A birthday dinner cover kept this bride-to-be in the dark from her girlfriend’s proposal plans
By Brittney Hoffman
Some women grow up dreaming about their wedding. For me, it’s always been all about the engagement. And for the past nine years, my partner Kara has suffered through endless hints about how NOT to propose. We’d spend lazy weekend afternoons watching “A Wedding Story” on TLC, and not once was I satisfied with a proposal. Champagne toasts in a hot air balloon? A tad excessive for my tastes, not to mention my fear of heights. An intimate picnic on the beach at sunset? Cliché and too … sandy. Apparently, the possibility of a perfect proposal was beyond my imagination. Fortunately for me, it was completely and totally within Kara’s …
It was the evening of June 18, 2009, and we were at our favorite French restaurant in Coconut Grove to celebrate her 30th birthday with our closest friends and family. At least, that’s why I thought we were there. I remained blissfully ignorant of all the signs. Kara, a carnivore to the core and the very reason I abandoned vegetarianism on our second date, wasn’t even touching her filet mignon. My best friend David was drumming his utensils more than usual and Jill, Kara’s best friend since high school, was barely speaking.
Then Kara got up from the table to “go to the restroom” for what must be the fifth time since we sat down, and while she was gone, the restaurant lights dimmed. My first thought was that she was going to miss her happy birthday song! Then I heard it: Bjork’s “Unison.” Our song is playing on the restaurant speakers? Again, I’m clueless, thinking “How nice of them to play our song for Kara’s birthday!” My eyes searched the room for the birthday girl, and our eyes met as she came out of the restaurant kitchen. In all the years we’d spent together, I had never seen that look on her face. It was suddenly all clear; she was going to ask me to marry her.
The waiters wheeled in a spotlight, which they switched on and directed right at me. I immediately turned into the gushing pageant queen I never thought I could be—hands fanning my face, tears of joy streaming down my face, shoulders shaking. As she made her way toward me, a huge bouquet of white lilies in her hands, the room completely disappeared. I couldn’t hear or see anything that wasn’t Kara. After what seemed like an eternity, she got to our table and got down on one knee by my side. She pressed her forehead to mine and told me all the things I’d ever dreamed of hearing from a lover. She pulled the box out of her pocket and I saw the ring. It’s all happened so fast, I could barely comprehend the question, “Will you marry me?” I erupted from my haze with a high-pitched “YES!” and the entire place broke out into applause. Our friends were all crying. Our cousin Haidy was filming us. Now, on lazy weekend afternoons, I can watch the perfect proposal on repeat.
Kara and Brittney wed on Nov. 13, 2010 in Miami, FL. Read their Real Wedding feature here.
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