How does a Disney-obsessed groom propose to his equally Disney-obsessed bride? With a Churro Bouquet of course! We recently stumbled upon this extremely cute and personal proposal at the Walt Disney Concert Hall and we knew we just had to feature it. Tara and Patrick tell us all about how they met all because of Disney and how Patrick incorporated their Disney love into their proposal. First up, we spoke with Tara.
Hello to all the Brides and future Brides! My name is Tara Keshishian and I’m so thrilled to announce that I’m engaged and I’m here to spill all the details! But before the fun part, some quick background facts about me: I work as a CPA in the world of finance, I come from a background of speech and debate, and I’m big into movies. My Fiancé, Patrick Aghajanian, received his PhD from UCLA and works as a geneticist for a lab where they classify genetic mutations in patients. We’ve been together for over 3 years, and we’re both big Disney nerds.
We first met back in 2015, and online of all places (sounds very unromantic I know). And although we met online through Match.com it wasn’t actually through that platform that we started dating. Patrick asked me out online and after realizing the potential for online predators I declined but we remained Facebook friends (so much safer I know). One thing that kept our conversations alive was our love for Disney and how we were both signed up for a Disneyland half marathon (the 2015 Avengers Half Marathon to be exact). So by exchanging running tips and endurance schedules and continuing to get to know him, I actually ended up asking Patrick out through Facebook! He claims it was because he cut his hair and took some nice photos (he used to have really long hair). On our first date, we met up at a Coffee Bean. We had coffee and recited Mrs. Doubtfire quotes all night long and the rest is history!
After months and months of Patrick telling me how he wanted to see Dudamel in concert at the Walt Disney Concert Hall, I thought no better time than around our anniversary to surprise him. It happened on April 14, we were engaged at the spectacular Walt Disney Concert Hall at a place I had planned for us to be! Somehow, he put this whole thing together under my nose. We are pretty practical people, so we had both planned to get engaged this year, but he refused to tell me when. He at least wanted the date and the location to be a surprise for me.
As the date for the concert grew closer, Patrick had mentioned that if we were going to be attending the concert in the middle of the day, we might as well make a day out of it and celebrate our anniversary a week early (our actual anniversary is on April 22). I started getting suspicious and truly believed that this would be the day that he proposed, but a few days earlier, he gave me a “status update” on the ring, mentioning that we would be able to look at stones within a couple of weeks. Mind you, this was months after we had started our search so, understandably, I was a bit shocked that he hadn’t even found the stones yet, much less put the ring together. Stones?!?! You’re just now finding a set of stones!??!?! My hopes for an anniversary engagement had been dashed, but I guess that was his plan all along.
We had the day all planned out for April 14th: Bäco Mercat for brunch, Dudamel around 2 pm, and Red Bird for dinner. We’re foodies, and it was our anniversary, so at least I had that to look forward to, even if we weren’t getting engaged. Brunch was fantastic, we arrived a bit early, so we strolled around downtown for a bit, walked through The Last Bookstore, then went to Bäco for some great eats. Brunch was fantastic, if you’ve never been to Bäco Mercat, I highly recommend it. Also, keep in mind, even though I didn’t know we were getting engaged, both of us were already dressed very nicely for the concert. It was an orchestral performance after all, so nothing really seemed out of the ordinary.
After brunch, we headed to the concert hall; we wanted to get there early to take photos outside. If you’ve ever seen the Walt Disney Concert Hall, you’ll know, it’s an architectural marvel. Honestly, that’s part of the reason we wanted to attend a concert there versus the Hollywood Bowl, though, we’ve been to many performances at the bowl and it really is a great venue. Before heading into the concert hall Patrick insisted that I open my anniversary gifts…in the parking garage. Again…this didn’t seem out of the ordinary as we both tend to be a bit impatient with giving each other gifts. I’d say we’ve opened our birthday and Christmas gifts way in advance before those dates, so it’s well within normal behavior. While I was opening them, I noticed Patrick turn on a camera he had set up in the car. I had noticed the camera earlier, but as he likes to record himself singing in the car, I assumed that’s why it was there.
When I finally finished opening the presents, Patrick told me he’d made a video for me to watch. He always tries to add something sentimental to our anniversary gifts and this was no exception. It was a video he’d edited together that contained pieces of film he’d recorded throughout our relationship together set to the music from the Pixar short “Lava.” It was very cute. When it ended, the next piece of video that came up was Patrick in his room. Then, he started playing the “Married Life” theme from the film “Up.” That’s one of my favorite films. He then blended that into “City of Stars” from “La La Land,” and to my surprise, a second image of him popped up on the screen and he started singing along with the guitar. Patrick used to sing for me every morning before I went to work, so I was very familiar with his singing, but I’d almost never heard him play any instruments, so that was special for me. Finally, the last song that began was “Lean on Me” by Bill Withers. That’s when I knew what was happening. I used to tell Patrick all the time to sing “Lean on Me” for me, but for some reason, he would never do it. Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed his hand moving under his jacket and I could see the edge of a small box. It was happening. I continued to watch the video, when finally, he ended it with singing “marry me” at the end of the video.
