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A Bride in Beijing

17 Feb

A Kiss at the Carlyle

To say that we kicked off our 2-week trip to the States during Chinese New Year with a BANG! is a major understatement.  Within 4-hours of landing in NYC, Brett asked me to marry him…and I said YES!

So for all the romantics out there (but mainly for our friends and family – and who am I kidding, I want to have all the details in writing!) – I would love to share the story of how my wonderful new fiancé popped the question. Apparently, unbeknownst to me of course, his process began in late October when he started a search for the “stone”.  Props to Chris Carioti of Carioti Jewelers in Columbus, Ohio who managed to find exactly what Brett was looking for from 6800 miles away.  It took several months of back and forth via email (Brett only saw the ring in person for the first time just minutes before proposing) but by December Brett knew the ring would be ready in time for our trip to the States – so he put his proposal plans in motion.  He started by giving me two nights in a suite at the Carlyle Hotel, a New York institution and home to Bemelmans Bar – where we met, in my stocking on Christmas morning.  This was one of his ways of throwing me off the scent! The sudden increase in the number of “ifs” when referring to our future was another tactic…which (btw Brett) I could have done without!

 

I said YES!

Brett continued planning for the big night with the incredible help of Fred Petry, manager of the Carlyle.  I just want to say that Fred and every employee of the Carlyle from the concierge to the elevator operators were absolutely spectacular in every possible way.  Even upon arrival (looking like homeless rag-a-muffins and smelling like plane after our 14-hour flight from Beijing) we were greeted with the utmost respect.  Albeit – possibly because the comedian Elaine Stritch (a longtime resident of the Carlyle) was collecting her mail at the check-in desk while we were checking in, and she sarcastically wished us good luck “staying in this dump”.  The look of fear on the staffs’ faces  – unsure if we knew the famous comedian or not was a bit entertaining.

 

When we made it up to our room on the 33rd floor – I was in awe.  It was beautifully decorated

The Living Room

in classic upper east side style, and it felt like a real apartment.  We even had our own kitchen – stocked with amazing snacks, beautiful stemware, and a surplus of diet coke!  Of course, I immediately began to hoard the precious soaps and chocolates embossed with the Carlyle Crest

From silverware to pillows...everything was marked with a C

as I explored the room  – but Brett wanted nothing to do with it.  In fact – he was noticeably rushing me…something that he just doesn’t do. Mainly because he is a sweet and patient man – but probably also out of defeat that it doesn’t really work.

 

After getting fancied up, I suggested we enjoy a pre-cocktail hour cocktail in the comfort of our darling living room overlooking Central Park.  He apathetically agreed and then proceeded to drink his as if it were a shot.  Needless to say – I was seriously confused.  We had been planning to make this a “date night” for weeks knowing that the next day would commence our world wind trip of trying to see every single person possible all across the country.  I finished my drink faster than normal (trying to keep up) and we headed downstairs to Bemelmans.

Welcomed with a charming jazz quartet playing old standards – we instantly entered the world of MADMen.  Surrounded by whimsical murals of scenes from Central Park painted by Ludwig Bemelmans himself, this bar exudes classic Manhattan. The room was buzzing for a Monday night.  I noticed immediately that the exact two seats where we had met 20-months before were reserved.  I looked to him – he flashed a big grin – letting me know that it was his handy work.  Even then – I didn’t see what was coming. Possibly because on our last visit, almost a year earlier, we tried to sit in the seats but the two guests before us hogged them all night – never allowing us the opportunity.  It wasn’t until we sat down and ordered a drink that I began to realize what was happening…

Sweet treats in the room!

His nerves were the biggest give away – and it was really cute.  In those next few moments, he told me that from the first time he saw me sitting in that very seat as he walked into the bar, he realized that life as he knew it was about to change.  He told me that he never imagined finding such a perfect fit – that he had hoped for a love like this, but wasn’t sure that he would ever find it – and then, the biggest smile I had ever seen spread across his face, he pulled the ring from his pocket and said, “I want to spend the rest of my life with you, Morgan.  Will you marry me?”  To which I replied, “Of course not.”  JUST KIDDING!  Of course – I said YES!  (For the traditional ladies out there – he didn’t kneel right then as the bar stools are really high – but later, he reenacted the moment and took a knee.  It was sweet.)

 

Countless hugs and kisses later (not at all creepy like Michael Scott and Holly during last week’s PDA episode of The Office) the celebration began with pink champagne and mini burgers.  After filling me in on all the details of his planning process, we headed back up to the room for “more surprises”.  While we had been toasting and calling family at the bar – the engagement elves had filled our room with hundreds of candles, pink roses, rose petals, chocolate treats, and a bottle of 1980 (the year of my birth) Dom Pérignon that Brett special ordered.  So thoughtful, right?

Our Special Champagne

 

We stayed up into the wee hours of the morning (it was easy with the help of our jet lag) talking, planning, and toasting to our future.  And in the morning – the only appropriate thing to do was to continue the celebration with room service.  It was a perfect night.  I am an extremely happy and an incredibly blessed lady!

And, obviously…I forgave him for rushing me!

The Morning After Breakfast...Everything Frette!

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10 Responses to “A Bride in Beijing”

  1. moya Li February 17, 2011 at 9:25 am #

    Morgan, I feel so so happy for you. Send you my blesses and hugs from my office. You are perfectly match. Congratuations!!!

  2. Lena February 17, 2011 at 10:02 am #

    I love you guys, and I’m so happy for you 🙂 congratulations, you really are a wonderful couple!!

  3. sally ann February 17, 2011 at 11:40 am #

    congratulations morgan, so beautiful!! excited for you and brett..sending all my love & celebration. big hugs!

  4. Rain February 17, 2011 at 11:57 am #

    Congratulations! I got engaged two days before you! Finding “The One” is an amazing feeling! I’m so glad I found it at 30 too it seems like the perfect age! Xoxo

  5. Lauren February 17, 2011 at 12:23 pm #

    That is a great story, Morgan! Congratulations!

  6. Jude February 17, 2011 at 2:18 pm #

    Very nice! I didn’t know Brett had it in him! But I attribute his excellent taste in champagne to his genes, which he received from me. Congratulations Morgan–great blog. Judy

  7. Lizzie February 17, 2011 at 5:12 pm #

    I know I told you this when I saw you two a couple of weeks ago, but “congratulations! and best wishes!” May you both be blessed with a long and wonderful marriage!! Be sure to let me know when you set the date :)!!!

  8. mona February 17, 2011 at 10:46 pm #

    LOVE THE DETAILS…AND THE PICS. FELT LIKE I WAS THERE …GUESS YOU’RE GLAD I WASN’T! HA!HA!

  9. Rebecca February 17, 2011 at 11:18 pm #

    The story is beautiful, you both are beautiful, the ring is beautiful, getting to see you was beautiful…I love everything beautiful!! 🙂 Congratulations again!

  10. Solena February 18, 2011 at 1:58 pm #

    late wishes but sincerely wishes out of my heart. I met you and Brett when you just became Brett’s girl friend not for a long time. I remember that time you two were so excited, which even made me jelous of your sweet faces. So I hope you two in the rest of life keep this sweet and excited face forever!!

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