Tying the Knot

Tying the Knot: The Proposal

On January 1, 2013, my then-boyfriend Jeff asked me if I wanted to get engaged that year. We’d been dating for nearly two years (albeit, in separate cities…I was in Baltimore and he was in Chicago), so I responded with an enthusiastic YES!!

But, as the calendar approached 2014, I started growing a bit skeptical, especially because he’d promised me 2013 would be “the best year of my life.”

Well, on November 30, 2013, his prediction came true when he proposed while we were visiting my family for Thanksgiving.

He picked it out all by himself! (Courtesy of Kathleen Hertel Photography)

He picked it out all by himself, love it! (Courtesy of Kathleen Hertel Photography)

To say I was shocked would be an understatement. I’d always pictured myself as one of those girls who’d know when it was coming. I was wrong. Of course, I’d played out a million different scenarios in my mind, but none of them lived up to the magic of the actual moment.

While outrageous, over-the-top viral proposal videos are more than fun to watch, they’ve never exactly been “my style.” Even though I’m not one to shy away from attention, I always pictured my own proposal going down with just me and the person I love. My fiancé (still sounds weird) not only listened, but he delivered.

The proposal took place at my house while my family was “picking up my Christmas gift.” To be perfectly honest, I’m not even sure exactly what he said. I just know I didn’t believe him (even though he was down on one knee with a beautiful ring) and I may or may not have walked away. (Yes, I’m slightly ashamed of myself.)

Obviously, I ended up saying “yes,” or something to that effect and I immediately called my sister aka my MOH (maid of honor) to celebrate. We were on our way to meet them for lunch and I was just expecting my family. But, when we got to the restaurant, I saw a photographer, my college roommates aka my bridesmaids, and my aunts, uncles and cousins. It was absolutely perfect!

Courtesy of Kathleen Hertel Photography.

My face when I saw my family and friends! (Courtesy of Kathleen Hertel Photography.)

We were able to enjoy the proposal all by ourselves and then celebrate with my closest friends and family. I couldn’t ask for more!

With four of my six bridesmaids! (Courtesy of Kathleen Hertel Photography)

With four of my six bridesmaids! (Courtesy of Kathleen Hertel Photography)

And, now, the wedding planning begins (or, more honestly, goes into effect because I’ve been “planning via Pinterest” for about two years now…more on that later)! In this column, we’ll be sharing our journey to “I do” with all the ups and downs that come with planning a wedding and a new life together.

Got advice? Send it to us at! We look forward to hearing your feedback!

About L’Oreal and Jeff


L’Oreal and Jeff met in May 2008, became friends and went on their first date at the Pittsburgh Zoo & Aquarium in May 2011. They currently reside in Chicago and are planning a fall 2014 wedding in Baltimore with a LOT of purple details. Despite rooting for rival NFL teams, they love laughing, eating and exploring zoos/aquariums/museums together and look forward to getting married!