Alrighty friends. It’s finally that time. I have typed and typed. Backspaced. Retyped- You name it- Trying to put down on paper how absolutely magical and special our engagement was. Man, it’s been really crapping hard; aka why it’s taken a full month! To be quite honest, there really is no way for me to put into words how perfect the weekend of our engagement was, and how loved I felt by both Shane and our friends. BUT, I am certainly going to try!
SO, here goes! The story you have been waiting for… HOW SHANE ASKED ME TO MARRY HIM!
Ok, let’s be real. If you expected this to be a short story, you OBV don’t know me too well. I am the QUEEN of long stories, and I rarely ever tell a story without pivoting to a few side stories. So, staying true to form, there are a few background stories I need to share before I really dive into the heart of how Shane proposed.
First things first, it’s best to start this love story by heading over to How We Met, because so many amazing things from our engagement were linked to how Shane and I ever came to be a couple. I’d say it’s for sure worth the read…but I guess you could say I’m pretty biased 😉
Second of all, I thought it would make the most sense to explain the significance behind the location Shane chose to propose, because to Shane’s incredible credit, it could not have been more perfect, nor could it have been any more special. So, queue the first background story…
*lights fade out, the scene is set* Lights, camera, ACTION….
We’ve turned time back to roughly 2 years ago, when Shane and I were sitting in the kitchen, talking about where he wanted to go for his 30th birthday dinner. Shane is a big nice-dinner-foodie buff, so I patiently listened and discussed possible b-day spots. Shane named a couple of places, all being highly rated spots in the city, but then mentioned a spot called the Moshulu.
“It’s a pirate ship.” Shane said, which left me bewildered.
“Wait… like Captain Jack Sparrow pirate ship? Like we get dressed up with parrots and eye patches, type pirate ship?” I mean… I’d be down. I am all about party themes, guys, and love a good costume… but I was straight up confused lol. My mom walked into the kitchen, and she joined our conversation about the Moshulu.
“Mom, Shane decided on a pirate ship for his birthday dinner, haha, so it looks like I need to find a pirate costume.”
My mom, naturally quite confused, asked where we were planning to go.
“The Moshulu?” my mom seemed surprised. “That was mine and your daddy’s makeup spot.”
“Wait, what? When did you and daddy ever dress up like pirates?” I retorted and laughed.
“Haha, Erica the Moshulu is a very nice spot in the city! It’s the pretty boat on the water, where you can eat inside the boat, or out on the deck. You daddy and I made that our official makeup spot, for whenever we had a disagreement, and went out for a nice dinner to make amends. And no, it is not pirate themed… “
Wow, I love that…. I love the idea of going somewhere that was so significant to my mom and my dad as a couple. You see, my dad unfortunately passed away when I was 8 years old, and I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that a lot of my memories of my parents together as a “couple” are pretty fuzzy. In my defense, most 8 years don’t see their parents as “lovers” or an “item”. Or at least, 8 year old Erica didn’t. I saw them as “Mommy” and “Daddy”. My parents- just kind of automatically a pair. But, like any Mommy/Daddy pair, they had a love story, and the Moshulu was one of the many pieces that went into that love story. Now, many years later, I found it to be an honor to have the ability to revisit that spot with someone I love, and make it a part of our love story, too.
So with that said, I was so excited that Shane had decided on the Moshulu for his birthday dinner! May 23rd rolled around (Shane’s Bday) and we headed to our reservation. Shane and I were seated in the inside cabin of the boat, overlooking the water. STUNNING. We ordered way too much food, were having such a wonderful time, and I seriously loved the energy that was in the room. To be in a place where my mom and dad once came to be together and celebrate their love really made my heart feel full. I remember looking at Shane across the table, and saying, “I don’t mean to be cheesy, but being here, where my dad and my mom once were together, is just making me feel kind of …. emotional.”
Shane grabbed my hand and smiled and said “I get that.”
In my opinion, dinner could not have been any more perfect.
It was about that time for the check to come, and when the waitress placed it on the table, Shane did the one thing that always pieves me… He went to grab for the check. URG. Shane has this awful habit of always looking at the cost of the check, even when I am paying!
