Vanessa and Shane’s proposal at Gapstow Bridge, Central Park
Shane and I have an interesting story in terms of how we met! I was getting ready to graduate from Clemson University, and was going through the interview process with my current company when Shane actually interviewed me! It was one of those “love at first sight” moments, but the company has a strict “no dating” rule, so I decided to suppress my feelings and focus on my career. Not long after I started, I realized I had actually chosen to live in the same neighborhood as Shane (unknowingly) after a co-worker asked me to help watch his 3 lb teacup maltese while he was out of town!
From there, our love story began to unfold as Shane started to pursue me with dinner invites, offers to run the rail trail at 5 am, and sweet little nothing texts in the evening! I kept telling myself this was a really bad idea seeing as I had just started a new job that I actually really liked. But, as love would have it – it wasn’t enough to stop us. For a year and a half we secretly dated, told our friends stories about why we weren’t going on dates or seeing anyone of interest etc. I think people definitely had their speculations, however, neither one of us wanted to leave the company so we chose to ride it out.
In May of 2015, Shane was invited to a co-workers wedding and didn’t want to attend without me. At this point, we were prepared to face the consequences at work for our relationship, and chose to attend the wedding together when to our surprise, my boss said he had been waiting for that day for far too long! It felt like a massive weight was lifted off our shoulders, and I honestly wanted to shout it from the rooftops! Finally, we could tell our friends, post pictures on social media, talk about our vacations and then some! To this day, we both still work for the same company, and couldn’t be happier to be engaged!!
Shane and I absolutely love to travel! We are blessed with lots of air miles and hotel points due to our jobs, which allows us to see the world together. With that being said, I had never been to New York City at Christmas and was begging him to take me! Shane is from upstate New York, and goes to the city for work almost weekly. So, I proposed meeting him there after work one Friday. In true Shane fashion, he booked a hotel and flights without me knowing and told me to “pack my bags, we’re going to NYC!” on FaceTime about a week before the trip! I felt like a kid in a candy store! I immediately was thinking about what to wear, where to eat, monuments to see etc. Upon arrival in NYC, we checked in at the JW Marriott Essex House, quickly changed our clothes and headed to Nobu. Before leaving for Nobu, Shane mentioned he forgot toothpaste and was going to the front desk to grab some. Little did I know, the hotel manager actually had my ring, and Shane was going downstairs to get it from her! Saturday we woke up to NYC’s first snow of the season!
The ground was totally covered, and it was so beautiful! I couldn’t wait to get outside and explore! We hopped around 5th Avenue for awhile, had coffee at Ralphs, and then Shane suggested a carriage ride around Central Park. At the end of the ride, he asked our tour guide to take us by Gapstow Bridge. However, the tour guide mentioned the tour was over, and Gapstow bridge was not apart of his stops. Yikes! Shane knew we had to get to this bridge, so he typed it into his phone and the bridge was a 29 minute walk from us. At this point, our fingers and toes were numb, so I questioned whether or not this was a “must see”. Shane told me his mom had taken a picture in front of that very bridge as a child and she really wanted a picture of him in front of it too, so yes – we had to walk there! This was actually a total fabrication, but the perfect cover up for getting me to trek through 29 minutes of ice and slush in my favorite black booties.
As we approach the bridge, a woman asked us if we wanted her to take our picture! This was random, but I was all for it! After she handed me my camera back, I asked Shane if he wanted me to take his picture for him for his mother, when he said “yes, but I have to ask you a question.” With welled up eyes, he had a small speech about this year and our relationship over the last 3.5 years, and proceeded to get down on one knee in the snow to ask me to marry him!