Chris decided to take me on a little impromptu Martha's Vineyard trip this weekend... little did I know what I was in for. He explains with our iPhone photos and videos from the day...
With the conclusion of my brother Alex’s wedding it was now time to plan the details of my proposal to Meredith. Her father had already given me his blessing during a golf outing in August and I wanted to propose before Thanksgiving and the Holidays. With a busy wedding photographer’s schedule, the only free weekends we had left were 10/15 and 11/18. Thinking 10/15 was too soon to have a ring, I made my plan to only visit a few jewelers and start narrowing in on the ring for a 11/18 proposal. I immediately found a jeweler I liked (Barmakian Jewelers) and when it was confirmed they could have the ring made by the weekend I quickly had to change our plans from Wellfleet Oysterfest to a trip to our favorite island, Martha’s Vineyard. Unknowingly I think this made for a more unsuspecting proposal weekend.
With the ring hidden away inside my suitcase we took an early ferry to Martha’s Vineyard. We got off the boat and it was cold, wet, and rainy. From that point on I insisted to Meredith it wasn’t going to change our plans. We were still going to eat and drink our way around the island. I also knew that the rain would give me an excuse to wear a jacket where I could also carry the ring. Meredith brought her professional camera because we came right from a "gig" and knowing this I had every intention of encouraging her to take many photos to document the day (I'm sure she would have documented even more if she REALLY knew what was happening). So after snapping a photo of Meredith beside the moped store where we originally rented a moped during that first, most memorable time on Martha’s Vineyard, we jumped in our Jeep Wrangler. Wow, what an upgrade from our moped three years ago!
With Nancy’s closed for the season our hopes of a late season Dirty Banana would have to pass. We made a quick stop at East Chop Beach Club to scope out a client’s upcoming wedding venue and then we headed for Edgartown to check into the Harbor View Hotel. The look of surprise/confusion on Meredith’s face when she saw the water from our room (see below) brought a smile to my face. I played it off like maybe the hotel made a mistake (knowing full well they were assisting with the occasion).
After a shared bowl of chowder and burger at the Henry’s Bar, the girl I fell in love with joined in my nervous antics with a spontaneous plunge into the ocean…but only after a tequila shot! I fell in love with her adventurous mindset all over again; it reminded me of the first time we visited the Vineyard and she pushed me off the jet ski because it was HER turn to drive.
After a warm shower we visited the annual Pumpkin Festival. Meredith tried a warm apple cider and we shared pumpkin pie and pumpkin cake; all delicious. If it weren’t for the rain we might have stayed longer.
We continued to Oak Bluffs to visit Martha’s Vineyard Gourmet Café & Bakery (aka Back Door Donuts) where we found ourselves purchasing the VERY LAST DONUT of the season! It was fate setting in…
With a week old powdered donut in hand we jumped back in the Jeep and headed for the Aquinnah Cliffs. My nervousness was growing and I became aware of the fact that I had been talking more than usual (wondering if Meredith was suspecting anything). I kept repeating that the rain wasn’t changing our day! The 45 minute trip gave Meredith the opportunity to nap (like I had promised her) and for me the chance to visualize some final moments of the proposal, worrying what to do if it was still raining.
The cliffs were beautiful. It was the first time for both of us. I insisted we purchase a sweatshirt and a tee shirt as souvenirs from our trip (this by the way is something I never do – another possible clue to Meredith).
We arrived to Menemsha an hour before sunset. Fortunately the rain was starting to let up enough where I knew the proposal could happen outside. We visited our favorite seafood place, Menemsha Fish Market. It was my plan to share a quick bite of steamers and head out to the jetty but Meredith insisted on sharing a lobster roll and bay scallops too (seafood is her favorite). Fearing that if I said no she would suspect something was up I had to go along with the order despite knowing it would add time. As the seafood was being prepared I went to “use the restroom” but was really texting the undercover photographer to make sure she was in position and ready to capture the moment. As I returned to the Fish Market a rainbow appeared! It couldn’t have been more perfect! I called Meredith outside and of course I encouraged Meredith to take a picture to document the moment.
The rain had stopped and a gorgeous sunset was developing before us as we stood on the dock sharing the last of our clams and lobster. On any other occasion we could have finished our meal there but I insisted we make our way to the jetty for a photo.
The Proposal: With the photographer in sight I knew it was on. My heart was racing and I was all nervous smiles.
I positioned Meredith’s back to the sun and reached for my pocket to “take a selfie.” The zipper was stuck! I had practiced zipping and unzipping all day long without any trouble. I fumbled with the zipper while starting to tell Meredith how much I loved her. To stop further delay I ripped apart my coat pocket to free the ring box. At this point Meredith knew. Chills rain through me as I watched her cover her face. I dropped to my knee and asked if she would marry me.
I don’t remember words but I remember a head nod and tears. The ring was successfully out of my pocket and onto her finger, finally! We shared hugs and kisses, and I told Meredith that it was here on our third date that I fell in love with her. I was so excited to start planning my life with Meredith.
The rest of the evening was spent calling family and close friends (our phones died several times) and referring to each other as FIANCE every chance we got.
Bye Martha's Vineyard! You will always be our special place.
Special thank you to Stacey Rupolo of the MV Times for capturing our proposal as it happened!