Rewind to 2008. Andrew and I had been together almost three years, living together more than two. Remember, I told him I wanted a ring or a cat and I got the cat for my birthday. He told me he didn't know if he ever wanted to get married and I was happy, so it didn't matter. An engagement was nowhere on my radar.
In August 2008, I was sitting around with some work girlfriends and we got on the subject of marriage. I confessed that I had a perfect proposal mapped out in my head, but there is no way it would happen. A perfect proposal would be in Las Vegas (which we were planning to visit that Christmas with his family), in front of the Bellagio fountains with "Time to Say Goodbye" by Andrea Bocelli and Celine Dion in the background. Yes, it is a depressing song, but we had heard it on a previous trip to Vegas and I loved the fountain show that accompanied it. My mom would never forgive Andrew if his family got to witness a proposal and she didn't, so she would have to be there, too. These girls were work friends only and none knew Andrew, so I felt safe telling them my secret.
December rolled around. Andrew talked his dad into taking us to a pretty swanky dinner for Christmas night. Nothing weird there; he was in culinary school at the time. We ended up at the hotel next to the one the rest of his family was at and he somehow got us upgraded to a suite. He made me "watch the bags" while he checked in so he could tell them of his plans, I later learned. He had packed a bottle of champagne to bring with us, and when I asked why, he said just because it was the holidays and it would be nice to have a drink in our room. I am telling you, none of this sounded any alarm bells at all!
Before dinner pics... I was so clueless.
Christmas night, and we were going to eat dinner. I had packed a short brown dress and had a casual black peacoat to wear over it. I figured we would take a taxi down the Strip to dinner. "No," he told me, "We should walk. Let my family see the Bellagio fountains on the way." Well, I love those damn fountains and didn't take much convincing. Money was tight and I didn't even think to buy a dressy coat for the trip - I didn't think anyone would notice or care what I looked like, and we only planned one nice meal. (Meanwhile, he had gotten a nice wool coat from his dad as an early Christmas gift!).
So we headed out to dinner and posed for a few pictures after meeting up with his family. He had brought the video camera "to record the fountains" and lingered behind with his dad talking about it while I was ahead with his sisters and niece. Again, no alarm bells. Was I clueless or what? But his dad asks lots of questions and it didn't seem weird to me that he might want to film some things during our trip.
We got in a little alcove to wait for the show to begin. Andrew and I were in front of his family, but I didn't think anything of it. He kept trying to keep me in one place but I was wandering around to keep warm. Finally, the show started... it was "Need a Little Christmas" by Johnny Mathis. We watched for a little while, and then he pulled me in and said something sweet about how he was doing his favorite thing with his favorite person and then he was on one knee with a ring in his hand and I said yes (duh!).
Watching the show | One knee (ugh the coat/dress!) | So shocked!
His family was behind us the whole time, his dad recording and his sister taking photos, for which I am forever grateful. As we hugged and I turned to look at them, I saw my mom and step-dad come out from behind a light post. He really had thought of everything! Then I burst into tears because, well, I was really overwhelmed.
Dinner with our families at Mix in THEhotel at Mandalay Bay. Beautiful view and I think the food was good, but I was too excited to care!
I went on to text my work friends, update my facebook status, and make happy phone calls on the way to the restaurant (which we took a cab to, thankfully!). We enjoyed a lovely dinner, popped the champagne afterwards, and enjoyed a few glorious days in Vegas celebrating our engagement. It was the perfect proposal for us (that was our third trip to Vegas as a couple). He had no idea that I had outlined it all to my work friends and had actually purchased the ring in July and told his dad that we had to go to Vegas for Christmas so he could propose. He contacted the Bellagio to see if "Time to Say Goodbye" would be playing during our stay, but it wasn't in the rotation then. He really thought of everything! Except buying me a new coat. I'm still bitter, but he is forgiven. In all that time, he never spoke with my friends and never knew that this is exactly what I wanted. So that's pretty impressive...
The video is really dark and kind of long but you can hear the song and watch our silhouettes, haha.
Outside the Wynn the next day - I have the "just engaged" left hand on display
We spent the rest of our trip just celebrating and as if I didn't already love Las Vegas, I grew to love it even more after getting engaged on the Strip!
If you have already blogged about your engagement story, I would love to read about it! Do you love Las Vegas? What's your favorite thing? Did you ever have a fashion faux pas during a big moment?