us to go there one day. I always wished I lived in the 50’s. Great music, and all those 50’s diners and milkshakes. So me and Tony went in there and had ourselves a burger, some mac n cheese and a milkshake and it was awesome.
Our next location was to go to Toys R Us. This one we all weren’t to pleased to have to deal with all the tourists, and I was also starting to get really hungry. But we went in and did a quick picture with the Farris Wheel then grabbed a bite at AppleBees.
Here is where I got to go to the bathroom and I took a few minutes to check the instagram. I was getting upset that our pictures weren’t really getting likes, and that I also couldn’t see our competitions photos. I noticed at this point we weren’t seeing very many people so I was wondering where all the other participants were. So competitive I am, I was thinking how we need to try to get cooler photos so we can win this prize! I asked the group about about the hashtag thing and they said that every group gets their own hashtag so that we don’t really know what other teams are doing. So frustrating haha!
So we didn’t have to move from here but instead take a picture with the Scooby doo farris wheel car. Simple enough. I know it said to go inside but we are cheap and didn’t want to pay the money nor wait in a line. But man do I hate these filters the contest kept asking us to do!
Next we walked to Grand Central Station. One of my favorite movies was the newer remake of Arthur. If you’ve seen it, there’s a scene where they have their first date in Grand Central Station and the girl shows him the Whispering Walls. This has become one of my favorite free things to show people so you can bet I showed Tony when he came for his first visit. It’s just such a fun little thing to do there!
Next, we headed down to Macys on 34th. I was actually excited cause I “knew” Tony was working and I thought I could go say hi (and go to the bathroom again). But my friends told me this was girl time only. So we continued on our task before finally taking a train to our next location vs walking (yay cause my feet were starting to get tired!).
So when I first came to New York and walked the bridge, I thought it was so cute that people put these love locks on the bridge. I thought maybe one day I’ll be able to add a lock there. Tony came into my life and I told him about the bridge. After we had started dating I took him there during his second visit to New York he surprised me and showed that he bought a lock for the bridge. I was so nervous to get into this long distance relationship in the beginning but he assured me and even left me the key saying if he’s ever so stupid and we break up I can take the lock and chuck it into the river haha! When we got there though I noticed a lot of the old locks were cut off. Realizing this was probably a thing they do all the time especially with news that a bridge actually collapsed from love locks before Tony wanted to put ours in a safer place. Now he is afraid of heights but he climbed up on a lamp post near the middle of the bridge and locked it on the light part of the post. We usually walked the bridge from Brooklyn to Manhattan so it faces the skyline on the right of the bridge.
When we got off the train it had actually started to rain quite hard. Now I told my friends the story and they wanted to see our lock but honestly it had been awhile since I walked the bridge (nor have I ever done it backwards coming from Manhattan) and wasn’t even sure if it was there anymore. But we walked this bridge with pretty much no one around and it had really started pouring! They were determined to see my lock. I was tempted to just pick a random lamp post and say “whoops looks like it’s gone, lets take a picture of a random lock and get out of the rain!” not to mention I really really needed to pee again. Oh the joys of pregnancy!
Well we walked and I actually found the lock. When I took the picture, I laughed so hard seeing that a lot of the old locks were actually cut off but ours remained. Not only that but it looks like maybe they got frustrated at its location and gave up by just painting over it!
I tried to convince them to lets figure out the clues somewhere where I could use the bathroom and get out the rain but they were like nope we are doing it right here!
At Clue #3, I had to pee so badly and I’m a very visual person and was having problems working out the third message. But my friends figured it out for me. MARRY. All I thought was “Wow someone is going to get proposed to!” How exciting and cute!
Now clue number 4 freaked me out. I was about to tell them all “WE NEED TO GET OFF THIS BRIDGE NOW BEFORE WE GET KILLED” hahaha!! Stranger Danger was very strong and all I could see was us getting murdered on the bridge in the rain with no one else around.
But I turned around to see Tony under the red umbrella.
I was so confused why he wasn’t at work. Then I realized what the hidden messages said.
And then he got down on one knee.
I just started saying yes over and over barely hearing what he said. I also was surprised he said my full name! (It’s a very long Hawaiian name that not many people can say). He laughed when I asked him later that night to repeat what he said on the bridge cause I was too excited.
I got the best proposal I could’ve ever asked for. I couldn’t believe how dense I was! It also didn’t even click that in the hashtag he chose Manhattanhunt519, 5/19 is actually our anniversary! It went right over my head! Well after he proposed we got off the bridge, out of the rain and headed back into the city and grabbed some ramen and I finally got to pee! I even got to find out all the behind the scenes planning of this event where even my friends made a fake website for the hunt in case I got curious but I never even asked and how they were so nervous I was going to figure it out before we got there. And being that they are all photo friends from school, it was also well documented for me to be able to keep these memories forever. It was such a fun and wonderful day.
Well that’s my proposal story! I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did! Now comment to me with your proposal stories cause like I said before, I’m a total sap for these sorts of stories so I’d LOVE to hear yours!
Also, give my friend Julie Vorobyov a look see! She took both my engagement and wedding photos when we flew her down for our official wedding this past October. She also has an awesome youtube channel you should all take a look at! I’ll be leaving her information below!
Until next time guys!!
Instagram: @juliejigsaw & @julievorobyov