I’ve been slowly telling the story of how I proposed to my wife. Last time I told about buying the ring. This time I’ll tell the story of finding the location.
Side note, this post is going up on the anniversary of our engagement! I had thought maybe by this time I’d actually be telling the story of our engagement, but we’re still getting there. Maybe next year ;).
One of the downsides of proposing in February, especially when your intended does not particularly care for the cold, is that many great locations are outdoors.
One location I considered was the Court of the Carolinas at NC State. It’s near the bell tower and is certainly an iconic location where she spent a lot of time during college. I drove over there and scoped it out, walking from one end to the other and considering what might make the most sense. Ultimately, I couldn’t find a location there that I liked enough to overcome the possibility of inclement weather.
Another possible location was the Raleigh Rose Garden. It’s a lovely spot, and I’m sure it has seen many a proposal. Unfortunately, none of the roses were in bloom yet.
The final outdoor location was Lassiter Mill. The mill itself is quite picturesque, and it features a small waterfall. It’s a lovely location, but also a location of no real significance to either of us, and again the outdoor factor put it pretty far down on the list.
But then I had a thought: what about a tall building? Raleigh doesn’t exactly have skyscrapers, but there are a few buildings downtown around 30 stories. What about the top of one of those?
I spent quite a lot of time running around Raleigh, talking to receptionists and security guards and trying to convince anyone to let me up to the top of any of our tall buildings. Unfortunately, nobody was willing to play ball. I did, however, gain some information: one of the buildings has the top three floors owned by a club of wealthy entrepreneurial folk who get together monthly to network and talk about yachts or whatever. I reached out to many of my contacts, and discovered that nobody that I know is part of this club. I just don’t move in those circles. However, I did send an email to their public address asking if someone could help me get access for one night so I could propose.
While I was doing this research, though, I also discovered another place. It was only 12 floors up, but it was a vintage-style ballroom on the top level of a high-rise office building with a restaurant on the ground floor. We’d even been to that restaurant for our Christmas dinner one year! I emailed the owners of that space as well, asking about using it for a proposal.
The folks at that space got back to me the next day! The coordinator was a very friendly lady who offered to give me a tour of the location. I accepted, and drove out there to meet her. The ballroom was lovely, and though it’s certainly not the tallest building in Raleigh, the view was pretty nice. It was indoors, and she offered to help me out for free. I was sold!
(Later on the coordinators for the other space I inquired about also got back to me with a lovely note offering to help me out. I respectfully and gratefully declined, and they wished me the best with my proposal. I did take note — if I ever need to get into some space I would normally never be allowed in, say that I’m planning on proposing.)
At this point, all the items on my to-do list were checked off. It was go time!