Matthew had made romantic plans for us to spend Valentine's Day together. He said that it would be a nice break from school and a chance to relax together in a romantic setting. The night before we went to Atlanta, I had a genius moment and accidentally super glued my fingers together while trying to mend the straps of one of my favorite purses. Matthew called later on and I recounted the funny story to him. He casually said, "Since you're messing with that nail polish remover, why don't you paint your nails? Everyone likes a girl with painted nails." This tipped me off because my two best friends, Lauren and Kristin, are married and they both had been tricked into getting their nails done the day before they got engaged. I played it cool at the time, but as soon as I got off the phone, I raced around my apartment looking for my nail polish. It was nowhere to be found, so the next day I went to the grocery store on my break from school and picked up some clear nail polish.
That whole day at school I was telling all my friends that it might be the big day. They listened patiently and warned me not to get my hopes up too high, and to just enjoy the weekend. We got out of school on Valentine's Day and packed up the car for our fun trip. We got to the hotel, and relaxed in our lovely room before getting ready for dinner. I curled my hair and put on the dress that Matt loves. We went down to the hotel's lovely restaurant and had a delicious five course meal. Matthew sped through his meal and I tried to keep up. I thought that if he was going to propose, he'd do it at dinner. I didn't happen, so I kind of gave up on the idea.
My present was still in the car, so after dinner Matt went to get it while I went to the room to wait for him. He came back to the room with my gift and then we opened our cards. Matthew opened his present from me, but before I got the chance to open mine, he suddenly said, "Put on your shoes, we're going outside." We went over to the elevator and once inside, he pushed the button for the Penthouse floor. I suspected something was going to happen and I started to get nervous.
We got off the elevator and we were on the top floor and in the hotel gym. I was confused, and Matthew led me down a hallway to another elevator that took us up another floor. We finally arrived at our destination, which was the rooftop of the hotel. We went up to the rooftop deck which had a 360 degree view of downtown Atlanta. It was gorgeous! A table was set up with a white tablecloth, a single red rose, two champagne flutes, and a bottle of champagne on ice. I was in shock, and although I knew in the back of my head that this was it, I still couldn't believe it.
Matthew began the sweet engagement speech that he had prepared and my excitement grew by the second. Then he got down on one knee, took the ring out, and asked me to marry him! Of course I said, "Yes!" I held out my hand, he put the ring on my finger, and then I started bawling. He held me and then we went over to the table and poured the champagne and toasted. We talked for a bit as I cried and kissed him, and then we realized it was really cold and windy up there on the rooftop and we took the champagne back to the room to enjoy!
When we got back to the room, I finally got to open my present! I didn't know what could possibly be better than the surprise that I had already gotten. I opened up the box and it was a stack of bridal magazines and a wedding planning book! I was so excited that I was getting married! We drank champagne and we called our family and friends to share the good news! We were so excited and thrilled!
This proposal was a long time in the making. I knew that while I was in Spain that I wanted to marry Rebecca. In fact, my Dad loves to tell the story of when I called him from Spain to tell him in one sentence, "I'm dating a girl here, I'm going to marry her, she's converting." Of course at that time, there were no serious plans yet, but I knew that I had found a wonderful girl and I didn't want to let her go.
Over winter break, when Rebecca and my mom were having a girl's day of lunch and shopping, my dad and I went down to Miami to see his friend who is a jeweler. I picked out the diamond, and the jeweler said that he knew the perfect setting to complement it. The ring was delivered later that week, when Rebecca and I were conveniently in New York at my Aunt and Uncle's house to celebrate New Year's.
Later on in the break, Rebecca and her mom were having another girl's day at the beach. I knew that this was the perfect opportunity to go to her house and ask her dad about proposing. I was nervous to go there and talk to him, but we had a nice chat, and I asked for his daughter's hand in marriage and for his blessing. Thankfully, he said yes. After the big talk was over, we toasted with a beer, and we watched some football before I went home to escape undetected.
At the end of the break, we drove back to Macon separately. I made sure to get back into town first, so I could get a safe deposit box for the ring. She didn't have a clue, but now I had to keep this a secret for a few months. I originally planned to propose over Spring Break, but I knew if I did it on Valentine's Day, I would never forget the day that we got engaged. I made reservations at the Georgian Terrace Hotel, which I had stayed at before and knew was a very nice place. I told her about the reservations right away, and told her that I wanted to be upfront with her and not surprise her with them, because I didn't want her to over think the gesture too much.
On Valentine's Day we had to go to class, but my head was not really into it. Thankfully, I made it through class fine, and after school Rebecca went home, and I told her that I would be by her house in a few minutes to pick her up to go to Atlanta. I loaded the car up, and went to pick up Rebecca. I told her that the only dinner reservation I was able to get was for 9:15, so we had plenty of time to kill when we got to the hotel. In actuality, I had to make the reservation that late because the rooftop sun deck closed at 11, and that was the time that I had planned for everything to be set up outside, so I knew we would be alone. The manager at the hotel was such a huge help, and our waitress from dinner ended up being the one to bring the bottle of champagne up there and set up the table.
We got to the hotel and spent some time watching TV and relaxing before we started to get ready for dinner. She looked amazing. I initially had the ring in my pocket before dinner, but the box was so bulky I had to take it out and hide it again so she wouldn't notice. We went to dinner, and I ate fast because I was so nervous and wanted to get on with the evening. I'd purposely left her present in the car so I could buy some time after dinner to go get it and mentally prepare myself to propose.
After dinner, Rebecca thankfully said she'd wait for me up in the room while I got the present. It took me about a minute to get the car from the valet and get the present, but I stayed downstairs for another five minutes pacing back and forth outside the hotel going over what I was going to say. I finally went back up to the hotel room where she was waiting patiently for me. I opened her card, gave her my card, and opened her present. Then I began to set the plan in action. When we finally got up to the rooftop, I gave her the speech that I had been practicing. I was pretty sure that she would d say yes, but there was that nagging worry in the back of my head that she could say no.
While I was talking, she definitely had the "deer in the headlights" look on her face, and I was so relieved when she said, "Yes!" The hard part was over! Now it was time to celebrate! I poured our glasses of champagne and we toasted to us. It was so cold, and she was still so shocked and excited, her hand kept shaking and she could hardly drink the champagne. I gave her my jacket, and then we talked for a few more minutes and then went back to the hotel room to share the good news. I am the happiest and luckiest man in the world!