A Scavenger Hunt Engagement
Written by Greta Sandnas
We got engaged on August 31, 2014! It was very unexpected because we had looked at rings only a couple weeks ago, and I expected him to propose in front of family because we had talked about that prior. Instead of family, he invited my closest "framily" to George Rogers Clark Park in Covington to share in the proposal with us. Everyone was waiting at the end stop of an afternoon scavenger hunt, where I essentially "toured" our relationship over the last 3 years. I figured this all out, after the fact. :-)
The day started off normally, and I thought I was going to be doing the usual Sunday church, brunch, and hanging out with some girlfriends – but it turned out that he had planned a "scavenger hunt" of sorts around the city, and asked two of my closest friends to ride around and partake in it with me. It started by him texting my best friend (and now MOH) from an unknown cell phone number to go return to Crossroads after we finished brunch, which unbeknownst to me was the first stop of the scavenger hunt. She made it seem as if someone texted her that she had forgot something at church and had to pick it up. All of a sudden, my other friend (also in the wedding) pulled out a "Stop #1" card. I was so surprised, and confused as to what was going on! In it, was a hand-written note from him about how we were off to multiple stops around town – not saying why or where – but to basically just enjoy!
As the trip ensued, he would text my friend from his his secret cell phone number to say what general location we were headed next. Then I had to guess what the exact location was based off of descriptors of that part of town, such as a street intersection, or based off of places that had potential significance to us. So, we had 8 stops in all – and in the end it was like touring our relationship over the past 3 years around Cincinnati: such as the locations of our two-part meet-cute, first kiss, first date, and other important moments such as our last date before I left for army training, etc. It was so touching, and really awesome to share the experience with two close friends. It made me cry at some parts because each card he wrote for the stop recalled memories from the past, as well as hopes for the future. Also, he wrote the notes on home-made postcards from pictures we took from a recent trip to Seattle from one of my absolute favorite museums - the Dale Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum.
As for my thought processes, I had a pretty good feeling I was getting engaged toward the end of the scavenger hunt. But, I also wasn't entirely sure because we had recently talked about adding more romance and spontaneity to our relationship – and this was definitely both! I also thought that maybe he was doing some overzealous romantic build-up just to get me a new phone to be funny – because I had recently lost mine! It was hilarious because I remember thinking, well, I'm either getting a new Galaxy or getting engaged! Then, once we got to the Park, I saw one of my super tall friends in the distance among a crowd of people, and I knew he was going to propose!! I screamed, and literally ran behind a building to put some lipstick on. ;-)
I don't know why exactly, but I was nervous just walk down to him and the group! When I got there, he made a speech about how he was in love with me, and how important I was to him. Then, to my surprise he announced that the one thing I always ask him to do – sing – (which he never has done for me), he would do!! This was crazy because he did it in front of an entire group of people of around 20 people!! He decided to sing – while his friend played guitar – Mumford and Sons, "Ghosts That We Knew" because it had references to prior hurts fading to the past, and true, lasting love emerging. He ended up crying when he got to the lyric, "the ghosts that we knew will flicker from view – and we'll live a long life." To us, these lyrics represented some of the struggles I've had getting over my past baggage. In my opinion, it was a perfect, beautiful song choice, and I was so touched!! Then, he got down on one knee, and proposed!! I said YES. :-)
Then I basically got to see my friends for a little bit and hang out in the park. After that, he had made reservations at Via Vite downtown for dinner!! We had the entire patio to ourselves, and coincidentally champagne on Sundays was half off! So, needless to say we got a bottle.
Then, we celebrated at a friend's apartment who was having a huge Labor Day party. He has a great view downtown to see the WEBN Riverfest fireworks, so it felt like such a perfect top-off to the day. Overall, it was such a magical, unexpected, and amazing day.