So, on Saturday morning, I took it easy. We cleaned the apartment (seriously, how did he know I would enjoy this day more with a clean apartment!?). Eventually, I started getting ready to hang out with his parents.
I was just finishing getting ready, folding the corners on a smooth and perfectly made bed, when Justin called for me from the other room. Carly, he said, come in here!
But, I'm making the bed, babe! Do I have to come now? After a beat of silence, I heard Yes! You should come now!
When I walked into the living room, Justin put his hands on my shoulders and told me to stand in the middle of the room and wait. He left for a moment, and I heard movement in the other room (little did I know that he had gotten me out of there so he could grab the diamond ring he'd stashed in the closet!).
When he returned, I still hadn't caught on. Finally, he said, This whole day has been a kind of misdirection. We're not actually going to meet my parents right now.
I tilted my head and asked, Okay, then what are we doing?
My future husband smiled and said, We're going to meet a photographer at the Kinzie Street Bridge to take pictures.
At this point, I had an inkling of what was going on, but I still wasn't sure. A moment later, I had my answer. He was down on one knee, my heart was thumping in my chest, and the next five minutes were a total blur. I had to ask him the next day what he actually said to me, so clearly my brain was so flooded with pure joy that it forgot to take notes! I love you more than anything. You mean everything to me and I want to be with you forever. Will you marry me?
The poor guy must have been scared to death for a moment, because my response was hardly a whisper. Yes. He tilted his head and asked, Is that a yes? I nodded and shouted it.
When he slipped the ring on my finger, it fit - perfectly.
A moment later (you know, after fixing my hair and texting my sister, crying), we were on our way to the most genuinely smile-filled photo shoot I've ever been part of. We took hundreds - actually, probably thousands - and were kissing in almost all of them.
An hour or two later - I lost every concept of time, so it could have been more or less - we went to one of our favorite restaurants called TWO. It's down the street from the new apartment we'd moved into together and was one of our favorite date night spots. The photographer came with us to take pictures of us as we sat at the bar - and then, all of a sudden, Justin's parents walked through the curtain, followed by my own parents.
We took a few more pictures, filled with clanking glasses and hugging and smiles, and then sat down for a wonderful dinner with both sets of parents. It was a perfect day - from the intimate, quiet proposal, to the photoshoot that captured our emotions on the day we got engaged, to the inclusion of our parents.
Does this guy know how to plan a proposal or what?
Justin worked with my Aunt to design the ring, and I think they did a wonderful job capturing my personality. The piece is entirely custom, vintage and modern at the same time, and with just a bit of flair. Definitely unique - and exactly what I wanted. It even has a small aquamarine, which is Justin's birth stone, embedded in the top and bottom of the ring.