Lauren Esposito and Zach Hammer met because of Cooper—Zach’s dog. Their first date was an apple picking trip on a fruit farm, and she instantly fell in love with the happy dog, who’d ended up eating 25 apples in one go and had a belly ache all the way home.
“People always told me when you met the right one you just know. I never was a believer in that. It takes time to get to know somebody to understand their values, what they believe in, but with Lauren we just clicked,” Hammer said.
But when Hammer finally proposed to Esposito, it was a complete surprise.
Hammer is a grad student, and the more romantic of the two, and Esposito is an aspiring researcher. They had talked about marriage and looked at wedding rings from time to time, but it was always for a later date.
Unbeknownst to Esposito at the time, Hammer had already been planning a big, romantic gesture to surprise his better half with.
He wasn’t doing it alone though—like a real gentleman, he first asked Esposito’s father for permission to marry his daughter, who was “happy to grant it.”
Then they set the time and date for the event: a concert in the Federated Church in Chagrin Falls, Ohio. At this event everyone was keen on listening to Tim Zimmerman and the King’s Brass, but the audience was not prepared that their tickets also included what should be the most charming church proposal ever.
Hammer had not only prepared a meaningful song to be performed at the concert, but also a lovely video presentation with photographs of them to be shown.
Esposito’s dad was the one who invited the couple to this “holiday concert,” and Esposito happily accepted.
But she was devastated once Hammer told her he would have to arrive separately, because he had work to do at a trade fair which was an hour away.
But then, as Esposito and her dad were sitting in the pews waiting for Hammer and for the concert to start, she got a text. He said he was stuck in traffic and was going to be late. She was visibly annoyed and let her feelings loose on Hammer, having no idea what was awaiting her.
All the while, Hammer was waiting eagerly behind closed doors dressed in a stunning suit.
Then the concert started—along with the first surprise. The singer started belting the couple’s song, and Esposito couldn’t help but think, “wow, that song is for me. It is about us.”
Then the second surprise: The band made an announcement that someone who couldn’t be here should be honored—and then they left the stage and a video slideshow full of photographs of the couple started playing instead.
Esposito turned to her dad, still unaware of what was happening, and her dad denied any involvement.
But then the song finished, and the doors were thrown open—there was Hammer, who marched to Esposito with tears in his eyes.
“Lauren, this past year and a half has been nothing short, but incredible and I can honestly say that you are the love of my life. You’re my best friend and you’re my everything. And I can’t imagine living in a world without you,” he said.
Then, stating the obvious, he continued: “I have a question,” he said, as laughter filled the room.
“What are you doing for the rest of your life?” More giggles and laughter.
By now, Lauren was crying tears of joy as she laughed and watched her boyfriend get down on one knee, opening a box before her.
“Will you marry me?” he asked his emotion-stricken girlfriend. At her whispered “Yes,” the entire congregation exploded into applause.