The Pink Palace Proposal
Since we just passed the third anniversary of our engagement, and it IS the month of love, I thought I'd share one of the most special and romantic memories I have. So, told through my eyes and through our photos, here's the story of our "Pink Palace" proposal.
When we were dating, my husband would often suggest that we take a long weekend trip somewhere together, so his suggestion to go to Tampa's Busch Gardens and St. Pete Beach for a weekend wasn't anything out of the ordinary. He's great at planning trips, so he already had our itinerary laid out. It was when he casually mentioned staying at The Don CeSar hotel on St. Pete Beach that my curiosity was piqued. Have you seen this place? I hadn't heard of it, so of course I googled it and when the images came up I thought this might *not* be an ordinary trip after all!
After a full day at Busch Gardens we drove further West to St. Pete Beach. It was January 31, but a lovely sunny day. After a couple's massage and champagne on the spa's balcony overlooking the ocean, we headed down to the pool bar and beach area for a few cocktails and sunshine.
As 4:00 rolled around and the sun began to lower, Todd mentioned that we better go get dressed for dinner. He explained that he had to make reservations or we may not get to have dinner at one of the restaurants on the property. "We canNOT be late", he stressed, or the hostess would give our table away. I quickly got ready and any previous notion of a proposal happening had slipped away. It wasn't even on my mind.
I had suggested earlier that we should get some pictures of us on the beach and Todd agreed. He said the best time would be at sunset, so we would have to hurry if I wanted to do that before dinner.
We were looking for someone to take our photo once we got down to the water but then I noticed a cool sand sculpture in the distance and headed toward it, dragging him along and insisting we get a photo in front of it!
Side Note: Isn't our seagull friend too funny? I think he was waiting for the big moment, too. ;)
"Dolphins!", I exclaimed as we neared the sculpture. "Let's take a picture of it!". He pretended to reach for his phone in his back pocket and lead me to the other side of the sculpture to show me that there was more!
I'm not sure how, but even after staring at the words engraved into the sand, it still took a few more seconds to register that "Jessica" was ME and suddenly he was down on one knee and unveiling a ring that was above and beyond anything I had wanted or expected. It was perfect.
He asked me to marry him and of course I said yes! I do also remember saying something to the effect of "Holy crap, is that the dog!?" and tearing up at the sight of Summer's face chiseled into the sand.
I was overwhelmed by the amount of thought and effort he had put into this proposal and it was at that point that a photographer appeared out of nowhere (she'd been hiding behind a pole!) and continued snapping photos with the sunset behind us. Dolphins even jumped out of the water as we were standing there. It was more magical than anything I could've dreamed of.
After I stood and it was clear that my answer was yes, the people who were standing in the distance began applauding and even the mayor came over by golf cart to congratulate us. Suzanne Altamare, the experienced sand sculptor Todd hired, had been guarding her creation with her life for a few hours before we came outside! The "secret" photographer snapped a few more photos as the sun was going down.
I'm so glad we have these photos from the day my husband so perfectly planned out. It will always be a day that we will never forget!
Thanks for joining me on this walk down memory lane!