There are a few milestones that mark the journey of a couple - the first time meeting, the first date, the wedding (although it's a blur), their baby being born, and of course, the proposal.  I found the one with Alena, and I was ready to pop the question.  Having seen enough proposals in movies and TV shows, and hearing from my married friends that the proposal is one of the things that their spouses remember forever, I knew that I had to hit it out of the park.  No pressure. :-)

The Plan

Some people propose with beautiful scenery in the background.  Some people propose spontaneously at home.  As we were getting closer to our two year anniversary, I decided to propose on the day of our two year anniversary (October 25, 2014) at our first date spot at Banana Café and Lounge A week before the proposal, I gave the Manager at Banana Cafe a heads up that I would be proposing there and asked him when would be a good, quiet time on a Saturday.  He said to come around 5:30pm. 

She Almost Saw the Ring Before the Proposal

I hid the ring in my wardrobe, and it so happens that the day of the proposal, Alena was cleaning it out.  She was a second away from reaching in the drawer where the ring was hidden.  Luckily I caught her, rushed over, and quickly said, "Let me take care of that for you!!"

The Unexpected Bachelorette Party

Alena and I went for dinner at Banana Café around 5;30, and before paying for the check, I took a ‘bathroom break’ to check the upstairs lounge where I was planning to propose.  It turned out there was a huge bachelorette party going on at the same time with at least 30 girls, and the place was really loud.  I was thinking, there goes the quiet, romantic proposal!  I talked with the bartender about filming the proposal and ended up telling the group of girls that I was planning to propose.  When I went to get Alena and brought her up, the lounge surprisingly got really quiet.  We sat at a table, and Alena went to the restroom.  I then gave the camera to the bartender to film the proposal, and when I got down on one knee, the place suddenly erupted like a One Direction concert with the girls screaming, “Say yes!  Say yes!”  It was wild!

When we went home that night, I made an album on Facebook with this description:
“Exactly two years ago today, Alena Vauter and I went on an amazing first date at Banana Cafe and Piano Bar. Tonight, I took Alena back there to celebrate our two year anniversary and this time, I popped the question. I made a photobook for her with pictures from our first year dating, and the last page simply said, 'Marry Me.' And this wonderful woman said yes :-)”

Takeaways for the Proposer

- It’s always appreciated and memorable when you do something personal.  We talked about that first date and how good Banana Café was many times in our first two years together, and Banana Café is a very special place to us. 

- Just go with the flow, even if it doesn’t go exactly as planned.  I definitely didn’t expect a large, rowdy bachelorette party to be there during my proposal, but instead of the party being too loud, they ended up making the proposal more memorable and exciting.

- Propose only if you are confident that you'll get a yes.  Doing a grand romantic public proposal when the relationship is shaky and getting a yes happens in the movies.  It rarely happens in real life.  If you have serious doubts about it, I wouldn't go out and get a ring that cost $$$.