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It was the week before the 4th of July, my favorite holiday, and Tony and I didn’t have any plans for the long weekend. I even took a couple days off in hopes we’d be able to go camping. However, I tried booking a campground months in advance but Tony just wouldn’t commit.
I was frustrated about our lack of plans, but Tony said he had a couple things in mind so I should just let him figure out something for the weekend. I was happy to let him take the reins and surprise me with a fun weekend.
Saturday came around and it was a gorgeous 85 degree day with a vivid blue sky dotted with fluffy, white clouds. The kind of day I spend all winter dreaming about. Tony said I should grab my swimsuit and an outfit for later, and took me to Kinnikinnick State Park on the St. Croix River.
It’s my favorite beach where I spent most of my summers boating. He packed my favorite books and we soaked up the sun, swam and watched the boats go by- my favorite way to spend a summer day.
We climbed up the huge hill back to the car and changed out of our swimsuits as the sun began to set. Tony suggested we go to the overlook before we left for dinner so I could take photos. He specifically suggested doing it at that time so the light would be good. He knows me well!
A couple of days earlier Tony sat me down and gave a long spiel about how we are going to be together for our whole life anyway so why rush into marriage… We’d excitedly been talking about possible wedding plans for a month or two, and being the joker he is, Tony faked me out with proposals of couple times in the last month with this ridiculous fake diamond
But that night, he said we should take a break from talking about wedding related things because we were getting ahead of ourselves.
Throughout the day at the beach, I kept telling myself that this wasn’t it. That he wasn’t going to propose today. He just spent the past week telling me he wanted to wait to get married.
We slowly made our way to the overlook through this awesome natural playground. It was a beautiful day, but we had the park to ourselves.
Tony had seemed like his normal self throughout the day, but at this point he got quiet and seemed really nervous. We were both dressed up and Tony kept fidgeting with his pocket. My heart was pounding as I started to let myself believe he might actually propose now. I tried to make up for his nervousness by rambling to fill the silence.
I walked onto the overlook with him following behind me and started pointing out different parts of the beach. There was quiet for a moment when I heard the velcro of Tony’s shorts pocket opening from behind me. My heart was pounding ridiculously fast anticipating the big moment.
Tony spun me around and asked, “Will you marry me?” I looked down and saw the giant fake diamond with a wave of disbelief. I sighed and pushed him away. I couldn’t believe this wasn’t the moment! Every sign had pointed to it, but he just faked me out again.
He knew by this point I would see it coming so he made one last effort to surprise me. He was right. I did see it coming and this fake out certainly threw me off.
Without missing a beat though, Tony immediately spun me around again and this time got down on one knee. With tears welling up in his eyes and the most happy and hopeful expression I’ve ever seen on his face, he looked me in the eye and asked me to marry him.
I knew it was the real deal before I even saw the stunning yellow sparkling ring that he was holding out.
I started sobbing instantly. The loudest, most blubbery unattractive sobbing you can imagine. Even though I kind of saw it coming, nothing could have possibly prepared me for what I felt in this moment. Gratitude, amazement and love overwhelmed me. I remember nodding my head but was too stunned to speak.
Within seconds of being down on one knee, out of the corners of our eyes, we both noticed a middle-aged couple approaching the small overlook. Never mind the fact that we had been wandering around the park before this and didn’t see anyone else, this couple didn’t pause when they saw two people who were way overdressed for the park, one who was on his knee holding out a ring box and the other who was sobbing uncontrollably.
Most people would put the pieces together and turn around, but this special couple came and stood silently on the small overlook next to us while Tony and I hugged, and I cried into his shoulder.
We left and found a secluded trail where we had a private moment. Afterwards, we went back to the overlook and Tony got down on one knee again. I actually said yes this time and Tony put the ring on my finger. I was positively giddy and couldn’t keep myself from giggling like an idiot.
I don’t think there is such a thing as a perfect proposal, wedding day or marriage, but Tony’s proposal was as close as it gets. It’s a good lesson that things in life don’t go as planned, but the mishaps along the way are what make the best stories and give us the biggest laughs. Perfect is pretty boring actually, and we will hopefully keep that in mind on our wedding day and the days leading up to it.
It’s funny because about a month ago I told Tony that I wanted to propose to him and that I’d do it on the overlook at Kinney. He replied with a shrug and said he didn’t remember an overlook at the beach.
I had no idea that he was already planning to propose to me over the 4th of July on that same overlook and had already told many of his friends and family about his plan.
We decided not to tell anyone that night but instead keep it to ourselves and enjoy the moment. Tony took me out for dinner at one of my favorite riverside restaurants and we watched the sunset from the patio.
Tony had the whole next day planned out with surprises as well! His parents came to our house in the morning to celebrate over brunch and mimosas.
Then Tony brought me to my grandma’s house where I got to surprise her with the news and tell my parents (even though they knew it was coming for over a week from Tony asking my dad. I am so proud of my dad keeping his cool and not giving it away!)
There were lots of hugs, tears, and yummy desserts. I told Tony when we first started dating that if my grandma didn’t approve of him, he would be out the door. I’m grateful that my sweet grandma is overjoyed to have Tony as part of the family.
We got together with my aunts and uncles afterwards for a spontaneous 4th of July BBQ/engagement party.
With even more surprises up his sleeve, Tony then brought me to Stillwater to meet some of our incredible friends (Autumn, Matthew, Nate, Elizabeth and baby Fitz) to celebrate with them! We ended the night in Hudson for the fireworks.
The ring is gorgeous! Yellow is my favorite color and there are 2 yellow sapphires on either side of the diamond. I wanted an untraditional ring while Tony wanted something more traditional. Tony, as always, did a great job finding a happy medium we are both excited about. He also knew that getting an environmentally sustainable and ethical ring was important so he picked out an eco 3 diamond from Wedding Day.
Thanks to all of the incredible support from our family and friends! It was amazing to celebrate with you all and I’m so grateful for everyone’s support as Tony and I start on this adventure together!