Love has a way of sweeping us off our feet when we least expect it. That’s exactly what happened when Bobby proposed to me at Birmingham’s iconic Vulcan Park lookout. A symbol of our love for this city and a place that feels like home. Our engagement was a beautiful surprise. From my chipped nails to hidden photographers and a surprise celebration with our loved ones, Bobby’s proposal was a testament to his thoughtfulness and our love for each other and our home, Birmingham.


After a late night returning from my cousin’s graduation in Nashville, we both craved a slow and easy Sunday morning. And just like any other Sunday of ours we slept in and it was glorious! The exhaustion from driving the day before weighed heavily on us, tempting me to forgo any effort in my appearance. The idea of leggings, a baseball cap and skipping hair and makeup briefly crossed my mind. However, I mustered the energy to pull myself together, throw on a summer dress and enjoy this sunny day. Thank goodness for that! To kickstart our day, we decided to get some brunch at one of our favorite local dives, Ruby Sunshine. Although I wasn’t feeling my best, the comforting ambiance and delicious food worked it’s magic and I swear I felt so much better – maybe I was just “hangry”. As we finished brunch, we headed up the hill to go see Vulcan for the day. Unbeknownst to me at the time, Bobby had subtly been planting the idea of visiting Vulcan in my mind for the summer. So it wasn’t abnormal to me at all and we often try to find fun things to do around the city on the weekends anyways. It seemed like a perfect opportunity to soak in the view and explore the museum. Little did I suspect that this visit held a deeper significance.

Photo: A selfie we took at the observation deck with the city behind us.
Photo: Picture of the view at the look out point I took right before Bobby proposed.
Photo: Me snapping pics of Bobby when we arrived being completely oblivious.


As we strolled through Vulcan Park, enjoying the panoramic views of Birmingham, the magic in the air began to unfold. I was snapping away pictures on my phone of the beautiful view – oblivious to the anticipation building within Bobby as he carried the ring box in his pocket. I stood at the Vulcan Park lookout, overlooking the city that holds so much meaning for us, I couldn’t have imagined the surprise that awaited me. Vulcan, the towering figure that overlooks our city, has always held a special place in our hearts. His presence is a constant reminder of our love for Birmingham and the shared experiences we’ve had in this vibrant city. In fact, our first event/holiday we celebrated in Birmingham together was the epic firework show for the 4th of July at Vulcan Park. We pass by him in the car all the time and no matter where you are in the city you can always see Vulcan. From Bobby finishing off medical school in Birmingham to us moving in together after 5 years of long distance due to school, Birmingham is our shinning light. So, it was only fitting that Bobby chose Vulcan Park as the backdrop for this life-changing moment. In that instant, our love story became intertwined with the spirit of our beloved city.

Bobby had always playfully insisted that when he proposed, he wanted my nails to be “busted,” ensuring that the engagement would come as a genuine surprise for me. And he succeeded – my chipped nails stood as a testament to the unexpected joy that was about to happen. He held me in his arms as we both marveled at the view together. The words he spoke were sacred and meant only for our ears, but their impact left me overwhelmed with emotion. Then Bobby got down on one knee and uttered those four life-changing words… everything around me became a blur. Overwhelmed with shock, happiness and tears of joy, I couldn’t find my voice to say “yes” immediately. Instead, I joined him on one knee, wrapping my arms around him tightly, knowing that in that moment, our lives were forever changed. The shock of the proposal overwhelmed me, rendering me momentarily speechless. Tears of joy streamed down my face as I embraced Bobby, finally saying “yes”. It wasn’t until we both stood back up when I noticed the ring, glistening with love and promise, adding to the magic… to which I began crying all over again. At a later time, he revealed to me that he had been designing my ring for six months prior to all of his proposal planning.


Moments later, I noticed two photographers who had been hiding in the bushes, capturing every tear, smile and heartfelt embrace. Their presence surprised me, but it also filled me with excitement, knowing that we would have these precious memories captured forever.

The flood of emotions left me needing a moment to collect myself. We sat on a nearby bench, breathing in the magnitude of this beautiful moment together. Looking at Bobby, I saw a future filled with love and endless possibilities. In his eyes, I saw a reflection of my own overwhelming happiness and excitement for our next chapter in life. And then it hit me! I HAVE TO CALL MY PARENTS! I HAVE TO TELL THEM THE NEWS!

But just when I thought the surprises were over, Bobby revealed yet another secret. He said, “We have to hurry home and change because our families are waiting nearby at dinner, ready to celebrate with us.” It was a testament to his thoughtfulness and desire to make this day as memorable as possible. Excitement surged through me, knowing that we would soon share this joy with our loved ones. However, the thoughtfulness he put into planning our engagement didn’t stop there. We rushed home to change, and Bobby surprised me with a beautiful white dress he picked out for me to wear that night from Anthropologie, my favorite store. It fit perfectly and added to the already magical day.

Photo: The moment we arrived to dinner from the elevator.
Photo: Seeing my parents for the first time since the proposal.
Photo: Showing Bobby’s Dad the ring.


We arrived at the Grand Bohemian Autograph Hotel’s restaurant, Habitat, in Mountain Brook, where my parents, his parents and sister were gathered. Seeing our family’s smiling faces filled me with an indescribable sense of joy and gratitude. We hugged and shared laughter, relishing in the fact that our engagement had brought everyone together. The photographers joined us once again, capturing precious moments as we popped champagne, exchanged heartfelt gifts and indulged in a delicious dinner. Our hearts filled with gratitude and in that evening we couldn’t wait to share the news with our friends and family from all over. We spent the next 24 hours calling and FaceTiming aunts, uncles, siblings, best friends, cousins etc. to tell them the news. That next day was a Monday and I swear I don’t think I got an ounce of work done because we were in such a little bubble together. We met up with our family one more time for an early breakfast before everyone had to catch their flights home. The perfect way to end the best weekend of my life! I am so beyond grateful our family was there to celebrate with us and be wrapped up in our joy together. I couldn’t be more blessed to have such an amazing extension of family that I now get to call my mother-in-law, father-in-law and sister-in-law. I remember saying to them, “I’m going to be a “Chory” now!” to which they responded, “… you always have been.”

Photo: Bobby’s sister, Ashley – we joke that we are the three amigos basically haha
Photo: All the ladies – My Mom, Susan my mother-in-law and Ashley my sister-in-law.
Photo: Had to take a sweet photo with just my Dad.
Photo: The Dads – Bob my father-in-law and my Dad.


As I reflect on the beautiful proposal and the journey that led us to this point, I think back to the very first time we met in college. We could have made a hundred different decisions in life, but we both chose to leave our hometowns (him – New York // me – California), chose to go to The University of Alabama for college and chose to go out with friends on the same night where we met seven years ago. Our engagement is the beginning of a beautiful chapter in our lives, and I am so excited to walk hand in hand with Bobby, creating countless cherished memories together forever

With love,