Both avid readers, JT proposed to Holly at the New York Public Library on a Sunday afternoon. A special place for both of them, the New York Public Library provided the perfect backdrop for their romance. A walk in Bryant Park followed the proposal to round out their couple portraits.

“We had a fantastic experience working with Cinder and Co. Christian was our photographer and he was accommodating, kind, and professional. Most importantly, the pictures turned out perfect! Thank you!!” – JT


Q: Let’s start at the beginning. How did you two first meet?A: HOLLY: We met in college. We had a lot of mutual friends at Princeton because we were both heavily involved in theater, but we didn’t start really getting to know each other until our sophomore year when we both joined the Tower Club (one of Princeton’s co-ed clubs, kind of like a frat or sorority). We were friends for two years, performing in multiple shows together through the drama department and the Princeton Triangle Club. We started dating midway through our senior year. We ended up living next door to each other in the dorms that year, and all of our roommates were friends with each other as well, so we hung out constantly. It eventually became clear we liked each other as more than friends! JT: I first saw Holly our freshman year at Princeton, while she was onstage as Mary Lane in the show Reefer Madness. We met and became close friends at our eating club, Tower, and in various theater productions around campus. We played Ophelia and Claudius in Hamlet (an admittedly unlikely pairing), and spent most of our time backstage goofing off and playing Scribblenauts on my iPad.

Q: What makes your relationship special? Tell us some things that you both value in your time together. (example: pushing each other to new limits, love to travel, huge comic book fans, foodies, etc.) What makes your relationship unique?A: HOLLY: We have a lot of common interests, but we’re also very complementary. We both love acting, but after college JT followed his computer science degree to a career in engineering, whereas I’m sticking more with theater and music, teaching voice lessons and narrating audiobooks while auditioning around New York. Regardless of differing career paths, we both love going to shows in and around the city. We also love traveling to new places (and old places — we go up to Vermont pretty frequently, where I have so far failed to teach JT how to ski, so now we mainly do cross-country and sledding). We love any sort of food-based activity, whether it’s going out to a new restaurant or cooking meals together. That’s actually one of the ways JT’s awesomeness has manifested in our relationship; I was diagnosed with a number of food allergies a few years ago that cut out a great deal of my favorite foods (and has made it more difficult to go out to eat), which was really discouraging. He took the opportunity to learn how to cook, and he adjusted all the dishes he was learning so that I could eat them! He made me a coconut custard for my birthday one year instead of a cake, and it was insane. I think we meet nicely in the middle, because he’s very technologically connected and excited to jump into new things, whereas I’m a lot more analytical and can tend to overthink things (but am also an excellent planner!). Together, we get things DONE. JT: The ways in which Holly and I complement each other bring out the best in both of us. I love learning and discovering new things, and Holly’s a perfect partner to support me as I spout off interesting things I read on a wikipedia deep dive or as I flicker the lights and speakers off and on while learning how to set our apartment up as a smart house. Holly’s got a similar drive, and I love being able to bounce ideas around with her as she thoroughly investigates every angle and detail of a complex problem (like how to optimize our FastPass ride times on a DisneyWorld trip). Yet we also both like to relax and recharge in similar ways — lounging around reading or indulging in guilty reality-tv pleasures like the Real Housewives or Vanderpump Rules on Bravo. Whether it’s pushing each other forward or just being silly together, Holly’s someone who encourages me to be my best and truest self.

Q: How did you know your partner was the one? When did you first know this in your relationship? (these may often be the same moment, but aren’t always)A: HOLLY: For me, I don’t know that it was one moment so much as a million little things that added up over time. For our first Valentine’s Day (a holiday I don’t usually celebrate), he gave me a block of cheese — his mom was apparently horrified when he told her about it, but I loved it! I’m allergic to flowers and I love cheese. Perfect gift. So that was an early indicator, though I hadn’t realized it yet at the time. He’s just constantly doing little things to show me I’m supported and loved, and those moments have come together over the years to create a picture of the person I want to spend my life with.JT: Like Holly, I don’t know exactly when I knew for sure, though I had a gut feeling from very early on that this was something special. I read Pride and Prejudice for the first time about a year ago, and Mr. Darcy’s big speech at the end sounded exactly right for how I feel about Holly: “I cannot fix on the hour, or the look, or the words, which laid the foundation. It is too long ago. I was in the middle before I knew that I had begun.”

