The Proposal


On Thursday, July 14, 2011, I met up with Mark for a very casual Korean BBQ dinner (so casual, in fact, that I didn't wear any makeup, do my hair or wear a cute outfit). Regardless, the food was delicious and I was looking forward to an evening of relaxation, watching So You Think You Can Dance with my boyfriend and my dog on each side.

After dinner, Mark casually mentioned that the owners of his apartment building opened up the rooftop and decorated it. "It's a beautiful view of Isu (his area)...wanna check it out?" Not thinking too much of it, I said "sure" and headed up the stairs.

But about two steps from the top, I spotted rose petals on the steps and heard music playing outside. I turned around to Mark and said, "Oh no, someone's having a moment. We're going to ruin it", thinking some other couple got dibs on the rooftop before we did. But he didn't seem to care. Instead, Mark just urged me to go up, so, shrugging my shoulders, I did just that.

What I found was a plethora of candles and floating flowers in wine glasses everywhere.





"What is this?" I asked. "Is it for me?" "Did you do this?" "What is this?" (I wouldn't shut up).

"Isn't it beautiful?" Mark asked. "Look around, it's gorgeous."

At that point, I spotted the portable speakers that were pouring out the calm and serene melody over the entire rooftop. On top of the speakers was an iPhone. Not Mark's iPhone and not mine. Thinking it belonged to the couple that was having a romantic date in which we were intruding on, I turned around to head downstairs but Mark stopped me and pulled out a bouquet of flowers from behind the door.

"These are for you, love."

Then, I finally realized that all of this was for me. I thought, wow! what a sweet and romantic date. After giving me the flowers, he asked me to go up one more set of stairs to a tiny little platform that can hold no more than 2 people. From there, you could see his entire neighborhood and all the rooftops of his neighbors' houses. I kept saying to myself, This is so amazing. Mark is so romantic. But even then, I thought this was nothing more than a date (a really sweet one, of course).

When we both made our way to the itty bitty platform, he looked at me and told me how much he loved and cared for me. How we've become best friends. How he wants to spend the rest of his life with me.

"I do too," I said. In my head, I was asking, Why is he saying all of this? He knows I feel the same...

And that's when it happened.

Mark got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. In shock, in happiness, in love and in absolute hysteria, I managed to blubber out a yes. I mean, c'mon, of course I said yes!

Then, I proceeded to slip on the wet steps (from the rain) and fall down three steps before he caught me just as my bum was about to land in the candles. Yep, classic Elysabeth move. Aside from my ring, I have a huge bruise on my right butt cheek to commemorate how special July 14th was ;-)

[I'm clearly excited]


In between laughing uncontrollably, smiling without regard, foolishly falling and asking "Are you serious?!?" at least 25 times, I couldn't help but realize how perfect the timing was. He completely surprised me! In fact, until now, marriage has always been some "thing" to look forward to two or three years from now. But, Mark and I are approaching our five-year anniversary in September and although young, we're in love and we've stayed in love and fallen deeper in love for all of college and our adult life.

There's no denying that it took work. A lot of it. But we're really enjoying the fruit of all that work now. And what we've experienced in these last few months here in Korea is too powerful to be explained through words. It has solidified us in a way we never thought possible. And his proposal on Thursday night only cemented that solidification.

Once the shock dissipated, I bombarded Mark with questions. How long have you been planning this? How did you decorate the roof while we were at dinner? How did you hide all of this? Who else knows?

And what I found out is this: Mark has been plotting the proposal for the last couple of months. He was going to do it last Thursday but at the very last minute, he didn't feel like it was the right timing. When he decided to do it the following Thursday, he coordinated with Jamie, one of my best friends, and Charlotte, another dear friend, to decorate the rooftop while we were at dinner. When they finished decorating, they gave him the cue (a text) that all was good to go. And that's when the magic began :)


[The finished product]



[My bouquet :)]

[The two that made it happen: Jamie and Charlotte]


[The finishing touches]

Since Thursday, the outpouring of love has been absolutely amazing and overwhelming. Although thousands of miles from friends and family, through Skype and email and Facebook, it seems like we're close enough to laugh and cry together. No, it will never compare to a proper hug, but it will have to do until I come home in October. And I have my best friends in Seoul and my New Philly family showing me just as much love in the meantime!

Thank you for everyone's love, blessings and genuine happiness for us. We're so excited for what the future holds! We love you <3


clara yoon said...

love it love it! <3 congrats again both of you~

Eliana said...

Woohoo! Looking forward to the big day! =D

Susan said...

:-D Hard to find words to describe how pleased we are. Mark won endless amount of boy scout points for asking for your hand in marriage the old fashioned way.

iris +++ said...

so beautiful lys!!! such a romantic proposal :) congratulations to the both of you. seriously one of my favorite couples ever. <3 can't wait for wedding planning blog posts!

Sharon.Mom.Granny said...

Amazingly simple set-up that was stunning at night! The Ratto-Whitson clan have told you how happy we are that Mark found the perfect woman for him and now we get to watch you two get married! Just so happy!

Anonymous said...

whaaaaaaa!!!!!! the candles, the flowers, the ring, the fall, the bruise, the LOVE. simply perfect. so happy for you two. can't wait to give you both a hug in august!!! <3 mel

jyu27 said...

congrats elysabeth!! :) man. that rooftop looks amazing

Sandy Rose said...

I LOVE IT! And I love YOU! Congratulations!!!

Jeff.Pollock said...

Liz, I really couldn't be more excited for you both. Congratulations!!!! Can't wait to see you guys in October!