HI friends! It’s Courtney (Melissa’s daughter) here today to share some great news! I know many of you have followed The Inspired Room for years and personally support our family. Some of you have also started following me on my own Instagram! I’m so excited to share with all of you today my latest life update and a new chapter in our family’s lives… if you haven’t heard the news… I’m engaged !!!
There is so much I could say about the almost three years leading up to this moment… but I wanted to share the story of the day we got engaged. 🙂
(You can also watch a short video HERE with some of the behind-the-scenes videos that were taken during the proposal!)
I had spent the night with my family on Friday for work, and my boyfriend Dong and I had planned for him to pick me up on Saturday morning to go to brunch and pumpkin together in Coupeville about an hour away. It was raining, so I put on my most comfortable sweater, raincoat and hiking boots anticipating the mud in the pumpkin patch. Dong arrived at my family’s house, chatted with my family a bit, then as we left, I said “see you later!” to my parents, reminding them that I would be back later that night since I was leaving my car there.
So we hopped in Dong’s car and started driving in Coupeville! I filmed my view out of the car window as we crossed the Deception Pass and captioned it “Go on an Adventure!”. We’ve had lots of little one-day adventures over the past almost three years of dating. We arrived at Callens, a new restaurant right next to the ferry, and ordered a take out brunch. It was a bit of a wait so we walked around the water a bit during this time. There was a lot of wind.
We ate our brunch, then headed out to the pumpkin patch. It was a little disappointing, to be honest, ha! We walked around a bit, took pictures, looked at pumpkins and cows… and finally said “well we saw what we needed to see” lol and we went looking for other things to do in the region.
Then we headed to a place we had heard about called Price Sculpture Forest. We walked through the arched entrance that said “Wander in Wonder” and walked hand in hand, breathing in the scents of the forest and looking at the art of carving along the trails. When we completed the loop, we got back in the car and Dong mentioned a park he had heard about nearby that might be our last destination in Coupeville before we planned to go to Oak Harbor for dinner.
We got to Driftwood Park around 3:00 PM and started walking along the beautiful beach. It had been raining all day with a strong wind, but we noticed how beautiful the weather was now. The water was the prettiest blue-green color, sparkling in the most beautiful way (you can see it at the start of this video here). I stopped to take a video and we continued walking along the rocky shore.
Then Dong pointed to a bunch of seaweed on the beach and said, “Is this yours?” (it’s a weird thing that we say to each other all the time on walks… we show random things on the floor and say “is it yours?”, and the other usually says “yes, I’ll be back on look up later ”, I just don’t know one thing we do, hahah).
We walked a little further and Dong said again, “is this yours?” But this time he was showing a more unusual object nestled in driftwood… a large glass bottle with a cork stopper. I looked at the bottle… I looked at Dong… I looked at the bottle… and I said “uh, is this YOURS? And he said “you should watch this”. I hesitated, still not knowing what was going on and he smiled and said “you should watch him” again.
I picked up the bottle and slowly opened the cork, reached out my hand, and pulled out a roll wrapped in twine. My hands were shaking as I realized what was going on and read the sweetest words he had written on the parchment.
The next thing I knew, Dong would kneel down and smile saying “Courtney Lane Michaels, will you marry me?”.
I said yes without hesitation, gave her a hug and a kiss, and felt pure joy and peace in the midst of being shocked by what just happened!
I was then told to look and see that someone was taking pictures of us. I smiled and motioned for the camera, still having no idea that the photographer was actually my sister Kylee (whom I had every reason to believe she was in Portland that day). After realizing it was her, we started walking to a cute shingled house right on the beach. I heard people cheering on the bridge and the shock continued…
As I got closer I was in shock to see so many people I loved standing there to celebrate! My parents and grandparents who I had just been with that morning (they knew all the time ?!), my little brother who lives in Seattle, my best friend since first year Emily who lives in Seattle and her husband Devin and their baby, and Jane my good friend and college roommate who lives in Mukilteo. It was so special to have them all there to celebrate with us… and absolutely the most surprised I have ever been!
I didn’t know they were inside the house all the time hiding us and filming us on the ground! You can watch a video HERE to see some of their behind-the-scenes stealth videos. So grateful that this moment has been documented!
We headed to the adorable Air BNB house rented by Dong which was all decorated for the occasion!
I was handed a phone with other of my friends to chat on Facetime. The hour that followed was full of conversations in which layer by layer I realized how much planning had been undertaken that day, how many little things were going on behind the scenes to get the best surprise. all time.
Months of planning, group texts I didn’t know existed, people canceling plans with me, pretending they were places they weren’t, my dad hiding the bottle on the beach… etc. . It was so funny putting it all together.
I also learned that Dong had this sign literally hidden behind his back in his raincoat, and the ring box under his ARM?!? all day. Extraordinary proposal planning.
Fall is my favorite season, so this festive fall charcuterie board situation my friends made brought me great joy (like I needed more reasons to be cheerful that day. , ha!).
I felt so loved and so grateful. It was a day we will never forget!
There is a very sweet story behind my ring. The diamond on my solitaire ring was a gift to my fiancé Dong from his mother who immigrated from Vietnam during the Vietnam War. Before fleeing the country, his mother (Dong’s grandmother) gave him diamonds and family jewelry from their jewelry store, and told him to “take this to start a new life.” She took the diamonds with her to America, and now one of those diamonds is the one my fiance used in my ring. He had it reset and used my Pinterest as an inspiration for the branch ring with it. I couldn’t love him more and especially love that he has such a special meaning behind him!
The week after our engagement, we visited Dong’s family and browsed through family photo albums … the photo above is my fiance’s grandmother (whose diamond comes from) during her only visit to the United States. So special!
There is so much more I could share about the years before and the days after, but for now it’s the story of how we got engaged!
You can watch a short video HERE or below along with some of the behind the scenes videos that were taken during the proposal.!
You can also follow me on Instagram HERE where I shared more photos, answered questions and more in my story highlights. I’m sure I’ll be sharing some of the wedding planning process and more along the way, so I would love you to follow along.
I was so grateful for SO many amazingly kind messages and support from so many of you! Thank you so much for following up with our family and for being so kind. It has been really fun sharing the excitement with all of you and I look forward to sharing more in the months to come. 🙂
Watch HERE on YouTube
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You can follow along with all of our family’s Instagrams below:
The Inspired Bedroom // Courtney // Kylee // Dwell Well Collective // Jack the Goldendoodle // Doodles at Home