Being wedding photographers, we hear a lot of engagement stories. Like, a lot. Some involve elaborate scavenger hunts through the city with the groom-to-be waiting at the last location. Some involve a romantic walk on the beach at sunset. And some even involve fireworks (yes, real fireworks)! This story on the other hand, is not one of those engagement stories.
We had been officially dating for less than a month when we started hinting that we were ready to say I love you. At the time, the movie Dodgeball was popular and we had seen it more than once together. In the movie, Gordan’s wife would make an “L” with her hand and hold it up to her forehead because she thinks he is a loser (we know you’ve seen this before). He would respond by doing the same and then say “L for Love!” We just loved this part and thought it was hilarious. So in our texts to each other we would just send the letter L. It was cute. It was safe. But at the top of the stairs at Ashley’s parent’s house the day we celebrated Christmas, we said it. And believe it or not, Ashley actually said it first. As if she couldn’t possibly keep it inside any longer. Even then we knew that we would get married.
We had decided early on that our anniversary would be the date of our first kiss since we were pretty much a couple after that – November 10, 2004. This meant that our one year anniversary fell on a Thursday so we decided to wait until the weekend to celebrate.
November 12, 2005 started out like any other Saturday. In the year that we had been together, Perkins had become our restaurant of choice on the weekend and instead of going all out to celebrate our first anniversary we wanted to just spend a day doing our favorite things together. This meant starting the day with breakfast at Perkins! After breakfast we talked while sipping our coffee, definitely taking advantage of the bottomless cup.
As we were about to get up to leave, Troy said very casually “so, do you want to get engaged today?”
We had picked out the ring together so getting engaged was just a matter of time. But to just casually ask like that? Ashley responded, “we can go pick up the ring” to which Troy replied that he already had it. The proposal is something you wait your whole life for! Ashley was definitely not going to accept that. She politely told Troy that he had to do better.
Next up on the day’s activities was a matinee. With engagement on our minds, one would think that we would have chosen something light-hearted. Romantic even. You’d be mistaken. We purchased our tickets for Saw II and spent the next two hours playing games in the arcade because Troy refused to leave the movie theater. He even won Ashley a Batman out of the claw machine. Once we had spent all our change we sat on a bench outside the theater and waited for the doors to open. Ashley suddenly got a text message. It was from Troy and it said, “will you marry me?” Nope, still not a suitable proposal. Her response, “yes, but that doesn’t count.”
When we arrived home that night, Troy was so frustrated. He flopped down on the couch, defeated. “I just want to be engaged now!” Ashley said she did too, but she really wanted it to be special.
We decided to spend the rest of the evening playing games and chose Scrabble first. During the game, Troy kept getting mad. He’d blurt out things like, “No! That’s my letter!” and “Stop taking all my letters!” After about an hour, he told Ashley she “looked bored” and she should go change into her pajamas. Not one to pass up sweatpants, Ashley agreed and went into the bedroom to change. Troy shut the door behind her and said not to come out until he said.
Finally Troy came back to the door. He told Ashley to close her eyes and take his hand. Slowly we walked together into the living room. Troy sat her down on the ottoman and told Ashley to open her eyes. On the coffee table was the same Scrabble board but the words of the game had changed — the tiles had been arranged to say “WILL YOU MARRY ME” and “I LOVE YOU”, with a little mound of Scrabble tiles at the bottom with the engagement ring we had picked out together sitting on top.
While neither of us quite remember the exact words Troy used that night, all that matters is that this was a real proposal and Ashley said YES.
Need to catch up?