Over the last year I've had the pleasure of telling a lot of people's love stories, and I'm excited to finally talk a little bit about mine. Last month I got engaged to my best friend Kathrine, and I can't wait to spend the rest of my life alongside her! She is the most amazing person I've ever met, and she pushes me to be a better person in every aspect of my life on a daily basis. When we decided we wanted to get married, I knew she deserved a really special and memorable proposal, so I started planning!
I had a few ideas, but NYC was always what stuck out. When I mentioned NYC to a few friends, they said that if I chose NYC, they would love to be involved and celebrate the weekend out there with us after I proposed. So, I threw together an email with my plans, thinking we would have 4-6 friends join us for the momentous weekend. Fast forward 2+ months to Nov 6th at our surprise engagement party in NYC at Harding's, and we had 24 people! The amount of people that came was shocking. It definitely made planning for the weekend that much more difficult, but it was totally worth it--a once in a lifetime experience. We had a small group of friends who already lived in NYC, but friends and family flew in from Houston and LA. Even our friend Drake (who lives in London) flew out from a conference in South Africa he was working on! We felt very loved and special. I think the hardest part of this plan was making sure everyone kept it a secret for so long, and though there were a few close calls and almost slips, everyone managed to keep the surprise in tact!
Now to the proposal part. I had told Kathrine I wanted to get away for the weekend, since we had been really busy prior to this and needed a little break. I told her we would leave whenever she finished at school Friday afternoon, but I showed up at her school before her first class and called her down to meet me for a quick breakfast. When she came down, I told her “our vacation starts now--let’s get going!" She was a little freaked since she was supposed to teach all day, but I had already made arrangements with her principal for a substitute to cover her classes and assured her we were good to go. We packed a few things and headed to the airport. We arrived around 6pm, dropped our bags at The Ace, and then headed to our dinner reservation at The NoMad Hotel. I had arranged with The NoMad that the maitre d' would inform us that our table wasn't yet ready, but that we could enjoy a drink on their rooftop bar until it was. Little did Kathrine know that there is no public rooftop bar, it's just an open rooftop that doubles as a beautiful event space.
The hostess took us up to the roof, and it was empty, save for some tents and a couple of tables left from a previous event a few nights prior. She led us over to a cupola (small domed room) and opened the door. The room was filled with candles, drinks were on ice, and music was playing. Everything that weekend had already come together so perfectly, but another nice surprise was that Ray LaMontagne was playing in the cupola. I hadn't discussed music with the hotel at all, but little did they know that one of our earliest dates was to a Ray LaMontagne concert, so it was perfect. I popped the question, she said yes, we enjoyed the rooftop views for awhile, and took some selfies before heading back down for our dinner.
Kathrine and I are both foodies, so the whole weekend revolved around eating at awesome places. The dinner at the NoMad did not disappoint. It was spectacular, and they took great care of us. We got the whole roasted chicken for 2, and it was unbelievable. After the amazing dinner I told her we had drink reservations at this speakeasy a few blocks away, so we made our way to Harding's. I had booked this loft space above the main dining room. To get to it you go through the kitchen to a staircase in the back, so it really felt like we were going to hidden bar. When we got to the top of the staircase all 24 of our friends and family were waiting, and Kathrine was blown away. It was unforgettable!
We stayed out way too late celebrating, barely making it to brunch the next morning at Freeman's. Later that evening we had an unbelievable dinner at The Dutch in SoHo. Our friend Connor's brother Chad is the beverage manager at The Dutch, and he arranged this amazing meal for a group of 10 of us. If you are ever in NYC and want to do something special, do the tasting menu at The Dutch. You won't be disappointed! I have to give a big thank you to Chad, because he played a huge part in the success of the weekend. He connected me with Thomas at the NoMad to get our dinner reservation (as they were all booked up), and not only did Thomas get us a reservation at the exact time we needed, but he also let me use their rooftop to pop the question, even arranging for drinks, candles, and the surprise, etc. SOO above and beyond what I had expected. Chad also reached out to a friend at The Ace Hotel where we were staying, and they hooked us up with some champagne and a room upgrade. It was an amazing room!
It was an unforgettable weekend, and I can't say enough great things about everyone involved. Kathrine and I love you all!
P.S. I really need to give a special thanks to Chad and everyone at The Dutch, Thomas, Benjy, Bliss and everyone at The NoMad Hotel, and all the staff we interacted with at The Ace Hotel (We love you guys!)