From our Classic Archives, originally published in January/February 2004

We’d only been together nine and a half months, but I’d already been waiting for his proposal for quite a while. We’d connected so quickly and knew we had something special right away. And it didn’t take long to know we were meant to be together forever.

I’d planned to go to Newport, Rhode Island, for his birthday, and so we did—just the two of us for a romantic dinner, followed by a moonlit walk. We ate chicken cordon bleu, holding hands at a corner table overlooking the water. After dinner, we walked up a side street that led us to a little white church. Behind the church was a small park with some benches and a fountain.

We sat close to each other on a bench in silence for a while, under the stars.

A marriage proposal under clear, star-filled night sky.It was such a beautiful clear night. And it was the first romantic night out that I wasn’t thinking about marriage. I just wanted to make sure he had a nice birthday. He began to dig around  in his pocket, and just as I was going to ask him what he was doing, he pulled out a ring. He mistakenly put it on the wrong finger, and I was so surprised, I actually asked, “What is that?”

Then he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. The tears were streaming down my face as I said, “yes.” We held each other and it made the moment more special when he told me that it had been his mother’s ring. She’d passed away a couple years before.

Later, I asked him why he decided to propose to me on his birthday. He told me that since it was his birthday, he should get what he wanted.

I’ll never forget that night in the park behind the little church.

—Andrea Penta, Rhode Island

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