On May 12, 2012 I met my soulmate. A picture of her, at least. This beautiful woman appeared at the top of my screen as I was making my daily visit to an online dating site. Incapable of focusing on anything else, I could not wait to reach out to her; however I was nervous so it took me a few days and a couple of glasses of wine before I worked up the courage to hit the send button. Luckily for me, the message was well received by Alex, my soon to be wife.
After a month of emailing, texting, and Skyping I took the leap and flew to New York, from grad school (Go University of Kentucky Wildcats!) to meet Alex in person. From the moment she picked me up at the airport we both knew that we had found our soulmate. We spent the next 12 months accumulating airline miles and exhausting every use of technology to endure the distance. Luckily, I was almost done with my Master’s and after graduation I packed up my parents’ mini-van and moved to New York.
I preface our proposal story with how we met because it was all we could do in the beginning of our relationship not go get engaged and climb over the big gay rainbow together. We knew we had to wait for our friends and family to come around to our relationship, especially for Alex’s loved ones who didn’t know she was interested in being with a woman.
After almost two years of dating we had incredible support from friends and family and I was ready to propose – Ah! Alex had dropped not-so-subtle hints along the way about her proposal “requirements” and I wanted to make sure she got everything she wanted…including family and friends close by. I played it cool for a while in the hopes that she would be surprised when it happened.
I proposed to Alex on July 4, 2014. The planning began six months prior, when I asked Alex’s parents for permission to propose. The following months were filled with planning her dream proposal. Getting 20 people to be in New York on the same weekend was one tough venture, especially since they lived in over five different states!
Alex and I had gone ring shopping mid-March so she knew a proposal was coming. I tried everything I could to keep her guessing but she was getting frustrated. Alex was so certain she thought she knew the date of my proposal that she wrote the date on a card, sealed it in an envelope, and told me I could open it after our engagement so she could show me she was right. June 30th came and I found Alex crying in bed. She was sad that I hadn’t proposed on the date she thought it was going to happen. I reassured her it was coming…
On a rainy 4th of July I had a friend wake up Alex for a scavenger hunt she would never forget. Alex spent the day traveling to all the places that we visited together during my first trip to New York, and at each stop she was surprised by another family member or friend from around the country. The scavenger hunt ended hours later in magical Central Park with “Yes”.
I enlisted my best friend and Man of Honor to photograph and his fiancé to record every step of the way! You can watch scavenger hunt and proposal unfold here: Alex & Tawnie’s Engagement
Alex and I will be married this July, 2015 in Pacific Palisades, California! We cannot wait to share our big day with you.
Below, some pictures from the scavenger hunt and highlights from an engagement session in Santa Monica, CA by Michael Brannigan of David Michael Photography.
A rainy 4th of July starts with a scavenger hunt. Alex and her family read the clues.
The group poses on a stop along the way.
They love NY. And Alex loves being surrounded by family and friends and what is sure to be a memorable day.
Finally, Tawnie is waiting for her with a big question …
She said “Yes!”
The happy couple in California, where they will wed in July 2015.
No words needed, their faces say it all.
Off to plan the wedding of their dreams.