The morning so far had been filled with anxious glances from both Leslie and Jacqueline who were ready with their cameras at a moments notice. Though the plan had been to propose in front of the castle, I told them that when the moment was right, it was going to happen so "Be ready!" And they were.
When we turned the first corner on Main Street, I caught the first glimpse of the beautifully decorated castle in front of us. It was all the way at the end of the street and everything else seemed to blur away as I walked down the road.
I could hear everyone excitedly jabbering behind me, possibly even trying to get me to join in conversation, but I couldn't hear them. Every step brought me closer and closer to the place I had planned to ask Carley to marry me. I was nervous and my audience was growing. It was actually the first time that I realized that people were everywhere any everyone would be watching me. I know that may seem silly because I had been over this moment in my head over a million times over the last 6 months. I suddenly felt like I was on stage as we all lined up side by side, few hundred feet from the castle and stopped to take in the scene.
I was shaking and my palms were getting sweaty as I fumbled through my bag and attempted to transfer the ring into my pocket without being seen. Thankfully, there was a distraction to our immediate right and it allowed me the perfect window to slip it in the pocket and strap my bag on my back again.
What I didn't know at the time, because I was so locked in tunnel vision, is that the event that provided me the distraction I needed was another couple getting engaged just a few feet from where we were! Carley said something to me and I remember smiling and nodding, completely unaware of what she said to me. I returned to the curb in front of the castle where the rest of our group stood lined up, as if in battle formation, hesitant to take the first step toward the castle, waiting for me to make my move. Leslie was standing to my immediate left and I glanced down to see her camera on, ready to capture whatever events may unfold.
"Let's go get our picture taken, Car," I said aloud with an obvious tone indicative to my entourage that the moment had arrived. Carley handed her phone to Ashley and asked her to take a couple of pictures for us. We walked forward to wait in line to have our photos taken. We watched as the family in front of us took approximately 49 different combinations of various family members and facial expressions. I clumsily handed my Photo Pass card to the photographer and walked out a few steps ahead and turned for a photo. Leslie whispered to the photographer that I was about to propose and asked her to snap as many shots as possible.
I grabbed Carley around the waist and held her close to my side and smiling proudly for the cameras.
"Are you ready?" I asked her
"What are you talking about?"
"This is it, your big moment..."
I reached down for the ring in my pocket and continued to speak. "We are in the happiest place on earth and I love you so much." I knelt down and opened the box, the diamond ring shining up at us. Her hands in her pockets, she took a few steps back and cried, "No.....No..." a few times in disbelief. Her face lit up and she smiled down at me.
"Carley Webster, will you make me the happiest person on earth and marry me?"
She started celebrating and and realized she forgot to answer me. "YES!" she screamed and I jumped up and wrapped my arms around her. The crowd around us started cheering and clapping.
We kissed each other and I finally pulled the ring out of the box and grabbed her hand to put it on her finger. I laughed when our hands met, both shaking fairly violently, and I couldn't fit the ring over her knuckle. "Push harder!" she laughed at me and I managed to slip it on her finger. It was so beautiful on her hand and I couldn't believe that this day had finally come.
I threw the box it the air and laughed as I shouted, "I'm so glad that's over!" to the members of our group. They walked excitedly toward us and hugged both of us. We laughed and talked about how surprised Carley looked and joked about how her first reaction was to step away from me and say "No." She showed off her ring to everyone and we also laughed as we compared the size of her ring to her formally tiny promise ring. Carley retrieved her phone from Ashley and reviewed the footage, delightfully surprised to find that she had captured the entire thing on video. Everyone else pulled out their phones and started making phone calls to announce the news to our closest friends and family.