“I knew that if I was going to propose to Katelynn around the Christmas holiday, incorporating her favorite movie, It’s a Wonderful Life, would help to make it perfect.
Every year, on the weekend before Christmas, the Senator Theater in Baltimore offers a free viewing of It’s a Wonderful Life and Katelynn had already planned on us going and taking her grandparents with us. I knew this would be the perfect day, especially so because the engagement ring was Katelynn’s grandmother’s setting. I planned ahead and had a print made inserting Katelynn’s name into the famous quote from the movie, “What is it you want, Katelynn? What do you want? You want the moon? Just say the word and I’ll throw a lasso around it and pull it down.”
We all went to the movie and afterwards her grandparents treated us to lunch and despite my anxieties her grandmother did not accidentally spill the news.
We had plans for a “date night” that night and after separating for a bit (so I could prepare) we went to dinner at Café Troia in Towson. It was a thankfully an oddly balmy night for December and after dinner I suggested we walk to the old courthouse to see if they had any Christmas lights up. Secretly, I snuck to the bathroom and called my parents who were waiting for my message so that they could set up the scene. As we walked toward the courthouse, the same spot where my father had proposed to my mother, my parents set up an easel with the framed print with the quote on it and next to it on a park bench was a hat box. Inside the hatbox was a big white balloon with a golden string the
end of which was tied around the ring.
To my dismay there were no Christmas lights but Katelynn was enjoying the walk. As we came to the bench and lamppost where everything was set up, I think it took her a moment to realize what was going on. There, under the glow of the lamppost was the print and a hatbox. She read the print, began to get jittery and nervously opened the hatbox. When she did the “moon” floated up and at the end of the golden lasso was the ring.
“Hey, that’s a pretty good idea. I’ll give you the moon.” It all happened very quickly and I think I snatched the string, before she could realize what was going on, in fear of the ring floating way. The way I always picture it is she turned after all that and there I was on one knee, no one else around, just us, perfect.
She of course said yes, “she’ll take it,” (movie reference) and she didn’t want to leave the moment just yet so I haphazardly opened Pandora on my phone and we danced there for a moment. Afterward, of course, she wanted to go straight home and show her mom and sisters. I had arranged for both of our families, grandparents and siblings included, to be at her mom’s house when we got arrived. For the second time that night she was surprised.
Her mom had It’s a Wonderful Life playing in the family room and we drank champagne and toasted beneath the Christmas tree to love, family, us, lassoing the moon and starting our wonderful life together.”