“GIVE ME THAT!” I laughed, trying to swipe it from him.
Shane looks at the check, and gives me a somewhat-shocked look.
“Yikes, did we really spend that much?” I thought to myself.
Shane hands me the bill, with a face that I couldn’t really put my finger on. When I looked down at the bill, prepared to be sticker shocked, I saw something that instantly brought tears to my eyes.
To most of you, you are probably scratching your head right about now. Yes, Erica. Way to go… you spent WAY Too much money on sushi and cake. Well, while that is true, what’s important to point out is that 46 is my lucky number.
Queue Background story #2 ….
As I mentioned above, my dad (who was born in 1946) passed when I was a kid. Since his passing, the number 46 has popped up for my family and I whenever we needed it the most. Whether it’s randomly looking at the clock on a lousy day, and feeling a sense of peace when it says 1:46PM, or coming to the realization that Exit 146 would one day take me to the college of my dreams, the number 46 has always been our way of feeling like Daddy was stopping in to assure us he was there, and that most of all, that he was happy.
So, when I looked down as the check, and saw HIS number, in HIS place with my mom… it felt like a sign. It felt like my dad was stopping in to tell me I did good with this one. I did good by bringing Shane here, and sharing him with this place. Daddy was happy for me and Shane.
I sat there crying, and laughing, and crying some more. Shane and I started laughing harder, because everyone in the restaurant 100% thought I was crying because they thought that Shane and I were on a date that was going terribly wrong, and in a fight. Man, quite the opposite.
“My Daddy likes Shane” I kept thinking to myself, feeling so lucky and blessed to have been given this sign of approval.
Now we are back to present day 2020. It’s Wednesday, March 11th (2 days until our impending engagement), and Shane and I are upstairs, talking about where we should go to dinner for his promotion celebration. Can you say deja vu? Shane had just gotten a promotion at work that he was super excited about (rightfully so!) and he was telling me how his boss wants to take us all out to dinner to celebrate!
For one, we have gone out to dinner with his boss and boss’ wife before, so this was by no means a red flag for me. AND Shane has probably one of the strongest work ethics I know, and the fact that it was being rewarded with a nice dinner, again, was by no means a red flag.
With that said, and in all honesty, what I mean by red flag is whether or not I was suspicious of the engagement. Let’s be real, the first thing every person asks/wonders after a proposal is “Were You Surprised?”. And Yes, in short- I was. BUT, I would totally be lying if mini-Erica didn’t have her suspicions. Imagine Mini-Erica to be like the Lizzie McGuire cartoon, circa 2000, but looks like me, is obsessed with all things bridal, and whose sole job is to psychoanalyze any situation to see if it showed any signs of a proposal.
“Nice dinner in the city…. Hm, maybe. But I always said I didn’t want to get proposed to over dinner. FAIL. Not a proposal. “ Mini-Erica thinks, as she files her nails, and rolls her eyes. “You ARE going to dinner for his promotion, so stop bothering me”
Shane and I continue to talk about dinner, and he tells me that not only are we going to a nice dinner in the city, but that his boss and he has decided on the Moshulu……
“Nice dinner at the Moshulu, you say….. Curiouser and curiouser. BUT AGAIN, Shane knows I do not want to be proposed to over dinner, so….FAIL. Not a proposal. Stop making this about you, and be happy for Shane, and all of his accomplishments. Byeeeeee.” Mini-Erica poofs away, very much uninterested.
Ok, flash forward to Friday, March 13th, 2020, and I am heading home from work around 3:30pm. My boss was so sweet to let me out of work early, as I had stayed late the night before. This totally worked out in my favor, too, because Shane said our reservation was at 6pm, and that didn’t leave me a ton of time to get ready, get my Uber, and make my way down into the city..
As I am getting ready, mini-Erica starts to flip through her bridal magazines, and re-assessing the night ahead.
“Hm…. this could totally be a proposal… I mean… you’re going to your dream location… it’s gorgeous outside, which would be perfect for pictures… you love him, he loves you…. “
As I start to weigh out the possibilities, and spiral into the maybe-whirlwind, my phone dings with a text from my sister.
