How They Met:
Jonathan and Brielle met sailing on Lake Michigan when they were 19 and 18, respectively. Brielle had just finished high school and was preparing to enter Tufts University in the fall. Jonathan had just finished his first year at MIT and was home in Chicago interning for the summer. He happened to work for one of Brielle's friend's fathers, who arranged the outing! Throughout college, Jonathan and Brielle developed a strong friendship. They became especially close during the summer of 2007. They were both interning in New York City, and to make extra cash, they moonlighted as concert promoters together (yes...it's true!). After that summer, it was clear that some romantic feelings were floating around, but neither one of them wanted to jeopardize their friendship and make a move! It wasn't until after Jonathan graduated from MIT, and Brielle was in her senior year of Tufts, that Jonathan decided to ask her on a ski date when she was home for winter break. They finally admitted their long-standing feelings for each other, and have been together ever since.
What I really wanted out of the proposal (besides have Brielle say yes!) was to surprise her and create a lasting memory. She had been growing suspicious that something was afoot and I had been dismissing those suspicions to the point where she had called her parents concerned that I would try to wait until the day before I wanted to propose to buy a ring (little did she know that I had already told her parents my plans). But she was easily convinced that I had not done any advanced planning. I thought the outing with her cousins would be the perfect moment because she would never expect it and because she wouldn't be suspicious when people were taking pictures. I had plotted with Matt Marcus (future brother in-law) to take pictures and tipped him off a few moments before the proposal. I found a spot near the zoo that wasn't too crowded, walked over there and convinced Brielle that there was something I wanted her to see. Before she knew what was happening, I got down and one knee and asked her to marry me. For a few moments she didn't say anything, but held her hands to her face and was shaking her head from side-to-side. All I could think was that this was not the right moment and that she wanted me to wait and do it privately. Finally, after what seemed to be an eternity, she dropped down beside me and half-crying said "yes, of course yes". I was so incredibly happy (and relieved). I picked her up off the ground and wiped the tears of happiness from her eyes and gave her a big hug and kiss. - Jonathan
My cousins and I had arranged a family gathering to see the Zoo Lights during my winter break from graduate school at the University of Chicago. I had a sneaking suspicion that Jon was going to propose during my break, but I had a feeling I would be safe from the surprise if we were in public or with my family. Boy, did he prove me wrong! We all ate dinner together at Ranalli's pizza and, after we finished, began to walk towards the zoo. Jon started wandering off ahead of everybody, and I remember shouting ahead that he was going the wrong way! He turned to face me and said, "Before we go to zoo lights, I have something to ask you." As soon as he said that, my heart started racing and I knew this was the moment he was going to ask me to be his wife. My sister, brother-in-law, and cousins all took lots of pictures and a crowd of people gathered around cheering. I was so overwhelmed with happiness that I started crying, fell to my knees to kiss him, and, of course, said YES! - Brielle