I was ecstatic; he had actually pulled this off with me not knowing until the last second. He went around the car and gave me a bouquet of churros, something I’d told him long ago that I wanted when he finally proposed to me. I couldn’t believe that he remembered, and the thought of that brought me to tears. He opened the box, and I saw the ring, it was everything I’d hoped it would be. He even taped a little Pusheen paw inside the box because he knew I’d enjoy it. We then took photos outside the concert hall before the Dudamel performance.
We had pretty much decided that this was the year we wanted to get engaged and had a general timeline in place so since the element of surprise was sort of there I figured we might as well go ring shopping together. One of Patrick’s longtime friends, Sako Khatcherian from Cicada Jewelry Design helped educate us on rings from A-Z and the whole diamond shopping process. Once this process happened I pretty much came to the conclusion of what I wanted stylistically. After seeing so many settings and cuts I decided on an oval cut with a rose gold halo setting. From this point on Patrick pretty much decided to cut me out since he essentially knew what to get but to throw me off he decided that it was best for both of us that I let him take care of the rest.
We actually ended up taking some amazing photos ourselves at the concert hall since early on we invested in a great camera for traveling. Patrick had actually planned it all out with a tripod and all so we had the concert hall to ourselves and got some great shots in. I was adamant that I wanted this to be just between us and I never liked the idea of having spectators. I feel like that takes away from having a natural reaction. And of course, no Disney loving couple’s proposal is complete without a bouquet of churros.
For months I had been planning on a ring. I knew what she wanted, but I found the right design and the right stone and I was able to exceed her expectations. Since she knew I was proposing, I at least wanted to surprise her on the actual date. I kept putting it off and providing very vague details about when I was going to propose. I really didn’t want her to catch on. So I fed her lies to throw her off whenever I thought she was starting to get suspicious.
On the day of the proposal, I had initially planned to go the entire day, build up expectation for the proposal and then not do it until we arrived home in the evening. That was the plan; catch her off guard as much as I could. But as I thought about it, I realized, if we did the proposal prior to the concert, we’d have lots of opportunities to 1) record her reaction, 2) take photos in front of the Walt Disney Concert Hall (which, if you’ve ever seen it, has one of the most unique architectural structures in LA), and 3) allow us to then celebrate our engagement during dinner. I’m sure Tara mentioned that I made a video. Well, I couldn’t have her watch it in a public place, she wouldn’t be able to hear it and she might become distracted. I also knew that she wanted us to be alone when I proposed. So where was the ideal, most controlled environment I could accomplish all of this away from the prying eyes of people? Inside my car. I could hook up the phone to my car audio, I could set up a video camera in the car, I could use it as a location to make her open gifts, AND I could park it right under the concert hall.
Much of what I do takes precision and forward thinking, something I was easily able to hide in this case by making myself look like a dope. We spend a lot of time together, so finding time to learn the music I made for our video, record it, and put it all together was a bit taxing. We both currently live at home, so I had to do all of my recording at a time when nobody was home (as I didn’t want anyone to be aware of what I was doing), and I would sit down and practice the songs for a couple of hours every day without an amplifier hooked up. The actual recording portion was tough too, syncing everything together in a short time limit while wearing a suit during one of the warmer times of the year, it was not easy, but it was definitely worth it.
Selecting the songs to include was both easy and hard. I knew I wanted to have “Lean On Me” in there since I thought of this, but including the “Married Life” theme from “Up” and “City of Stars” really depended on what I thought I could handle. Luckily, it ended up working out. On top of that, the idea to include the videos of us was meant as both a loving look at our relationship over the past 3 years and a red herring in itself, hiding my true intentions until the end of the video.
Finally, even after all of this work, I think the thing I’m most proud of was pulling off that bouquet of churros. I knew she had wanted it, and I knew she would be surprised. I wanted to get her churros from Disneyland, but I knew that I wouldn’t be able to get to Anaheim and make it back home in time. She was getting to my house early and we had a brunch scheduled. So, I thought, why not Costco? She was getting to my house at 10 am, Costco itself opened at 9:30 am, and the Costco food window opened at 9:15 am. When I arrived there, they obviously didn’t have any churros ready to go. So I ordered the churros and waited about 10 minutes until they were ready. By then it was almost 9:30 am. As I was leaving the Costco, I received a message from Tara telling me she was on her way. So, I thought, no problem, and then I hit a red light that seemed to never want to change. I was sitting at that light for what felt like an eternity, but it was really maybe 5 minutes. Now, for context, the Costco I was at is located in Burbank and I live in La Crescenta. Tara was traveling from Valencia, so I had a very narrow window to reach my house, hide the churros and the gifts in the trunk, make sure my camera was all set, make sure I had the ring, and make sure I looked presentable. I was already dressed, but one does need to touch up a bit when rushing. So now, with everything in place, I was ready to embark on a day that would change the course of our lives. She said yes, I was happy, she was happy, the rest is history. We went to the concert, had a fantastic dinner at Red Bird, and truly enjoyed our evening.
Thanks for reading!!! See more of our adventures on IG with our hashtag #lastactioncouple.
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