We had a gorgeous, warm, Denver day when I photographed Katie and Davey at the Nature and Science Museum. They wanted a more editorial feel to their session, so when exploring the Science Museum a few days prior, I knew that was the perfect place for their session. I absolutely love these two! I am such a sucker for proposal stories, and here's what Davey had to say!
How He Proposed...
" I knew where I wanted to propose to my fiancé, Katie, before I had even met her. In the summer of 2007, after a long day of talk shows, game shows, and other obligatory tourist-y things one must do when visiting New York City, my mother and I had plans to see The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway, and then visit the top of Rockefeller Center, which provides an unparalleled view of the city. We had visited the “Top of the Rock” earlier in the day and it was simply stunning, but I had no idea that seeing it at night could be so much better.
If you’ve never been to New York City, and especially the area around Times Square, it’s incredibly overwhelming. Almost everyone in this part of the city if from another place, has absolutely no idea where they’re going, and for almost no reason at all, they’re drawn to this one tiny area. After exiting the show on a warm, abnormally crisp summer night in the city, we made our way through Times Square en route to Top of the Rock. What I experienced there changed me forever.
Leaving the bright lights, constant traffic of both people and vehicles, and sounds of the city 70 floors below, at Top of the Rock, you feel as if you are completely alone. This is especially profound considering you are in New York City. It was completely calm, and those visiting this place respect its serenity. I was so captivated by this moment, feeling utterly at peace, that I knew that I had to share this moment with someone someday. I knew that this was the place I would propose to my future wife, whenever that might be. Katie and I met in September of that year and have been together ever since.
I took a job with the Toyota Motor Sales headquarters in Los Angeles in January 2013, and it was a job that would require an additional move to any of 14 cities all over the country within the year. New York was on that list, but it was unlikely that it would be the place I ended up. When this reality sunk in, I had to accept that maybe my plans would change, and I would have to try and create a new moment to propose to Katie. Once I learned that I had been selected and promoted to our New York office, I was so totally happy that I would be able to make this dream come true.
Like that night in the summer of 2007, I had planned for us to see Phantom of the Opera on Broadway and then visit Top of the Rock for the proposal, but when Katie arrived the day before, I learned that there was snow in the forecast. Born and raised in Colorado, I was no stranger to snow and had no fear that we would be able to overcome whatever obstacles the weather presented us. I was (almost) wrong.
If I could imagine the worst weather conditions with which a person could propose to another person on a rooftop in New York City, that setting would have probably been just short of what we were met with that night. When we arrived by train into the city on the night of December 14th, 2013, we exited Pennsylvania Station having seemingly arrived on Antarctica. Snow was blowing horizontally, the wind was fierce, and we were stuck in a line of about 30 people waiting desperately for a cab an escape from the snow. By the time we finally got in a cab, the right side of my body had a thin but very present layer of snow that had developed over the previous 20 minutes – we were off to a great start.
We eventually made it to our hotel, where we got ready for a dinner that I had planned with my college roommate and great friend Wyatt, who was there with his girlfriend Julie who was originally from Connecticut. They knew what was happening and decided to plan their holiday trip to see her family around our night.
Conditions only worsened as the night went on, and after dinner, it took 30 minutes longer than it should have to get a cab from dinner to the theater. We were finally able to catch one, but with 15 minutes to go before show time, we were still 10 blocks away and stuck in complete grid lock. Frantic, we jumped out of the car and ran the rest of the way to the theater. In hindsight, I see this moment much like a Billy Joel music video but while living in the moment, nothing could be more terrifying than running through the streets of New York, in a truly horrible snowstorm, carrying an engagement ring.
We ended up making it to the show and to be honest, literally anything could have been happening on the stage in front of me and I wouldn’t have been able to tell you a single thing about it. My mind had completely begun focusing on our moment and whether or not it was going to be a reality. When the show finished, we left the theater to find that the snow had stopped, but thankfully in its place was pouring, freezing rain. When combined with the six inches of snow that was already on the ground, we had the most ideal surface on which to walk several blocks from the theater to Rockefeller Center.
Our friends Wyatt and Julie – who did not go to the show – were already waiting at Top of the Rock, and I’m so thankful that they were. Due to the weather, almost every aspect of Top of the Rock was shut down, including all outdoor observatories. Before our arrival, the Top of the Rock employees informed Wyatt of this and told him that they would honor our tickets for another night, even offering us an annual pass. While this was an entirely suitable solution, it did us no good on this night, and when the staff found out what I had been planning, they could not have been more accommodating and gracious.
When we arrived some 15 or 20 minutes after Wyatt and Julie did, we were greeted as if it was a warm summer night in the middle of the day, and not the death storm that we found ourselves in in the middle of December. As we made our way up, we were told that because we had traveled so far (wink), we would be allowed to visit the outdoor observatory at the top, but only for a moment.
It was a herculean effort to get us to that rooftop, and we were completely drenched and frozen. I told Katie that she had to understand that there was no way that I would put us through all of what we had just experienced, for no reason. Leaving her somewhat surprised by what I said, I got down on one knee and proposed. What followed was an emotion I’d never experienced before and will probably never feel again. It was an overflow of emotion, relief, and happiness on both our parts. A totally unique moment in our lives, which we will cherish forever.
"...We drank the night away with our friends, and with some of my co-workers and who made an equally substantial effort to meet us that night. An immensely successful night that spilled over into the next day had concluded, and our journey to getting engaged was complete. Even though it was not exactly as I scripted it – not even close – it was our moment, and it would always be our moment.
If there is any chance of rain showers or anything else for our wedding this September in Denver, as long as it doesn’t turn into a meteor shower, I think we’ll be all right."