Just in time for Valentine's Day, I thought I'd share the most romantic Real Love submission I've received yet!
Any guy that plans for a photographer to be present the minute he pops the question deserves 982375923 brownie points. I mean how sweet is that?!?! Now, any guy that hires a photographer AND a horse-drawn carriage AND gathers both of your parents to celebrate with you immediately afterward…real life Prince Charming right there.
Enter Adam, who I am officially declaring as Pittsburgh's Most Romantic Man. This amazing guy planned out a surprise proposal that is straight out of a Nicholas Sparks novel (keep reading for the full story below!). As if that isn't sweet enough, Adam also kept a journal of sorts, chronicling the entire process…from shopping for rings to eventually designing one with a jeweler, from various proposal plans to how he chose the exact date, from getting Heather's parents' blessing to faking her out a bit (to throw her off!), and from picking up the ring to mapping out the night with the Jeannine Bonadio, the talented photographer Adam hired to capture “the” moment. Yes, seven love-filled pages (that Adam kindly shared with me) to clue Heather in on just how he planned and pulled off the most magical surprise ever. My heart just skipped several beats.
A special thanks to Jeannine for sharing these images and to Heather and Adam for sharing their story. Congrats, you two! Heather, you're one lucky gal…and you're also now the envy of all the other ladies in Pittsburgh!
From the bride-to-be…
To begin, you must know that Adam and I were high school sweethearts at the age of 15. We met in our sophomore year German class, and eventually ended up falling in love with each other. He was my best friend and other half, and we continued to date into our first year away at different colleges. We continued to grow and experience other things which led to us splitting up and taking different paths in life. We remained friends throughout the entire time we were separated, and were even there for each other when we got our hearts broken by someone else. I have always held a special place for Adam in my heart, but it wasn’t until the day I moved back home to Pittsburgh on June 29th, 2013 that I knew we were truly meant to be together forever. Things worked out and we were officially back together on October 17th, 2013.
Fast forward, and it was one year later that our anniversary of being back together was approaching! I knew Adam was planning something special for us, and when he started dropping every hint in the book I assumed the proposal was coming! He said everything he could besides actually telling me that he was going to pop the question. Everything was a surprise, and he told me it would be the most memorable weekend together. I told my friend at work and my mother that this was it, he was really going to propose! Well, Friday, our one year anniversary, came and went. We had a fun pumpkin patch ride at Trax Farms, followed by a lovely dinner at P.F Changs; however, no ring was given that night. My mother had mentioned the next day that she really thought that he might be proposing around Christmas time, and since we always do a traditional, fancy Christmas dinner together, I thought she might be right! So I put the idea out of my head completely.
It is ritual for Adam and I to talk daily on Google Chat while we are at work. Earlier in the proposal week, I mentioned that we should have a relaxing night together soon, and he responded by asking me out on a date that coming Friday night. We had been picking one night a month for the past few months to treat ourselves and go out to a nice restaurant and keep the romance alive! That is why it was not out of the ordinary for Adam to choose the Grand Concourse in Station Square as the place he would take me, since I had mentioned to him that I had never been there. Adam has always been a hopeless romantic kind of guy, so big surprises and presents are not out of the ordinary for me to receive! And since it was a spur of the moment decision that I came up with, I thought there was no way he was planning any type of proposal. I was even the one to come up with the plan of going to the Grand Concourse’s happy hour for a few drinks before dinner!
With my first graduate class and work stressing me out, I was so relieved when Friday arrived and it was time for a drink! Adam was cool as a cucumber the whole time, and we even danced and sang in the ride over to the Grand Concourse. There were no signs of him being nervous, which is another reason I did not suspect a thing! Dinner reservations were not until 7:30, and we quickly realized after two drinks and appetizers that it was only 6:30 with much time to kill. So I asked Adam if he would go ask them if we could possibly get a table now instead of waiting another hour. When he came back to the table, it was not with the answer I expected. He told me that we were not actually eating at the Grand Concourse and that he had a surprise waiting for me, but we had to leave right away. I was disappointed at the time, because I was so excited to eat at the Grand Concourse that I had my meal planned out and everything! He asked me if I remembered the date, and it wasn’t until then that I realized that the date was November 7th, exactly 10 years from our high school anniversary and the first time he asked me to be his girlfriend. Upon leaving I realized that I was in for an even bigger surprise now that I knew it was our 10 year anniversary and Adam is the most romantic man I know!
Behold, there was a beautiful lit-up horse and carriage waiting for us outside the Grand Concourse to take us on a ride through Pittsburgh! I was told that the carriage was going to take us for a short ride to where we would really be eating dinner to celebrate our 10 years together. It wasn’t until I realized we were pulling into the bottom parking lot of the Duquesne Incline that something special must be happening. The thought of a proposal flickered in my head; however, I was expecting that it could happen at the top look out platform once we got up there. Before I could even complete the thought, Adam was already out of the carriage and instead of helping me down, he dropped to one knee and pulled out the most beautiful ring I have ever seen! Tears instantly started flowing, and I can’t remember a thing that was said other than, “Heather Kathleen Kroll, will you marry me?” and “Yes”! It was not until I was out of the carriage and walking towards the incline that I realized someone was snapping pictures of us! Adam had hired a photographer to capture the most precious moment of our special night, and we could not have been smiling harder in all of those pictures. On the ride up the incline, I mentioned to Adam that I wish we could celebrate with both of our families that night instead of choosing one house to go to. Little did I know, that both of our parents were waiting for us outside of the top look out area with confetti to throw all around us! It was the most magical night of my life, and I was able to spend it celebrating with all of my favorite people! To top off the night, Adam had booked reservations at the LeMont, which was “our spot” from high school. Every detail of the night was carefully planned out, and he even wrote up our story for all of us to read over dinner. I could not have asked for a more perfect proposal, and I cannot wait to marry my best friend.
BB: Happy Valentine's Day, Pittsburgh!