Anthony + Rebecca Proposal in Central Park

2018 has been a huge year for SMF! Reflecting back on all of the business and personal changes, how far we’ve come, and all of the moments we’ve been part of celebrating, I can’t help but to feel overwhelmingly blessed! However, this blog isn’t a reflection on the year, but a blog to celebrate what might have been our most exciting “job” yet!

Last year our big brother Anthony moved to New York to start a new job and to be closer to his girlfriend, Rebecca. The two met in Baltimore where Anthony was working, and Rebecca was finishing graduate school. After Rebecca graduated she took a job in the city. When Anthony told us he was looking for jobs to be closer to her, we knew things were getting serious.

About three weeks ago, he sent this text to our family group message:

It was a good thing Anthony worked so late this time of year. I don't think we ever told someone to stop texting us so many pictures and details!

ANTHONY'S PLAN

Propose to Rebecca in Central Park, specifically on Oak Bridge, on the weekend before Christmas in front of family and friends.

Anthony invited both families to the city to be there and celebrate the engagement (pending Rebecca’s yes!). With family and friends coming from New York, New Jersey, Virginia and Pennsylvania, we came up with a plan. Our families planned to meet early at Oak Bridge. Samantha, Evan and I would be in place with our cameras and everyone else would find a park bench to enjoy as unsuspecting park-goers. Sounds easy, but with so many people, we had to get over a few bumps to make this work.

HOW WE MADE THESE PLANS A REALITY

ANTHONY HAD TO SCOPE OUT THE SPOT

Since Samantha could not get to NYC before the morning of the proposal, Anthony had to scope out his spot. He went on a couple late night runs (with the Central Park raccoons, YIKES!) and texted us these photos. With these, Samantha could tell him where to walk from, which direction to face, etc.

Samantha worried that she would have a hard time being inconspicuous while also being on the same bridge as them. She tried to communicate to Anthony to get the edge of the bridge so that she could get her shot from just off the bridge. She communicated this to him in what is probably the worst diagram we have ever sent. You can see the second and third picture as a comparison of what she would usually send.

WE HAD TO FAKE A SICKNESS

Since the ring came in a little later than Anthony had anticipated, the proposal plans had to be moved. With a family trip coming up, and the other weekends packed, the proposal was inconveniently moved to a weekend that Anthony and Rebecca were supposed to travel to State College to see us for Christmas. Samantha faked a sickness in Pittsburgh that would make my parents "have to go to Pittsburgh for the weekend", cancelling Anthony and Rebecca's weekend trip the night before they were supposed to leave,

Since our family changed plans on Rebecca last minute, we were nervous that Rebecca would be suspicious. We recommended Anthony walk past by an "iconic" central park area that people would normally propose.

HE NEEDED A MIC

Since it’s our brother, and we are a film and photography company, we wanted to shoot video and photo! The only problem was we had no way of meeting up with Anthony to mic him up for video! Instead, we overnighted the mic to Anthony's office and sent him snap chat tutorials on how to wear and turn-on the mic.

WE HAD TO SUBTLY HIDE LOCATIONS

Evan, Samantha and my mom are all about the Find Friends app and have each other's locations. We did not want all of them to be "unavailable" since that might seem suspicious to Rebecca. Before Evan and Samantha left Pittsburgh, they changed their location to devices that would be staying in Pittsburgh, old computers and phones. My mom disabled her location. We told Anthony to not look at the app for the next few days. We also "ghosted" everyone on snapchat and told everyone to keep from posting anything the days leading up to and the day of the proposal.

THE DAY OF

Anthony and Rebecca made plans to have brunch that afternoon at a place that would require them to cross through the park. Meanwhile, we began getting ourselves and our equipment in order.

Anthony extended their stroll through the park by stopping by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Alice in Wonderland Statue, and Bow Bridge. He would send us snap chats of Rebecca posed by these places as a nonchalant update.

As our hearts pounded, everyone got to the spot. Soon after, Anthony sent us a text saying that he was in the bathroom. While Becca waited outside, Anthony assembled his mic and sent us these bathroom selfies...

LOOK AT HOW EXCITED HE IS!

After we received Anthony's selfies, Evan began listening closely. Once Anthony's mic was within range and we could pick up his voice, it was our signal that they were close! (If you were wondering, everyone on the other side of the bridge was staring and confused as to why we were there for so long! To be honest, I think a few women walking with their boyfriends got excited... whoops!!) Can you find us??

Central Park around Christmas really is beautiful, but it's also MAD CROWDED! Ten minuets before Anthony and Rebecca got to the bridge there were maybe four people there, but right as they started onto the bridge there was a massive crowd! Everyone wanted a photo with the city skyline. Somehow, as Rebecca began searching for Anthony's work building, a spot on the bridge opened up, and before Rebecca turned back around to look at Anthony, he was on his knee!

People started cheering and taking photos on their phones, Samantha popped out from hiding under the bridge, and I came in like a tornado moving the crowds so that I could capture the happiness and shock on the face of my future sister-in-law! I could further explain...but you'll probably see me in the video.

Thank you, Evan for shooting video on this special day!!

Samantha chiming in on this blog, HUGE THANKS to Catherine for getting the crowd to move while I climbed out from behind the bridge!

If you look past the photo bombers, you can see Rebecca's dad, Michael with his binoculars, looking at his daughter's reaction!