A Paris Proposal: Getting Engaged in the City of Love

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A Paris Proposal: Getting Engaged in the City of Love

As I started a new year of my life, we began our new chapter in Paris.

February 16th, 2023. We leave the hotel. The air is cold, and the wind is blowing my hair and dress just barely behind me. The sound of my heels on the cobblestones, and the way we swing our hands, feel like puzzle pieces in place. On my birthday, there are several options for our evening in Paris. But, being told to put on the dress I brought for a special occasion, my heart was racing with a new anticipation.

Walking through the Latin Quarter, everything around us felt comforting. This piece of the city has its own charms and almost feels hidden away, even when busy. The streets hold secrets and pieces of people’s hearts and lives. We walked together down to the water side, past shops and cafes we noted for tomorrow. Past Notre-Dame and past my favorite bookstores.

The Abbey Bookshop. Photo credit: craigfinlay/ Flickr

The lingerings of Valentine’s Day make the city that much lighter, romantic, and kind. My heart is pounding as my partner pulls me across the street, and we step onto Pont des Arts. We’re surrounded by people and laughter. The sun is setting, and we walk down the bridge until we’re halfway. He stops and drops to one knee.

The entire moment felt surreal.

He slips the ring onto my finger, and stands up, pulling me into a warm and tender kiss. I could hardly feel the cold anymore. People cheered and whistled, even clinked bottles all around us as congratulations. At that moment, every stranger gave us love and blessings, some in French and some in English. I couldn’t help but grin, soaking in the moment and the love not only between us but also around us. It was exactly the moment I had dreamed of.

The author and her fiancé in front of the Louvre pyramid. Photo credit: Emily Sanders

Getting engaged in Paris is a dream for many people. It’s a lover’s city that invites you in to explore everything. For me, Paris has had my heart for a few years now. I studied here and then came back for this trip on my birthday and engagement. I knew the city, and it’s become an even more permanent and special place in my life.

We stand and watch the sun as it sets, having photos taken and reminiscing at the moment already. Guided through the back of the Louvre, we captured the moments together as nighttime arrived and the pyramid began to illuminate the scenery around us. For once, the spaces were quiet. It felt like we were in our own world, and time felt slower in our engagement’s first moments.

La Closerie des Lilas on the Boulevard du Montparnasse. Photo credit: Celette / Wikimedia commons

A walk to La Closerie des Lilas, giggly and full of conversation and heart, for dinner. Two celebrations for one dinner, and a chance to go to the nines for one another. Champagne, lobster, anything you could think of. I could feel the creative side of me longing for this place; the last time here I spent was with coffee and writing in a notebook. Now, I return, able to celebrate and enjoy this restaurant to the fullest.

The entire trip felt full circle.

On our late-night journey back to the hotel, we walked along the streets and stopped as we pleased. The small crepe stand near our hotel became our favorite place, the balcony became our new private outing for moments alone, as we watched the bustling street below. For that moment, it felt like the world revolved around us. But yet, like there was an entire city living and breathing all individual lives, and some of them became a special part of our day. The city felt like a home.

If you’re looking to have a special day in Paris, my advice is this: Find a place that truly speaks to your heart. Somewhere where you feel like yourself and could picture you and your partner having no regrets. Opt for a photographer if you want to document the moment in higher quality, but take your own photos as well. Don’t care about what anyone else thinks, or what feels cheesy or cliché. Cliché, maybe, but follow your hearts.

Call your loved ones. Enjoy the present moment. Create a day that makes you feel whole and the city will help fuel the rest around you.

Lead photo credit : Paris at dusk. Photo credit: Emily Sanders

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Emily Sanders is a freelance writer, journalist, and lover of the little corners of cities that want to be explored. She has a bachelor's degree in Creative Writing from the Savannah College of Art and Design and currently lives in Dallas, Georgia.