sneaky ninja engagement fun: steph&brian
What a weekend, friends! Jerry and I spent a glorious 36 hours in the great state of Maine with a small contingency of friends. Playing beach volleyball, eating lobster rolls, roasting s’mores on the back porch fire pit, competing fiercely in Kubb (our new lawn game) and just enjoying quality time catching up and hanging out. I love that state!
But the best part of the weekend came Sunday morning. Jerry and I were on the road early, 6am to be exact. A quick swing through Dunkin Donuts, a straight shot down 95/93 and we were into the city to help with final preparations for the big event: Stephanie June getting engaged. Now Steph’s covered the details in her blog, so you can check them out there–it’s better in first person soon-to-be bride voice anyway–but I’ll offer a little recap as well.
Now if you know me, you know I LOVE being in the loop and I love being involved behind the scenes, especially for things like this. So I was all kinds of giddy when I (along with our friend Lauren) got my first email from Brian about a month ago looking for sounding boards–”Stephanie consultants” as he called it. He was writing from a jewelry store after just having purchased a ring. He sounded both ecstatic and nervous.
This initial email on June 20 started a chain 47 responses long to discuss possible proposal ideas, logistics, and eventual (surmountable) roadblocks. Finally, the plan was finalized and the big day was at hand: July 22.
We arrived at Brian’s house at 8am, hashed out the plan one more time, and then Jerry (my faithful driver) and I were off. I snuck down to the designated spot on the Charles, basket in hand, and waited on their arrival, camera poised for action…though I was unsure of which direction they would come from. They arrived on their bikes and Brian got right down to business–so quickly in fact that I wasn’t yet in a place to catch the actual popping of the question…no down-on-one-knee business so it was tough to know from a distance when it was actually happening. The series of pictures starts basically right after he asked…I tried to be sneaky so as not to be spotted, even in this pretty open area. All went according to plan. She said YES, they hung out on the bench with beverages and berries, and I remained cloaked in stealth secrecy.
I was shocked by how oblivious Steph was to my presence. I was able to move from tree to tree to trash can to tiny shrub, improving my angles along the way, and remain completed undetected. That is, until some “good citizen” decided to tell them that someone was taking pictures of them. (???). He was one of FOUR people who made comments to me indicating that they thought I was a creeper. Ummm do they know you’re taking pictures of them (eyebrows raised suspiciously)? Ahh, yeah, well one of them does, crazy. Isn’t it obvious–a couple snuggling up on a bench, a basket of fresh flowers and wine glasses at their side, and stars in their eyes?
Anyway, after that guy just blatantly told them I was there, I decided I would emerge from my hiding place to get a few standard shots. Steph was quite puzzled to see me.
What? Where did you come from?
They then headed off for brunch and a late morning/early afternoon together. Meanwhile, Jerry and I rushed back to Brian’s apartment to get phase two ready. Jerry went off to get the pictures developed, I started hanging decorations, and Lauren took over food prep.
(sadly I didn’t get a better large picture of my paper rose garland, but it turned out really cute…)
At around 1:30, Steph and Brian, hot off a pretty long bike ride strolled in. I would like to say it was a TOTAL surprise, but really they heard us all loud and whatnot from the hall when I received Brian’s text message and yelled, “Oh guys, be quiet. They are coming in now.” A tad late on that one.
Steph and Brian:
Seriously, I could not be happier for the two of you. Two quality human beings committed to each other and engaged in a common purpose of serving others and supporting your community. Together you will be a force for good. I feel privileged to have a front row seat, both for your engagement and your future life together.
I sense with all the big events coming down the pipe in the next six months or so I’ll have ample opportunities to be all sappy and nostalgic so I’ll save that for another day…but know that I love you to the moon and back, Stephanie June. All the way to the moon. And I am so so so happy for you. And Brian. Of course.