“Want to go shopping?”
“WTF. I obviously can’t go shopping, considering I am getting engaged! But wait….if I was getting engaged… she would know that…. boo….”
As I come to think of it, my best friend Steph already told me that she was going to Charlotte, NC this weekend, and my mom just got done telling me that she was trying to go down the shore for a day or two….
Mini-Erica goes back to aggravatingly pinning to her “I DO” pinterest board. No proposal happening here tonight.
“Ok, this is for the best! Better that I stop panicking now, go to dinner, be 100% present, and support my man’s promotion!” Normal Erica thinks to herself.
The Uber arrived, and I shot a text to Shane saying I am on my way. WOO HOO, Erica Luczakowsky is actually on-schedule for once. I got in the uber, and many of you know from my insta-stories… my uber driver was NOT about me. He was not a fan of my need to have the windows down, and spoiler alert…. He will not be a fan of me in 3 days when he has to meet up with me in a parking lot to give me the glasses I will have accidently left in the back seat #oops.
Approximately 45 minutes later, and after countless near-death experiences because the uber driver did not understand the concept of staying in his lane, I arrived outside the Moshulu. Well, actually I arrived a block away from the Moshulu, but Lord knows I didn’t mind the walk and was ready to get out of that car. I texted Shane to let him know I was there, because the plan was that he would meet me outside, and walk me to the table he and his boss were at. As I started to walk along the path leading up to the Moshulu, I looked for Shane at the front entrance, but didn’t see him anywhere.
Mini-Erica stirs from her pinning-craze… “He said he was already here, so why isn’t he at the door.”
“Hey, where are you?” I say to Shane on the phone, looking around.
And then from the direction of the parking lot, I see him.
“Hey, hey, hey… He said he was already inside! Why is he in the parking lot. That’s weir…” Mini-Erica starts to ramble, but then suddenly falls quiet.
I see Shane walking towards me and my brain shuts down. From running a mile a minute, to barely being able to put two words together… I cannot wrap my head around how handsome he looked. (Corny I know, but it’s true.) On the outside looking in, I can only compare how I probably looked to how most grooms look when they see their bride coming down the aisle… awestruct.
He walked up to me, smiled, and gave me a kiss.
“Um, Hi handsome…” I stuttered.
I literally felt like it was a first date. I was nervous! Why am I nervous? It’s my boyfriend of 6 and a half years? WHY am I nervous?
“Um, yes… uh, can you take a picture of me for the gram? I like this dress… Yea, Can you take a picture of my dress in front of the boat?” I blabber on like an idiot.
Shane laughs, yet sternly says, “No Er, not right now. We will do it after dinner.”
Kind of coming back to reality… still can’t get over how handsome he looks…”Oh come on, babe. Just take a quick picture because I know by the time we get out of dinner, it will be too dark to see the boat.”
God I am such a pain.
“No, come on. We will get it after dinner. My boss is in there and we need to go.” Shane says.
Ugh. fine… oh shit, right! Your boss! Your boss and his wife. Your promotion. Back to reality. Shane and I walk into the Moshulu just as we did 2 years ago. As I make small talk with Shane about how insane my Uber was, Shane is ushering me toward the main desk. The host smiles at us, and I start heading to the seating area where we sat for his birthday dinner.
“We’re going upstairs, hun” Shane says, ushering me to the stairs that lead to the second floor. Mini-Erica tries to pop her nose out from behind her computer screen and say something, but for some reason my brain is working too slow to really process anything.
I know the upstairs is really nice, but I also am by no means surprised that Shane’s boss is pulling out all the stops for Shane. We walk up the stairs, and I start seeing tables set up, so I assume we were heading that way. I start walking towards them, but then Shane points me through a door, the opposite way.
“We’re going to the deck, babe”
The deck? We’re eating on the deck? Again, not surprised you and your boss wanted to have a nice dinner, but MAN, he must really like you!
