Our Engagement in New York City

So I haven’t spoken much about about my Wedding on here yet and I think it’s only natural that I share the story with you, as it’s part of my life and the person that I am. Also I’m mad about all things Wedding related (even though I’m now married myself) – I can’t get enough of them (although not in the sense that I plan to have any more).

So I should probably take you back to the big engagement in New York City!

A bit of history: me and hubby met at uni and were friends-of-friends for years. We eventually realised we were completely meant for each other and started seeing each other after our final year. I knew it was right from word go, and the rest as they say, is history. 4 years on and we’re happily married.

So on to the engagement (get settled, it’s a big one!)…

I was sitting in my office at work, feeling completely and utterly sorry for myself! My boyfriend, who I’d barely seen in 2 weeks was in New York City, about to attend the opening of an art exhibition in which he had a piece on display, in the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) – and I wasn’t with him! With so much to do at work and not a penny to my name, I just wasn’t able to fly out and spend the week with him. And to make it even worse, he was due to be out there for over a week…a week that included my 25th birthday! Not to mention my girls were also all going to be away, enjoying a beach holiday together – so I was going to be alone…alone on my birthday! Needless to say my colleagues were definitely feeling full force of my self-pitying mood.

So after endless texting between us, I was full of regret that I hadn’t somehow made it happen to be out there with him. His constant “you should be here” and “not the same without you” texts, just weren’t making it easier either! So after what seemed like the longest day ever, I was seriously thinking of ways that I could make it happen! I needed to be in NYC with him!

I didn’t want to let people down at work, or leave things for my colleagues to pick-up, so I set about 2 extremely long days of work, in hope to tie-off any loose ends or urgent tasks that needed tying off…just in case I could book the flights…I then got a text from my wonderful boyfriend saying he wanted me with him and would do anything to get me out there, including paying for my flights! So that was it! I knew I had to make it work! This was too good-an-offer to turn down!

So after seeking the down-to-earth advice of my parents, who pretty much said “sod it – book it, you only live once!”, I told my boss that everything at work that needed to be done was done and I wanted to take the rest of the week off. I then, in an excited, adrenaline-fuelled moment, booked my plane ticket and suddenly the reality was, I was flying out on Wednesday 20th July to spend 4 nights in NYC with my boyfriend!



So after an anxious, yet excited flight, I touched-down in JFK and immediately felt the heat…I’d actually made it! I don’t think I’d ever been quite so excited to see him and literally couldn’t stop grinning to myself. The next thing I know, flip-flops pounding on the arrival-lounge floor, he’s running towards me and picks me up with a huge hug and big kiss…it was now a reality! And this was just the beginning…

…we piled into a yellow taxi (the first of many on this trip) and headed straight off for down-town Manhattan (at this point I think it was 95 degrees – the coolest of the entire week to come). We were both so excited to be in one of our favourite cities together, for the first time, it just hadn’t quite sunk in. I was then told my first instruction of the week – I was to get to the hotel, dump my things and head straight off to Macy’s, cash in hand (from him of course) to buy myself a dress for the evening…but that was all I could know! So having been in the country for less then 2 hours, I was walking around Macy’s in a daze looking for a dress for I don’t-know-what!

Cut to 2 hours later, adorning said dress, we’re both piling into a taxi on our way to my surprise. Circling the streets of Manhattan, we drive passed the Waldorf (one of my most favourite hotels, with its rampant art-deco style) and round the corner to where we’re dropped-off. Still none-the-wiser, we walk around the block and I’m taking in all the sites as I’m spun around and ushered into a doorway…the doorway of  what I realised was the Waldorf Hotel!

I proceeded to have a Cosmopolitan (and yes, for that moment, I imagined I was in an episode of SATC and I was with my Mr Big…I admit it ok!) and we sat down for dinner. The best fillet mignon of my life later, we’re leaving and hailing a cab on 5th Avenue. No luck and he is anxious that we have to be somewhere by 8pm (I’m still none-the-wiser)…so we do what all tourists end up doing and no locals ever do…we got into an extortionately priced tuc-tuc! But was it so worth the $52 dollars to go less then a mile!! Weaving in and out of cars and seeing New York whizz by, with a breeze in our hair – was so exhilarating! And 18 hours before, as I woke up in London, this was the last thing I thought I’d be doing!

