Our Story

A Surprise Proposal in Paris

As told by Ellie

You have to know, first of all, that Louis and I work as tour guides for school groups that visit the province of Québec from the United States and English-speaking Canada. Back in April, Louis, along with our boss, Joad, fooled me into agreeing to give what I thought was a joint tour with Louis as our last tour of the season. But this was Louis' way of “reserving” my time AND having me fully packed and prepared to travel without a clue that we would be doing anything besides working. Little did I know, it was all a ruse; Joad's last-minute cancellation call (as well as our itinerary, rooming lists, reservation list, etc.) to Louis was a total sham! After “sullenly” rejecting a few of my suggestions for how to use our suddenly free five days, I for some reason didn't bat an eye when Louis' face lit up with an idea, nor when he decided to make it a surprise, nor when he pulled a blindfold out of his pocket for me to put on. Once my (already packed) bag was finalized with a swimsuit and a fancy dress “to confuse me”, Louis led me down my apartment stairs and into a car that was waiting for us. Still blindfolded, I asked why, if the tour had just been canceled, was there a car waiting for us? He responded by getting me to recall the name of the school we were supposed to give the tour to: the Faculty of Arts of Kevin Erwin—F.A.K.E.; it was all a fake!

As we rode (unbeknownst to me) to the airport, I envisioned various scenarios which all involved Louis proposing that night. I was completely shocked, though, when we arrived to the international terminal at the airport, because I immediately assumed Louis must have spent all of his money on flights and that he would not be proposing. However, I was happy as a clam to be patient about getting engaged and about trying to prolong the surprise aspect of the destination for as long as possible (when do you get to try to arrive somewhere without knowing where you're going?!). Louis led me, cheeks hurting from smiling, through ticketing, though security, and onto the plane all without me being able to see or hear our destination. With my earbuds in I couldn't hear a thing, and Louis prepared my ticket and passport at every checkpoint so that I couldn't see the destination. He even talked to the two guys in front of us about not putting their flight tracker on their screens. Many restless hours later, as we descended through the cloud line and I could see old churches dotting the landscape, Louis hit play on my Spotify. I heard the opening chords to Édith Piaf's “La Vie en Rose,” and I instantly knew from that song, our song, that we were about to land in Paris. Needless to say, I burst into happy tears.

That night in our apartment overlooking the rooftops of Paris, we were drinking wine and discussing the amazing past 24 hours. He turned to me at one point and said, “You know how you asked me why I was doing this surprise and why now? I didn't tell you everything back at the Montreal airport. There were in fact three reasons why I wanted to surprise you with this trip to Paris. The first is because our plan is to move to Brazil or India next year, so I wanted to make sure you got your Paris 'fix' before that. The second is because every time you talk about Paris, you get this smile where you glow—like you have now; I knew I would get to see that smile by bringing you here to Paris. The third reason (and this is where he bent down on one knee) is because I want to see that smile for the rest of my life. “Veux-tu m'épouser? (Will you marry me?)” to which I sobbed, “Yes!! Yes!! Oui!!!” With no wifi in our apartment, we spent the next two hours talking and enjoying our view of the rooftops of Paris. The next morning we called our families (who all knew!!) and enjoyed the complimentary champagne a café owner gave us when he found out what had happened the night before. The next two days of scootering around Paris in engaged bliss were amazing!