I walk through the door, which leads out onto the boat deck. I see a few vacant hightops, but assume that our table must be around the corner. I keep walking, and… wait? What was that? I saw a head pop up. Must just be his boss wondering where we were. I keep walking, Shane behind me with his hand on my back… and I turn the corner…
In front of me is a gorgeous compilation of lights and flowers, but all my eyes really could focus on was a sign in lights that says “MARRY ME”.
Oh, how pretty…
You know…this kind of looks like a propos….. HOLY SHIT. LIGHTS. FLOWERS. MARRY ME….THIS IS A PROPOSAL.
I look around, find Shane, and he’s grabbing for my hand.
“MEEEEEEEEP” (Erica language for OMG) I swing my head around, trying to process what’s happening.
I hear the faint clicking sound of photos being taken, as Shane leads me to the beautifully lit table. Shane faces me, and all I can get out is another “MEEEEP”, before Shane starts speaking.
I will take this time to make two points:
- Shane’s proposal to me was OUR moment, and I love that he made it between the two of us. I had mentioned to him in the past that if it ever came down to it, I would rather he propose privately, just he and I, and actually say all that he wants to say, than feel the pressure to propose in front of a big group, and be too nervous to say what he feels. I TRULY loved that it was just he and I.
- And just being completely honest…. I think my brain went into love-overload, because I can only remember bits and pieces of the verbal proposal. Don’t get me wrong… I UGLY CRIED, so Lord knows he said the right things haha.
BUT… the one part I will never forget is when Shane got down on one knee. Actually, I even jokingly said to him, in-between ugly cry sniffles “I shouldn’t make you get down on one knee because I already know my answer, but MEEP, I WANT YOU TO!”
Shane got down on one knee, and pulled a little box out of his pocket. He lifted the top, and revealed the most perfect, rose gold, pear shaped engagement ring.
Shane slips the ring onto my finger, and gives me my first, official ENGAGED kiss.
We turn towards our incredible photographer, Nick, who had been snapping shots of all of these special moments, when out of the corner of my eye, I see people to our left. Coming out from their hiding places, my mom, sister, and my brother-in-law come running towards us.
For the second time that day, I ugly cried, because I was so happy my mom was able to be a part of my special moment. I should have known better than to think Shane wouldn’t have her hiding somewhere! As Nick captured the monumental mother/daughter moments of my mom seeing the ring, hugging Shane and I, and the obvious happy cry session, I see a new face out of the corner of my eye…..
My best friend, Steph.
For a second, I literally thought I was hallucinating, because given all of the craziness with COVID19, AND the fact that she totally threw me with her story about going to Charlotte, I could not believe my best friend was here! God…queue the third ugly cry.
Another round of photos with my best friend, and then again, I hear voices coming from the entrance of the deck. I look to see who it was… but let’s be real, I knew those voices from anywhere; My Uncle Karl and Aunt Donna were here! Fourth Ugly Cry.
I was literally on Cloud 9. My family was here. My best friend was here. The man of my dreams just asked me to marry him in literally the most romantic space ever… how could it get any better.
As things wound down, Shane said we had plans to go to dinner, which sounded great to me. We finished off the champagne, took our last bunch of photos, and headed to the car. Shane, Steph, and I in one car, and my mom, sister, and brother-in-law in another, made our way to the dinner destination. As to be expected of two best girlfriends, Steph and I spent the car ride recapping every little detail of the engegant and how she pulled off her incredible surprise entrance. We were just about 4 minutes away… yes, literally 4 minutes… and Steph suddenly says that she NEEDS to stop and use the ladies room.
“Really, Steph? 4 minutes away from the dinner spot…” I thought to myself. But hey… my best friend just drove 5 hours during a COVID19 outbreak to be here for my engagement… I think we can manage a little detour. For the next 20 minutes we sat in a 7/11 parking lot, and embarrassingly…. I didn’t think twice about it. Steph went in to use the “ladies room”, and Shane went over to my mom’s car to talk with them. Meanwhile, I was PERFECTLY content, sitting in the car, staring at my oh-so-shiny new friend. When Steph finally got back in the car, her original story of saying she needed to use the ladies room, had oddly changed to her needing to pick up a few items before dinner…
Wait, what? Eh…. nevermind…. I pass it off. (I’ll get back to this later.)
