Engagement story

What started as any other birthday celebration for Shannon turned into a special night for both of us.

Chris arrived at Shannon’s office in Old City looking especially handsome and carrying a silver gift bag with an orange flower peeking out the top. We walked to nearby Franklin Square for a round of Philly-themed mini golf before dinner. Chris won. Barely.


With time to kill, we wandered over to Cafe Ole and shared a green tea and two pistachio macaroons while sitting outside on Third Street. Chris carried the gift bag the entire time, warning Shannon not to peek.

Then it was on to dinner at Zahav, one of our favorite restaurants, to celebrate Shannon’s birthday. The waitress topped off the tasting menu experience with a candle in the dessert. Had there been singing, Shannon would have died of embarrassment and then we would never have gotten engaged.

The route they took on the evening of their engagement
The route they took on the evening of their engagement

After dinner, Chris asked Shannon if she wanted to walk over to the Delaware River waterfront, where we often like to hang out and speculate about future waterfront development. We meandered from Spruce Street Harbor Park, along the river behind the Hyatt and the Seaport Museum, past the seasonally dormant River Rink and back onto Delaware Avenue for the short walk up to Race Street Pier — Chris’ favorite waterfront park.


It was dark by then,  and the pier was lit by the soft light posts shining through the trees as the Ben Franklin Bridge hummed above. We settled near a bench away from the crowds and began talking  about all the birthdays we’d spent together over the last seven years. And in a blur, Chris was on his knee asking Shannon to marry him and to spend all our future birthdays together. In his hand was a ring made from the diamond in Chris’ grandmother’s engagement ring and re-set by L.L. Pavorsky, a McDonald family friend and jeweler.


In all the excitement, we barely took notice of the woman standing nearby with her camera and tripod, taking photos of the bridge. She’d captured the entire proposal and shared the photo of us you see above.


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