Matthew was the best man at Gordon and Kristen’s wedding last year in Toronto – we all became friends right away. Matthew called us last week and said he and Maria were visiting Florida, had just got engaged and wanted a Disney engagement photo session! We were really happy to see him and meet (ridiculously cute) Maria. They are one of the sweetest and happiest couples we’ve met. Our shoot was so fun, especially when “royal etiquette expert” Lady Llewellyn from Cinderella’s Court at the Magic Kingdom hung out with us! She gathered other guests there to give Maria and Matthew some of their best marriage advice. Which, by the way the looked at each other and literally danced together down Main Street, I don’t think they really needed <3 Read more from Matthew below
In the Manhattan church that I attend, we hold a sandwich drive each month for the homeless. Maria was in New York for interviews and the night before her interview, she wanted to spend the evening with the youth group. As soon as she walked into the church, I spotted her smile, she spotted my pager, and we hit it off from that night. We met up together in a group the next evening, after her interview, and went to Dave and Buster’s, where both of our competitive spirits came out to play. Fast forward a year later, including dinner dates, escape rooms, Broadway shows, basketball games, and so much more. At that time we found ourselves preparing for our individual medical specialty board examinations. By far one of the most stressful times in both of our lives. Her profession is in Radiology and mine in Pathology, which together makes a cute diagnostic medical team. I took my exam in May and spent the last week with Maria before she took hers in June, all the while planning our proposal to surprise her (a rare feat). We had plans to fly out to Atlanta, where her family is, the weekend after her board exam, then to NY for my residency graduation, and finally to Orlando to enjoy being a kid again in Disney World.
While preparing for our board exams, I was secretly planning the proposal of a lifetime. Maria grew up in Atlanta, where all of her friends and family are, and where her home church is, which means the world to her. I always knew I wanted to propose to my future wife in front of a church altar, because of the deep symbolism behind it and the importance of having God amongst us always. I also wanted to tweak the proposal with a little bit of romance and fun, who wouldn’t? So I set up a Proposal themed “Escape Room” with clues based on our relationship only she would know in order to succeed and escape the room. The room included an area from our Past and another for our Future. Five memories from our relationship were used to unlock a pathology slide box that was filled with five more facts about our future. The last five clues unlocked a container with a large X-Ray of the ring saying, “MEET ME WHERE WE SAID I LOVE YOU.” Instantaneously, she knew where to meet me – in front of the altar. There I was, pacing, standing, detouring curious friends; inside the church by the altar, awaiting my beautiful bride-to-be to walk in. She shyly opened the door, and weak in the knees walked up the center aisle. We stood in front of the altar, and recalling Maria asking me for her ring pop on the last Valentine’s Day we spent together, I promptly pulled out a diamond collection ring pop from my left inner blazer pocket. She says “YES!” with her excitement exceeding my expectations. After whispering words I have been awaiting to tell her for so long, I get down on my right knee, pull out a Cinderella carriage ring box, open it and ask, “Will you marry me?” She says, “Yes!!” and the anxiously awaiting family and friends outside the church doors come marching in to the church to celebrate!!
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