Shane got back in the car, and about 5 minutes later, we were parking the car on a random street in North Philly, lined in row homes. We get out of the car, and Shane says the plan is to all pile into Steph’s car, and drive to dinner…
Uh… ok? Where the heck are we getting dinner? Where the heck are we? The type-A in me would normally be asking a hundred questions right now, and insisting that Shane let me help find the restaurant, but guys, no joke…. I was LITERALLY on cloud 9. We started walking up the street towards Steph’s white rav-4, when Shane grabs my hand and says “We’re going to stop in here, first…”
Shane quickly turns us to face one of the many row homes, opens the door, and guides me into the house…
“What, we’re doing wha….”
“SURPRISEEEEEE!” Booms the figures inside the house.
As I walk into the AirBNB, my eyes start to focus and I start making out the faces of all my closest girlfriends!
Jamie (from High School)…. Carly (from college/old roommate/sorority sister)…. Paige (from college/sorority sister) …. Chelsea (sorority Big sister) …. KP (fellow KA groupie and best person ever) … Courtney (fellow KA girlfriend) …. Kelsey (old friend from grade school and current hair stylist) …. Kristin (from High School) ….
“OMG ….. “SHUT THE *** UP” …. (Sorry mom…) I screamed!
My friend, Jamie, ran up to me, and took the bouquet of flowers that I was holding out of my hands and then I heard music start to play.
“It’s a beautiful night, we’re looking for something dumb to do…“Hey baby, I think I wanna marry you…”
“Er…” Shane taps me on the shoulder, and directs my vision to the staircase. I turned around, dropped everything else that was in my hands, and started ugly crying for the FIFTH time that day.
For the full effect, watch the surprise in action by clicking PLAY below.
Coming down the stairs, with roses in each of their hands, were 13 of my closest guy friends, 9 of them being from Kappa Alpha. For any of you that read the How We Met post, you will know that 1. I am a die hard KA Groupie 2. My KA boys mean the absolute world to me 3. Being a Kappa Alpha Rose/Sweetheart has proven to be one of the most special and meaningful honors I have ever been given.
The first KA brother, Jake, walks towards me, gives me a huge hug, and hands me a rose.
“Is it the look in your eyes, or is it this dancing juice. Who cares baby, I think I wanna marry you”
As Jake walks away, another KA brother, Pat, hands me another rose. As he walks away, Pj (KA brother) hands me a bouquet, lol…. And then Troy (KA brother brother) hands me a rose…. And then Boyer (KA brother) hands me a rose…. And then Jimmy (KA brother brother) hands me a rose…. And then Shane (KA brother brother) hands me a rose…. And then CJ (Best Friend’s Fiance and fellow friend) hands me a rose…. And then Tim (from High School) hands me a rose…. And then James (from High School) hands me a rose… And then Joe (KA brother) hands me a rose…. And then Lamar (one of my best guy friends from college, who travelled from Charlotte) hands me a rose…. And then Bryden (KA brother) hands me a rose.
“Who cares baby, I think I wanna marry you”
By the end, my arms were filled with roses, my makeup was shot, and my heart had exploded out of my chest. I looked over at Shane, absolutely in awe of the man who just made all of this come to life.
In addition to having the KA guys here, I was so thrilled and excited to see that friends from highschool and current-day were a part of this, too. Having all the guys that mean the most to me and Shane under one roof was the most heartwarming blessing.
I continued to look around in awe, soaking in all of the faces that were there to celebrate Shane and me,
“LET’S SEE IT!” I hear PJ yelling. “LET’S SEE IT!”
I juggled the roses in my hands, tried to wipe my eyes for a second, and throw out my now-blinged-out hand.
“YESSSSSSSS!” Our friends cheered, and welcomed me into our engagement party. As I walked further into the house, the more I could see the incredible celebration that Shane and my friends had laid out.
