Proposal Date: May 18, 2015
Proposal Location: Paris, France outside of the Moulin Rouge
Jessica: We met for the first time on November 18th 2011. We’d been chatting online and on the phone for a few months, when she assertively asked when we would meet. We both lived in Battle Creek, MI and I agreed, it was time. We met for Mexican. I was about thirty minutes late—typical for me—and she lectured me about respecting her time. We bickered about who would pay the check. She won. Though this dinner had not been a date, it felt like one. I knew she was special. And dangerous. She offered to walk me to my car.
Jacqara: When Jessica and I met for dinner for the first time I thought to myself, “Wow. This woman is beautiful, she’s sweet and innocent.” As we walked to her car my heart was racing and I was nervous. I wondered if I should hug her or kiss her. I decided on a simple kiss on the cheek. However, after some small talk, I started to lean in towards her but, to my surprise, she raised her hand to signal a high five. Shocked, I stared at her for a few moments and burst out in giggles. We made plans to meet for breakfast right after I got out of work at 6:30am the next day (I thought it was a long shot that she would wake up that early, but I remained hopeful).
Jessica: I stood her up for breakfast, but she came over to see me anyway. Three days after our first meeting I went to Jacqara’s house to watch a movie. We watched Moulin Rouge and I met her mom. We were inseparable after that.
Jacqara: We were a sea of nerves and awkwardness. Yet, I knew whatever I was feeling, she was feeling it too. Yes, she stood me up for breakfast that morning, but I knew it was a slim chance she would wake up that early anyway. Besides, after having encountered this beauty from Detroit there was no way I was going to give up. We’ve been joined at the hip since.
Jessica: The moment I knew I wanted to marry Cara was a year later. We were living together in St. Louis. I was in my first year of teaching and she was saving the world by responding to natural disasters and doing conservation work. It was the first day of Thanksgiving break and I was exhausted. One of my best friends was coming to visit the next day and our apartment was a mess. I felt paralyzed on the couch, too tired and overwhelmed to clean. Cara turned on music and got to work. She washed, dusted, mopped and swept me off my feet. She turned on “our” song, which is “Your Song” from Moulin Rouge, and while she serenaded me I knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life loving her.
It was only fitting that I asked for Cara’s hand in marriage outside of Moulin Rouge in Paris. It was here on May 18, 2015 (exactly 3.5 years after we met) that her resounding YES was the first step to both of our families becoming one.
Jacqara: I am excited she is now my beautiful bride to be.
Jessica: On Valentine’s Day in 2013 I started a savings account for Cara, and I told her that I would take her to Europe. On her birthday, I bought her two tickets to Le Moulin Rouge. This is where I would propose. From there I planned our trip … meticulously. I hired a photographer in Paris via Craigslist, designed a scavenger hunt, and solicited friends and family to make pages in our Adventure Book (like the one from “UP”). I planned the details down to our color-coordinated outfits, but when we got to Paris none of the details mattered.
We never went on the Parisian scavenger hunt. Instead we drank wine in the Jardin des Tuileries. When May 18th came around, we shopped for new shoes and dressed for our night out at Moulin Rouge. She carried a package for me–a gift she thought was for a friend, my sorority sister. When we were near the metro stop, I told her the package was really a part of her birthday gift. She opened the gift and found Our Adventure Book, which contained many of our memories. When we arrived to Place Blanche we went through the book together, and when she got to the final page I asked her to continue our adventure and marry me. She cried and laughed and said YES. It was the best moment.
Jacqara: I was frustrated all day. I felt like Jessica was making a big deal out of our trip to Moulin Rouge. She made me buy new shoes to match her outfit! Then I had to carry this obnoxiously large package for her friend–why couldn’t it have been mailed? But when she told me the gift was for me, my mood changed. How could I have been so naive?? It started to be funny. I was excited to look at the book, but I also had to go to the restroom, and she wouldn’t let me go! Why were we rushing if the “date” with her sorority sister was a lie? When we finally got to Moulin Rouge, I looked through the book. It was so heartfelt and beautiful. I was overwhelmed. I totally forgot I had to pee! She asked me to marry her and I started to cry. Then it began to rain and the moment felt perfect, like from a movie.
Jessica & Jacqara’s Our Adventure Book.
Jacqara is almost to the last page …
It says, “Will you marry me?”
Jessica is down on one knee.
She said, “Yes!”