We end up at the bottom of Broadway, running towards, what turns out to be a theatre…and of course my next surprise…a Broadway show! Perfection!

Needless to say, show over, we headed straight back to the hotel – having been up now for 22 hours solidly, I was definitely ready for my bed! The boy did good for my first day in the big city!

So Thursday morning, we wake up, full of ideas and places to go. Luckily we’d both been to New York before, so didn’t feel the need to hit the tourist hot-spots. We just wanted to “be” in the city and go wherever the wind took us. My planning head on and “Lonely Planet” guidebook in hand, we decided to start with a cocktail and lunch by the Rockefeller Centre fountain and then went on to see some of the neighbourhoods (inc Greenwich Village) and ended up on the Upper East Side, in the fabulous restaurant Southern Hospitality, where we over-indulged on ribs, pulled-pork, corn-bread and cocktails. I was having the time of my life and the stresses of work and home seemed a million miles away. Being in NYC felt so glamorous and I hadn’t spent a single penny – I was being treated like a Princess – this was certainly turning out to be the best birthday present ever!

The next day we hit China Town and Little Italy, stopping for regular air-conditioned breaks (at this point, the record-breaking heat wave had well and truly hit, with temperatures reaching over 100 degrees!) and of course some well deserved beer! We ended up in a fab bar full of character called Noho Star, which we’d unexpectedly stumbled across and spent the next hour chatting with the cool bar-tender from Illinois. Mid-afternoon, my wonderful boyfriend had a business meeting he had booked-in for a couple of hours, so I head back to the hotel for a mid-afternoon nap in the air-conditioning (absolute bliss!).

Then the evening came and of course being a Friday night, we booked in to see a show – The Rat Pack at BB King’s bar in Times Square. We couldn’t believe we got tickets and ended up having dinner and wine, less then 2 metres from the stage, listening to the classics of Franky, Dean and Sammy (with a guest appearance from Marilyn Monroe of course). A few hours later, we walked out onto the overwhelming sites of Times Square and just couldn’t take enough in at once! We strolled-off, not knowing where we were headed and ended up being persuaded to go to a “Duelling Piano Bar” (quite the rage in the US apparently). It turned out to be so much fun, completely unexpected and a first for us! The night was full of music and I was just so utterly happy – I didn’t think things could get any better…

…then it was Saturday. And one of the first things I was told by my wonderful boyfriend when I jumped in that taxi at JFK just a few days previously, was Saturday was my day! My birthday was on Sunday, but as we were due to fly back home on Sunday night, I figured we were moving my “official” birthday celebrations forward a day and thought nothing else of it. But I was so excited to see what else he had in store for me (the Waldorf and Broadway was surely enough!?).

So, barely awake on Saturday morning, he said he had to pop out to grab a few things and I was to get ready because we were heading for a picnic in Central Park (one of the things I’d day-dreamed about, sitting at my desk in the office, a mere 5 days ago!)…

Turns out, he’d bought a picnic hamper before I arrived and had been chilling champagne in the hotel fridge all week. He then bought strawberries and chocolate and some other bits. Then, with me wearing my favourite dress (and his) and with him carrying our hamper of goodies, we made our way to Central Park.

We got to the park at about 10am and strolled along until we found a lovely secluded spot on a small hillside where we sat down and popped open the bottle of bubbly. It was all just so perfect and he’d made my birthday so special, I was just beaming with happiness and complete and utter love for him… A “Snow-White” moment of feeding squirrels and frolicking in the grass followed (well I like to think I was frolicking!) and we reminisced on our amazing few days that just a week ago, we never dreamed would happen.