The room was covered in engagement-y vibes, from rose gold decorations (man, my friends get me), a VERY insta-worthy photo wall (shout to Steph for insisting on that), adorable cupcakes shaped into a ring (huge thank you to Chelsea’s Mom!), a super sweet sign-in board that Shane made, covered in pictures of us, and countless strands of LED lights, “Engaged AF” banners, and balloons. Let’s also not forget the fully stocked fridge of any possible beer or seltzer you could ask for, delicious sandwiches catered by my best friend’s family deli (YUM), and endless amounts of other snacks.
Most of all, the house was filled with people we love most, which as cheesy as it sounds, is all I could have asked for and more.
As we walked into the kitchen, my mom was pulling out the champagne bottles, and we were cheered on to POP the bubbly! As Shane and I soak it all in, cheers to forever, and pop the bottle, Shane also mentions that the AirBNB was rented out for the rest of the weekend, meaning we would get to spend the rest of the weekend laughing, drinking, and celebrating the most incredible start to our new journey.
We spent the rest of the weekend soaking up every last bit of how blessed we were to have the friends and support system we do. And to be quite honest, that’s exactly what I have done every day since then.
As I look back on our engagement weekend, and reflect on each and every detail, I can’t help but laugh/cry/smile… you name it. Because to be quite honest… everything you just read does not even begin to hold a candle to the real thing. Going back to a conversation I had with my mom after we got back from our engagement weekend, I can firmly say that I could NEVER, in a MILLION years, have planned this for myself if I tried. My exact words were “If I had planned my own engagement, it would have been 15% of what Shane gave me.” Do you know what that translates to me? That Shane, my future husband, in conjunction with our incredible family and support systems, know me 85% better than I even know myself.
With ALL of that said, I honestly don’t know how I ever got so lucky to find Shane, or be blessed with the engagement of the century, but luckily I now get the opportunity to spend the rest of my life thanking him for being 100%, no questions asked, no doubt in my mind, the man of my dreams.
Shane and I thank each and every person who helped make our day/weekend possible, and could not be more blessed to have you in our life.
Engagement BEHIND THE SCENES Bloopers
- Blooper 1: Self Tanner And this is totally MY fault…. The night before the “dinner” with Shane’s boss, I 100% used a self-tanner, and didn’t have time to shower it off before I got ready for dinner. SO… for the rest of my life, I will get to enjoy my VERY orange hands in each engagement photo.
- Blooper 2: The Pit Stop Looping back to the story about Steph needing us to pull over to use the ladies room… As we were on our way to the AirBNB, Steph got bombarded with texts saying that she had to stall, because my friend Chelsea was running late, and was scheduled to arrive at the AirBNB the same time as Shane and me. So… Steph made up the idea of needing to pull over to use the ladies room to buy everyone some time. Hats off Steph, because I was certainly fooled!
- Blooper 3: The BFF’s Phone Going off of the pit-stop story… While I was sitting in the parking lot of the 7/11, and Shane was talking to my mom in the other car, I didn’t notice that Steph’s phone had been left in the car, right next to me. Meanwhile, a number of people at the party were texting her, giving her updates on when we could head over. Well, while Steph was still inside the 7/11, Shane came back to the car, grabbed Steph’s phone, and started going through it. I looked up, saw the phone in Shane’s hands, and I asked him “Why are you looking at Steph’s phone…” Shane snapped at me a bit and said “Don’t worry about it.” ………………..LISTEN. On any other given day that I have NOT BEEN PROPOSED TO, I would have handed Shane his [insert peach emoji] to him, given 1. His tude. 2. The fact that he was in my best friend’s phone. 3. The fact that he was in my best friend’s phone AND being snippy when I ask why he is in my best friend’s phone! But, entranced, engaged Erica, didn’t think twice about Shane in Steph’s phone…God, I really was on cloud 9.
- Blooper 4: The Roses Back at the AirBNB, the boys had planned to hand me roses when I walked in. Fast forward to a couple house into the party, I went upstairs and noticed rose petals in the master bedroom (where Shane and I were staying). AWWWW, how sweet! HAHA, nope. Come to find out that the rose petals on the floor were ACTUALLY the result of the guys getting into a rose fight before we arrived, and were whacking each other with their roses. #BoyswillbeBoys
As more bloopers come about, I will 100% be adding them the list, Until then, thank you so much for following along with our story.