Danielle and Shane: The Proposal on the DockNovember 6, 2018
The Perfect Proposal Danielle & Shane August, 16, 2018
The beginning: Danielle and Shane met when neither of them had the slightest interest in being in a relationship: freshman year of college. Though no romantic feelings were formed, the two found each other in the same friend group. During their junior year of college, Shane and Danielle became “across-the-hall mates.” When moving into the dorms that summer, Danielle’s mom, Kelly, needed help carrying Danielle’s closet full of clothes up the stairs. Without knowing who she was, Shane offered to help and Kelly gladly accepted. When she saw Danielle she asked, “Why aren’t you dating that guy?” to which Danielle replied, “No, mom. It’s Shane.” Fast forward a year later to August 2012: Danielle and Shane are newly single. They’re at a Kenny Chesney concert with their college friends, singing “Boys of Fall” with Danielle’s grandpa, and Kelly is there again, jokingly asking Shane and his college buddies if they know a “nice guy” for her daughter. Shane asked Danielle his first of three important questions on that night: would she be his cornhole partner? She said yes. Though they were unable to pinpoint what it was, something changed between them. In September, about a month later and back at FDU, Danielle and her new housemates hosted a party and Shane obviously attended. From then on, the two were inseparable. It wasn’t until December, however, after an Italian dinner date (during which Danielle spilled spaghetti and meatballs on her shirt) and after building gingerbread houses (during which an icing war broke out), that Shane asked Danielle the next important question: would she be his girlfriend? She said yes. Five years, a house, renovations, and a puppy later, Shane asked Danielle the third and most important question: would she be his wife? She said yes, and her Jetty and Shane could not be happier.
The Perfect Proposal, according to Danielle: “August 13th is my birthday. To celebrate, Shane and I typically go on a hike or go on some other sort of adventure around that date to celebrate. It is always based off of Shane’s working schedule: two days on, two days off, three days on, two days off. We decided to celebrate my birthday on Thursday, August 16th this year. Though we usually go on a hike, this week was hot. I mean really hot. Hot enough that we were literally in the middle of a heat wave. So on Monday, my actual birthday, when Shane asked what I wanted to do on Thursday, I said I just wanted to go to the beach and relax. He actually got annoyed with me, saying we always go on a hike, and he still wanted to go on a hike- a hike that we had already gone on. Annoyed at him I said, ‘It’s my birthday. We’ve already been on that hike.’ He wasn’t happy with me at that moment, but I felt like there was no reason to go trudge 6 miles up a mountain in 105 degree weather. Little did I know he was planning something much bigger.
Shane did give in to my beach-day birthday wish, but said he wanted to go around 4:00pm when it was cooler and ‘nicer up there.’ I was fine with that. So, on Thursday, August 16th, we woke up. We took our little man, Jetty, on a walk. Then we made breakfast together, brought our coffee outside on the patio, and simply relaxed and enjoyed each other’s company. We took Jetty for his second walk, Shane did some yard work, and I went for a run. This is all relatively normal for us- nothing out of the ordinary.
Then we went to the beach. Unfortunately, it was awful. There were west winds, and west winds carry the flies. They were those annoying flies that continuously pester you, crawl on you, and eventually bite you. I couldn’t handle it. I was so unrelaxed and Shane knew it. I went to the bathroom to escape the flies for a few minutes and by the time I got back, Shane said we could leave. Thank God!
We walked back to the car and Shane put our chairs in the trunk while I got in the passenger seat. Less than a minute later, my sister, Kristen, called me. She was all out of breath like she had been running. She asked if Shane and I wanted to stop by the dock to see where we were going to put our paddleboards. She and Tim- her boyfriend and one of Shane’s best friends- were down there with their dogs. I said sure and Shane gladly agreed to go. Again, there was nothing out of the ordinary here. We had been talking about where to store our paddleboards for months.
Shane was acting weird in the car and normally we hold hands or I put my hand on his knee but he was being all fidgety. I even called him out on it. When we parked, Tim was at his truck and I asked ‘Where are the pups?’ He said they were down on the actual dock. We started to make our way down the beaten path when I stopped to look at the paddleboard racks. Tim, again, had to get me back on track. This is when Jetty gave it away. I heard his bark- not Lily’s or Sarge’s (Tim’s dogs)- but Jetty’s, and I knew something was waiting for me.
I opened the gate and walked down the stairs to the dock which overlooks the river we live on. Jetty was waiting with a sign that Shane had made himself. It read, ‘Mom, will you marry dad?’ There was a footprint, and a Jetty decal too, a big burlap bow and votive candles with rose petals and starfish and sand dollars. My sister was waiting on the dock and recorded it all. I turned around and Shane was down on one knee. For the first time in my entire life, I was speechless. And if anyone knows me, that never happens. I had no words. And I had no words almost the entire night.
After I said yes, Kristen took some pictures, and I could only say ‘Let’s celebrate.’ Shane planned everything to a ‘T.’ Back at our house, our grandparents, my cousins, my aunts and uncles, our parents, our siblings and the very closest people to us were there with a champagne toast of rosé and strawberries (my drink of choice) and a barbeque to celebrate. There was a sign that said ‘Grow old with me, the best is yet to be.’ It’s now hanging in our kitchen. The sign Shane made me, by the way, is hanging in our bedroom next to Jetty’s bed. Not only that, but also my friends were coming down the shore to go to the Patio Bar the next day to celebrate my birthday. Shane made sure they could celebrate our engagement, too. He surprised me- he’s normally not a planner. He did good.
By 9:00pm, our families left us to make our FaceTime calls and to just enjoy the moment. It wasn’t until the next day that it actually hit me…
Friday morning, August 17th, I woke up, took Jetty for a walk, came home, fed him breakfast, made my own, and then I sat down to eat. I went to pick up my coffee mug and I looked down at my ring. Reality sank in and I started to cry- probably the happiest tears I’ve ever cried. Shane and I are engaged. I am marrying my number one partner in this life. I called him and I said ‘Hello fiancée’ – it felt so cool to say that. It’s going to feel even cooler when I say he’s my husband.”
The ring: Someone Shane and Danielle knew on Instagram had gotten engaged about three years ago- probably around 2015. Shane had asked Danielle if she liked the ring. She said yes, but then sent him a picture. They were eating breakfast in Florida- across the table from each other. “This is the ring I really like,” she said, and he laughed at her. The picture was from Gerald Peters’ Instagram account and what Danielle didn’t know was that Shane had saved that picture for the past three years. Kristen, Danielle’s sister, had looked at rings with Danielle before, so Shane and Kristen drove to Staten Island from Manasquan, New Jersey. Because Danielle and Kristen share each other’s locations, Kristen had to turn hers off. With the help of Pete, one of Shane and Danielle’s closest friends who they have come to know, love, and trust over the past nine years, Shane picked out a round brilliant shape diamond set in a Gabriel & Co. ring with a halo. According to Danielle, “It’s absolutely stunning.”
The future: The future Mr. & Mrs. Roland will be saying “I do” on December 28, 2019 at the beach chapel in Manasquan, New Jersey. Jetty plans to make an appearance for beach pictures after the ceremony. The reception will be held at The English Manor in Ocean, New Jersey. There’s still more planning to be done, but the newly engaged couple said that what’s left “is all the fun stuff now!” They’re so excited, and just genuinely happy about what’s to come- Jetty included.