Bijgewerkt: jan 6
Since the moment I walked across the room of the Milwaukee Art Museum on June 1st 2018 & met Raymond for the very first time, I knew he was something my heart craved. He was this little splash of excitement, completely unpredictable, & challenged me to look at life in a whole new light. He was my person. Right then. Right there. Without either of us even knowing it. Fast forward a year later & Ray proposed to me in the exact same spot... but I
am getting ahead of myself a bit.
Let me start this off by telling you Ray & I's proposal story...
It was a normal Sunday. Ray & I had a trip planned for Austin, Texas early Monday morning to get away for a few days during the heat of wedding season to clear our minds & just be present with one another. Ray had suggested to me a few days before that we should go out for dinner Sunday night to Harbor House, one of my favorite restaurants in Milwaukee, to start our vacation early... a very Raymond move to make so I really didn't think much of it. When Sunday came, Ray wasn't showing any signs of being anxious or nervous. We spent the afternoon watching TV all snuggled up dozing in & out of a nap (afternoon naps are one of our absolute favorite things to do together on Sundays). When it was finally time to get up & start getting ready for "dinner" I kept asking Ray what I should wear. Harbor House is one of those in-between kind of restaurants where you could wear jeans & a cute top or you could dress a bit fancier. He was giving me absolutely no direction or opinions which is very unlike Ray & looking back now it surprises me even more that he didn't have more of an opinion on my outfit for such an important evening. Ray then goes into our spare bedroom to get dressed & closes the door. He comes out wearing a brand new outfit that I hadn't seen before. Typically I pick out all his clothes so I was shocked! He looked adorable and I could tell he had such a spark in his eyes. But still I was completely oblivious to anything going on.
So I get dressed, we get into the car & Ray starts taking this very strange way to get downtown. Ray & I are very competitive with one another & typically I would have argued him on which route was the best to take but... he was taking me to Harbor House for all I knew so decided to just let him win this one. We end up hitting a LOT of traffic on our way. Ray was complaining & trying to rush through the traffic saying how we "can't be late for dinner" over & over again.
When we finally pull up to the lights where the restaurant is we see one of his company vans parked at the Art Museum. Ray then tells me we need to pop in there quick to say Hi to one of the guys working a wedding there. You would think after complaining the entire drive in about the traffic & not wanting to be late he would be rushing to dinner but again... he was taking me to Harbor House so I wasn't going to complain if he wanted to quickly pop into the Museum... it's our spot anyways so I am always happy to walk around there with him. When we pulled up a bride & groom were outside the main doors taking pictures so I assumed it was their wedding I was about to walk into. As soon as I walked in & peeked around the curtains I knew exactly what was happening. I was squeezing Ray's hand tighter than I even knew I was capable of. Everything just started to blur & all I could think of was Ray.
The room was filled with flowers & candles. Our song was playing in the background. It was more than I ever dreamed of & yet felt so perfectly like me. Ray truly outdid himself. I would have said YES to marrying him no matter where we were, what we were doing, or if he had a ring or not. When we got to the "alter" we just smiled at each other, giggling at whatever nonsense Ray was saying & just soaked it in. Ray had a whole speech for me but all I can remember from that moment was him saying "Em, will you marry me?".
I had heard people talk about time flying by & everything just feeling like a blur before but until Ray & I got engaged I had truly never experienced anything like it. Thank goodness for our videographer & photographer team, shout out to Films by Design & Uttke Photography. Truly the most special gift was the ability to look back & re-live that moment over & over again. Ray & I then popped a bottle of champagne, our favorite songs on repeat on the main speakers, and did our best to just embrace every second of this once in a lifetime moment. We hugged and thanked all the amazing vendors that made that moment possible & then we were off to grab a cocktail to celebrate at The Kimpton which is where I told Raymond I loved him for the first time.
When we got to the Ninth floor & I saw all of our family standing there ready to celebrate with us & I completely broke down in tears. Ray had thought of everything. He created a moment & a memory that I will cherish for the rest of my life. To say I love him would be a complete injustice for the way I feel about him.
& after all of that we were swept away to celebrate in Austin, Texas just the two of us and the planning began!