Q: Give us all the details about the proposal. How and where did it happen? Was it a surprise? What was the planning process?A: HOLLY: I was completely blindsided. (You can probably tell in some of the photos!) I was invited to a book event at the New York Public Library for that Saturday morning and decided to go with JT’s sister Rachel, who had been invited to the event as well. JT said he had plans with a friend and we planned to meet up later. When Rachel and I got to the library, though, it didn’t look like any event was taking place. That’s when JT popped out from behind a bookcase and handed me a book, in which he explained that the book event had been completely fabricated — just a way to get me to the library. On the final page of the book was a library check-out card that said “Will You Marry Me?”, and he got on one knee and proposed. I think I said yes — I was mostly still trying to catch up with what was going on! I am notoriously difficult to surprise, so I was impressed with just how thoroughly he got me. I didn’t see it coming at all! It was amazing. JT: I always wanted the proposal to involve books in some way — we’re both voracious readers and getting engaged surrounded by books seemed magical and perfect. I’d actually originally planned to do the proposal at a bookstore in Brooklyn, until Holly showed me an article about a different couple that got engaged at that same bookstore, saying, “Isn’t this amazing?!” I knew I was on the right track, but I decided to go with something slightly different. I recruited my sister, Rachel, to help me set up a surprise at the New York Public Library’s Schwarzman Building. My older sister thinks of herself as a terrible liar, but I know from years of being tricked into doing the dishes as a kid that she’s actually a great con artist. She looped in a group of her and Holly’s friends on Instagram to get Holly to the library under false pretenses. I was so nervous that Holly was onto my plan, but Rachel and I managed to pull it off! When I (somewhat abruptly) popped out from behind a bookcase with a ring, Holly just looked at me and said, “What? How did you get here? What are you doing here?” Then she realized what was happening, her eyes lit up in surprise (and maybe mild alarm), and I got down on one knee!

Q: We’re all about the bling… Tell us all about that ring!A: We found it together at Greenwich St. Jewelers in lower Manhattan; it was created by a Seattle-based studio called Point No Point that uses recycled metals and conflict-free diamonds. It’s a rose cut pear-shaped diamond set in a rose gold band. I really love the look of rose cut stones — they’re all hand-cut, so they’re unique and a little vintage-looking.

Holly: We met in college. We had a lot of mutual friends at Princeton because we were both heavily involved in theater, but we didn’t start really getting to know each other until our sophomore year when we both joined the Tower Club (one of Princeton’s co-ed clubs, kind of like a frat or sorority). We were friends for two years, performing in multiple shows together through the drama department and the Princeton Triangle Club. We started dating midway through our senior year. We ended up living next door to each other in the dorms that year, and all of our roommates were friends with each other as well, so we hung out constantly. It eventually became clear we liked each other as more than friends! JT: I first saw Holly our freshman year at Princeton, while she was onstage as Mary Lane in the show Reefer Madness. We met and became close friends at our eating club, Tower, and in various theater productions around campus. We played Ophelia and Claudius in Hamlet (an admittedly unlikely pairing), and spent most of our time backstage goofing off and playing Scribblenauts on my iPad.

Holly: For me, I don’t know that it was one moment so much as a million little things that added up over time. For our first Valentine’s Day (a holiday I don’t usually celebrate), he gave me a block of cheese — his mom was apparently horrified when he told her about it, but I loved it! I’m allergic to flowers and I love cheese. Perfect gift. So that was an early indicator, though I hadn’t realized it yet at the time. He’s just constantly doing little things to show me I’m supported and loved, and those moments have come together over the years to create a picture of the person I want to spend my life with.JT: Like Holly, I don’t know exactly when I knew for sure, though I had a gut feeling from very early on that this was something special. I read Pride and Prejudice for the first time about a year ago, and Mr. Darcy’s big speech at the end sounded exactly right for how I feel about Holly: “I cannot fix on the hour, or the look, or the words, which laid the foundation. It is too long ago. I was in the middle before I knew that I had begun.”

THE PROPOSAL:

HOLLY: I was completely blindsided. (You can probably tell in some of the photos!) I was invited to a book event at the New York Public Library for that Saturday morning and decided to go with JT’s sister Rachel, who had been invited to the event as well. JT said he had plans with a friend and we planned to meet up later. When Rachel and I got to the library, though, it didn’t look like any event was taking place. That’s when JT popped out from behind a bookcase and handed me a book, in which he explained that the book event had been completely fabricated — just a way to get me to the library. On the final page of the book was a library check-out card that said “Will You Marry Me?”, and he got on one knee and proposed. I think I said yes — I was mostly still trying to catch up with what was going on! I am notoriously difficult to surprise, so I was impressed with just how thoroughly he got me. I didn’t see it coming at all! It was amazing.

JT: I always wanted the proposal to involve books in some way — we’re both voracious readers and getting engaged surrounded by books seemed magical and perfect. I’d actually originally planned to do the proposal at a bookstore in Brooklyn, until Holly showed me an article about a different couple that got engaged at that same bookstore, saying, “Isn’t this amazing?!” I knew I was on the right track, but I decided to go with something slightly different. I recruited my sister, Rachel, to help me set up a surprise at the New York Public Library’s Schwarzman Building. My older sister thinks of herself as a terrible liar, but I know from years of being tricked into doing the dishes as a kid that she’s actually a great con artist. She looped in a group of her and Holly’s friends on Instagram to get Holly to the library under false pretenses. I was so nervous that Holly was onto my plan, but Rachel and I managed to pull it off! When I (somewhat abruptly) popped out from behind a bookcase with a ring, Holly just looked at me and said, “What? How did you get here? What are you doing here?” Then she realized what was happening, her eyes lit up in surprise (and maybe mild alarm), and I got down on one knee!

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