Then sitting in between his legs, with his arms wrapped round me and us both looking out over views of Central Park, he said that he had “one more present for me”. “Another dress?” I thought…how could he possibly have got me another present?! I’d already been totally and utterly spoilt!!! And then I saw it…the little blue box with the ribbon…and my heart stopped for a second and everything around me seemed to disappear and I was looking at this box. I honestly can say that I still hadn’t cottoned-on…visions of a 25th Birthday memento or brooch were running through my head as I pulled open the ribbon slowly and lifted the lid. Inside was a little black velvet box and that is when it started to become a reality and I realised what was about to happen…

…I gently lifted the velvet box out and opened it to reveal THE most beautiful ring I’d ever seen! Absolutely stunning! Tears of complete and utter joy were starting to fill my eyes, as I heard the words “Will you marry me?” and with tears running down my cheeks and a beaming smile on my face, I turned around and said “Are you serious!?” (I admit, not my finest moment) immediately followed by “Yes, of course I will!” as he slipped the ring onto my finger with a huge smile on his face (and I like to think a small tear in his eye)…and there it was…just like that…I was engaged to the love of my life and sharing the happiest moment of my life with the one person I want to spend the rest of my life with. I couldn’t have asked for anything more – he had made everything so perfect and so special and had managed to do it all without me having even an inkling of suspicion!

Brunch and bubbles at the Plaza Hotel followed, then a quick whip into some shops on 5th Avenue and back to the hotel. It still wasn’t over! I was then told to get dressed-up and we were in a cab on our way to an amazing fine-dining restaurant, Le Cirque. We had a wonderful 3-course meal with wine, our first as a newly engaged couple and nothing could be more perfect.

Waking up the next morning, I was in blissful happiness and it wasn’t until my phone started to beep with messages that I remembered it was my birthday! That seemed to pale into insignificance against what had happened the day before! But waking-up, on my 25th birthday, in New York City, with the man I love and a Tiffany ring on my finger, was truly the best feeling in the world!

A trip to the flea market in Hells Kitchen (where we picked up some ink blocks and some last-minute pressies) and then a stroll in Battery Park (and sitting on a bench whilst looking at the Statue of Liberty) later, we made the most of our last afternoon in the big city. In complete contentment and happiness we held hands through the city, before we piled into a taxi – the first leg of our trip back home.

So whirlwind trip of a lifetime over, I actually had a chance to quiz him on what had been going-on in his head for the last week. Turns out, as soon as I said I’d booked the flight out, he knew he wanted to ask me to marry him. Whilst I was on the plane, he had phoned by Dad and my Brother to ask their permission and to tell them what he had planned for me (of course they were so excited and happy for what was going to happen). He then went to Tiffany’s and picked the ring and sent it off to be re-sized. The “business meeting” that I thought he was in on the Friday, was actually him picking-up the ring and everything else followed from there. This made me even more happier, that he’d put so much thought into it and that it all just happened at the right moment.

So, that’s it! That’s the big engagement in New York City. There is really only one thing left for me to say…and that is…

Hubby – I absolutely love and adore you. You have made me the happiest woman alive and I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with you. I am so excited for all the happy times we have in-store and I thank you. I thank you for being you and I thank you for asking me to be your wife. I love you.

Here’s the photo evidence…

new york skyline

me at bloomingdales new york city

me and hubby new york city

street chess new york city

Brooklyn Bridge New York City

BB King new York City

BB King bar New York City

3 stooges new york city

marilyn monroe new york city

me new york city

times square lights new york city

times square new york ciy

Southern Hospitality (had to put this photo in to show you the sheer amount of awesome food!)…the restaurant is owned by none other than Justin Timberlake by the way…

southern hospitality new york city

us in new york city park

This was the exhibition hubby was a part of…

MOMA talk to me new york city

Setting the scene for the picnic…

Central Park New York City

Somehow I didn’t put two and two together when he turned-up with Tiffany napkins! Duh!

Tiffany engagement picnic central park

Champagne popping central park new york city

Our friends the squirrels – this was the Snow White moment I referred to…

squirrels central park new york city

squirrel central park new york city

And just after he popped the question…

tiffany engagement ring new york city

newly engaged new york city

happily engaged new york city

So happy and then whisked off to the Plaza Hotel on Central Park for Champagne and Eggs Benedict…

Champagne at Plaza Hotel New York City

plaza hotel eggs benedict central park

Then dinner later that evening…

michelin starred menu new york city

Obligatory posing with the ring…

posing with engagement ring new york city

me posing with ring new york city

Heading-off home, a lot happier than a week previous!

JFK airport new york city

My sister-in-law baked these wonderful cupcakes to welcome us home…

just engaged cupcakes

And that’s our engagement story!

Engagement ring New York City

The end.

I’d love to hear your own stories? Has anyone else had a fairy-tale engagement?