He Said, She Said | Our Engagement Story

Well, Carson did it. He bent the knee and asked me to marry him! (Please don’t judge the Game of Thrones reference. The series is officially over and I’m still in shambles over the finale.)

How, you ask?

Before we get into it, we would just like to thank each and every person who has congratulated us on our engagement — THANK YOU! If we haven’t been able to personally thank you please know that we are so appreciative of your excitement and support. It has been such a whirlwind of emotions and all the kind words and well wishes add to the celebration. We feel so loved!

Now, for the moment you all (but mostly me) have been waiting for…the proposal!

The story of our engagement starts months prior with so much planning that I think I could have saved the Fyre Festival. First, I had to scrounge up the finances, which included starting to drive Lyft for a little additional coin. Next, I had to decide on the when, where, and how. I knew I had to find a place that was sentimental, symbolic, and of course, photographed well.

I decided on Picnic Point in Madison, which is a peninsula with a ¾ of a mile trail on Lake Mendota. This was the spot of our very first date over 5 and ½ years earlier. (Sentimental…check!) It is a landmark in Madison with a view of downtown and UW campus. This symbolised the two phases our relationship has gone through, as we worked our way from college students to professionals, all in Madison. (Symbolic…check!) Lastly, it is full of greenery, with a beautiful view of the skyline and lake. (Photogenic…check!)

In the weeks leading up to popping the question, I wanted to make sure that both of our families were involved as well. After asking Masy’s dad, mom, and sisters for the permission to propose, we were able to decide that May 11th would be the day. The big day.

The big day started off as all big days should, with a trip to the Madison Farmers Market for empanadas and cheese. Little did Masy know, this was just a distraction to give our families time to get into position at the (knee) drop zone. After alluding to Picnic Point for the past couple of weeks, we agreed it would be nice to go for a walk there to get a little exercise after the farmers market. Once we pulled into the Picnic Point parking lot, I sent the last message to our families to get in position. Our parents and siblings jumped behind some bushes and my brother, Nate, put his hood up and sat on a nearby park bench. Armed with his camera, he waited to pounce like the paparazzi.

Masy and I made small talk about how long it had been since we visited and all that has changed since our first date oh so long ago. During the lulls in conversation, I would rehearse my speech:

“Remember last week when we discussed ‘Do you know the good times when you’re in them or only after they’re over?’ Well, when we are together, I don’t think the good times are ever going to end, and I love you for that. *Takes knee and pulls out box* Therefore… Masayo Madison Engel, will you marry me?

As we came to the end of the trail the nerves started to kick in. My heart beat a bit faster. Hopefully she won’t notice. My mouth got dry. Hopefully I won’t fumble my speech. One we hit the predetermined spot, I mumbled something like:

“I don’t think the good times end when we’re together… Uhhh. *Takes a knee and pulls out box*  So, will you marry me?”

Nailed it.

Crying ensures, family runs out, Nate starts filling up his fresh 64gb memory card with thousands of photos. Oh yeah, and I almost forgot to mention that she said “Yes!”

The morning of May 11, 2019 started just as any other Saturday does in our small Marson Manor apartment. This includes cuddling, coffee, and choreographed dance routines as we got ready for the day. We had only two plans for Saturday — 1 | shop at the Farmer’s Market and 2 | go for a walk to Picnic Point.

For context, Picnic Point has been one of our go-to places in Madison. It has great running trails, scenic views of the city, but most importantly for this story, it was where Carson and I had our first date almost 6 years ago. He slyly suggested that we go since we hadn’t been there in a while and I agreed without thinking twice about it.

We were running behind (classic) to meet our friend at the Farmer’s Market for another Saturday tradition of ours…eating breakfast empanadas and people watching as we shop around the square. Honestly, I don’t know how this is possible but this whole time Carson was as cool as the cucumbers being sold at the booths! He wasn’t acting weird AT ALL…which should have tipped me off because acting normal is a rare thing in our relationship.

After a quick pick-me-up with a fresh pot of coffee, we got in the car, drove to the start of the trail, parked and started on our way down the path around noon. We walked hand in hand all the way to the end of the trail where we seemingly had the place to ourselves when he stopped and pulled me in his arms. I was like THANK GOODNESS because it was pretty cold and his broad shoulders blocked the wind!

I could feel him shaking a bit (I figured it was because he was cold and I’m still clueless at this point) as he started his proposal speech. Here’s what I remember of the play-by-play:

Him: “You know the other week when we were talking about if you can recognize the good times when you’re in them or only realize after they’re over?”

Me: “Mhmmm…?”

Him: “Well with you, I know the good times will never end.”

Him: gets down on one knee

Me: brain isn’t firing enough neurons to fully understand what is happening

Him: pulls out ring and asks “Will you marry me?”

Me: brain finally catches up to reality, eyes are blinded by beautiful diamond, somehow squeak out “Yes!”

He placed the ring perfectly on my finger and we sealed it with a kiss. As I pulled away, I realized we weren’t alone. There was a guy about ten feet away snapping pictures of us which confused me because the only photographers I know in the area are women. I walked a little closer to introduce myself when he lowered his camera…it was his brother!

All of the sudden I heard celebratory squeals coming in the opposite direction and saw people running out of the woods towards us. Carson had gathered both sides of our family to be a part of our big day together. His brother even flew all the way from Colorado! There were lots of hugs and a few happy tears (some will deny this…*cough, cough*…dad).

Afterwards we got out of the cold and went to a cute restaurant to celebrate together for the first time as an engaged couple and, most importantly, as one big family!

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