David & Brianna’s Hap-Philly Ever After Kickoff Celebration!


Enjoy Just the Way You Are/Just A Dream Pool Mashup from Pitch Perfect

…or Stuck on You by Meiko! Press Play on the audio player bars throughout this post to listen to some perfect David & Brie engagement songs (You’ll want to pause them to watch the video clips, but they’ll stop on their own if you get to a new song and hit play)!

p1010112On Saturday, November 19th, we had the pleasure of assisting to make my brother, David’s, dreams come true when he asked his now-fiancée (!) Brianna to marry him in the grandest fashion!

His vision for her: a day-long Scavenger Hunt around Philadelphia to find family and friends, visiting some of the places they’d gone to together throughout their relationship and their time living in the city, and eventually finding him at the top of the Art Museum steps with flowers and a ring! Oh, and a big party afterward!



Each step would be a surprise for as long as possible, and everyone involved had to keep the secret of whatever they knew (which wasn’t much) so that we didn’t spoil any surprises! It was a wonderful day for a wonderful couple, so much fun to help coordinate and a joy to witness! philly-fun-day-map

I was honored to be asked by David to be with Brie as a sort of Tour Guide for the day (with my husband Kyle driving the luxury rental car and playing ‘chauffeur’!) to help her get into the city and make sure she got from place to place on time. David and I spoke many times in the weeks leading up to Proposal Day to put together a plan not only for the logistics of getting her around, but who would be where and when, and what we needed to prepare ahead of time.


Oh, and I was the lucky one to reach out to all of the guests and ask them to save the date for a super-secret event in the City, then follow up a few days beforehand with any final details that they needed. This actually was a lot of fun, because everyone had a feeling that they knew what was going on, and while I couldn’t confirm or deny their speculations, they were certainly welcome to have them…and they did! Getting their texts and calls back was joyful and full of excited anticipation for all!


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Enjoy Down There by Bronze Radio Return. We listened to quite a bit of Bronze (one of our favorite bands, which happens to include a friend of ours from high school!) in the car on Saturday while driving around the city! 

The Ruse: Brianna thought that we were having a family dinner in the city Saturday night, and that David, Kyle, she and I were heading down to spend the day in Philly together before that. We set up our plans a few weeks ahead of time, then sadly, on Tuesday (a few days prior to Proposal Day), David was “asked to work” early in the day and wouldn’t be able to join us until the afternoon. Brie was so disappointed, but we could only feel guilty and mean for so long (since we knew the truth)! We confirmed that the 3 of us were still on for our fun city day, and Kyle & I got our final plans in place. We acted as if we really hadn’t thought much about what we’d do for the day, but discussed a couple ideas with her the night before, including going back to check out the area where the two of them used to live to “revisit the old stomping grounds”. Good thing she actually threw that one out there, because that’s where our adventure would officially begin.

Saturday Morning: Brianna thought we were planning to stay at their place overnight, and so we were coming to drop our stuff off and pick her up! In reality, we left home early to go pick up our luxury rental car (which turned out to be a BEAUTIFUL black Audi Q5 SUV!) before heading to the house to get her. Since we had a little extra time, we were able to coordinate a quick meetup with David & his right-hand guy, Eman before they headed into the city to be a few steps ahead of us for the day!


We got to the house and told Brianna that our AMAZING rental car for the day (true story) was the result of a credit we had with National/Enterprise that was going to expire soon (not a true story)! We had a little something to eat, then left the house to head toward the city. We knew the forecast for the day was good, and marveled at the beautiful Fall weather, the colorful trees outside their place, and what a fun day we were going to have! We made our way toward their old apartment, talking about anything and everything and she so clearly suspected nothing! My heart was beating so fast and I spent the ride down in the back seat alternating between conversation, charging up the iPad she didn’t know I had, doing a final review of our itinerary for the day, and hoping all of the moving parts came together perfectly over the next 12 hours!


In the meantime, David & Eman dropped off the first poem/clue and proceeded to get the 2nd clue to their friends, Shauna, Kyle & Baby Kapri! Everybody was excited for a wonderful day. Those who were part of the Scavenger Hunt were asked not to give Brianna any indication that they’d be seeing her again later, so the after-party remained a surprise until she got there!


We walked by the apartment and Brie was shocked to see something on the wall, initially feeling baffled because she thought it was graffiti, then feeling even more confused that it had her name on it. She recognized David’s handwriting on the envelope and looked around to see if he was hiding nearby, thinking maybe he was coming to join us for some kind of Scavenger Hunt. She read the clue and gave our morning (and ultimately, our day) a little direction!

Ready for another fun tune? Bright Lights, Bigger City/Magic from Pitch Perfect is one of our favorites!

So we headed to the…Spruce Street Harbor Park, where we found friends from Fresno (Shauna & Kyle) with their adorable baby and warm Federal Donuts! We walked around and talked, enjoyed the weather, took a couple pictures, and then another clue appeared!


Shauna helped Brie figure out the name of the coffee shop in the Headhouse Shambles area (Bodhi Coffee) and we walked part of the way there together, then they split off in the opposite direction to head home while we made our way to our next location. When we got there, we found friends Jess & Jason, Dave & Meryl waiting! We got lattes and a chocolate croissant, talked a little, and eventually got another clue leading Brie to a nearby pizza place. We told her that we’d be breaking off for a little while and she asked if someone else would be there with her. “I hope so! We wouldn’t make you eat lunch alone”! Love that girl!  


We got to Pizzeria Stella to find Brie’s friends from college and grad school, Jennie & Lyssie with their husbands Ed & Matt. We dropped her off and headed to South Street to have lunch ourselves!

sipsipsoiree_0016 While we were having lunch, David, Eman, my Mom, sister and niece Avery, Dad and Stepmom were already starting to unload things into our venue for the party later on!


Want another fun song? How about All In by Bronze Radio Return?

sipsipsoiree_0017Kyle and I got the car and rolled up in front of Pizzeria Stella with a chauffeur hat (him) and a sign (me) with her name on it! We headed up toward Northern Liberties, and were supposed to meet family members in the Piazza, but there was a little mixup that led us around the outdoor piazza area while they all waited in a specific restaurant for our arrival. It meant that we had a moment to play on these chairs, AND run into friends Jenn & Jason (and my brother & sister in law!) randomly! What are the chances?! They were in the city and “going to Yards!” (=actually in the city for the party later on, and passing time in the area beforehand!) for the day and when we found out they weren’t the people we were looking for, we said goodbye and kept looking! Haha it was bound to happen somewhere, as we had about 30 people involved in the Scavenger Hunt and almost 90 coming to the party! The surprise was intact as we walked to Wahlburgers to find our next people and clue!


We spent a little time visiting with family at Wahlburgers before Brie got her next clue to…sipsipsoiree_0019

Chic Nails! Our nail appointments were at 2:00 and we had fun! Brie, Mom & I all had gel manicures and Rachael got a pedicure. We watched a video of our niece Alexis painting her nails with her daddy in California, and Brie got a clue to the next spot! Kyle was our assistant, and happily (or maybe begrudgingly?!) supplied/refilled our snacks and drinks! Then he got the car and picked us up to head to…


City Hall! Kyle dropped us off then went to find parking. We got to City Hall just in time to see a protest going by! Brie asked if that’s what we were there for, and I jokingly said yes, then asked if she saw anyone she knew protesting. LoL, then the area cleared a bit and she saw some of her friends from high school waiting nearby! We got warm wine in fun Philly mugs, visited for a bit and got the next clue before heading to…


Ready for a new song? Enjoy I’m Alive by Michael Franti & Spearhead. LOVE this song right now!!!


A small change in the plan led us to Dandelion (which had shifted from the original Rouge to Tria, then once again to our actual spot- Thanks to David for the reminder on our way, we arrived at the right place on time!) for Wine in Rittenhouse Square with more friends, including Kyle & Julie who traveled up for the weekend from North Carolina! Brie was floored when she saw them, almost literally!

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This was the perfect moment for a sweet video from friends Jeff & Anna, which Brie loved and proceeded to send around the table for everyone to watch! She got another clue and we got a text from Kyle saying he was looping around the block, so we should be downstairs within the next 4 minutes! Brie drank her glass of wine, we said goodbye and ran out the door, and hopped right into the car (perfect timing) to head to…


The Art Museum! On the way, we watched a video from Grandma Ruth (David’s/my Grandma, and soon-to-be-Brie’s, too!), and Brie knew she’d be looking for another friend after running up the Art Museum steps, but didn’t know it would be David and didn’t know it was the last stop. We found a parking spot around the back, and after getting a text from David to suggest Brie put on her blazer (which she had brought for dinner) because it was getting cold, I opened the trunk and did just that. She decided to change her top and shoes, too, which was just dandy! We made our way around the Art Museum to the front, then upon realizing that we were already at the top of the steps, we proceeded to go down a few steps, then run up to the top!


David was waiting up toward the left side of the  building, so I sent her in that direction and said “Keep running and find someone”. She looked ahead toward the right, shouted “I think I see my aunt!”, and started running in that direction! Then David cleared his throat over to the left a bit, she saw him waiting with flowers and quickly changed direction to run to him!


Click here for more on the proposal itself and the party afterward!



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Posted in Engagement, Engagement Sessions, Philadelphia, Proposal

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