Shashank Shukla and Adrianna Merrill’s Proposal

How They Met

We met for the first time 7 years ago in 2009 in high school physics. She was one of the few girls in the class but initially I was very shy. We would always have random conversations on AIM about homework or other stupid stuff. One of the first times she brought me out of my shell was on Halloween in 2009, where we were both volunteering at an elementary school Halloween party.

“Captured the best moment of our lives perfectly”


She took my hand and we danced stupidly with all of the other kids that night. After that, I started tutoring her in physics and little did I know, I would start liking her more than just a friend. I didn’t pursue her initially because I was a senior going off to college and she was a junior in high school and we didn’t know if it was going to work out. Finally, she actually told one of my best friends at the time that she liked me and made him promise that he would not tell me, because she didn’t know if I liked her or not. Towards the end of the day, my friend ended up telling me that she liked me and that night over AIM she found out that I knew. She got really upset initially at my friend for breaking the promise, but in hindsight I think she was very thankful. After that, I came out of my shell and told her that I liked her as well. We started talking more and more about relationships and love and getting to know each other. Then one day, she asked me if I could help her with the HW in the class. We got off the bus and I met her mom and her two youngest siblings for the first time…as a friend. As I was tutoring her, I asked her for a fortune cookie that was laying on the table. I opened it, read the fortune, and chuckled to myself. She asked me what was up and I said nothing. Then she kept asking me to read it and I showed it to her and it read – “Answer just what your heart prompts you.” From then on we knew that it was meant to be. We started spending all of our time texting, talking over AIM, seeing each other in school, and going on dates in Boston for the summer. We stayed together through college and the rest is history…

How He Asked

I think it was back in November that I had decided that I was going to marry her. I told my brother first and he was very psyched. I brought up the thought to my parents and they were ecstatic. They said they considered Adrianna their daughter and could not imagine anyone else to become part of the family. So then it was decided. I was going to marry the girl of my dreams. Now I just had to buy the ring, get the permission, and pull off an awesome proposal, easy enough! Both of us had gone ring shopping before and just browsing around as I kept mental notes of what she liked.

Her grandmother worked at a jewelry store and we went in one day and got some ideas. So, I knew where to start. I had to let “Mimi” in on the secret and towards the end of December, I asked her if I could marry her granddaughter and if she would help me with the ring. She was expecting it to say the least but was very happy! We went down to the jewelry store and over the next couple of days, I finalized and placed the order for a beautiful ring. At that point, I knew that I was going to propose to her within the next few months but I didn’t know the exact date. Over the next few weeks, as I looked for proposal ideas, I found out that she was planning on doing something amazing for our 7 year anniversary, that she had kept a secret for months. I knew right then that I would propose to her on that weekend. The only issue was that it was all a surprise so I could plan the general idea, but couldn’t hash out the specifics until the weekend of. I told my best guy friends about a month before, on a weekend we were hanging out. They were jumping off their seats, literally, and promised to keep the secret. I was browsing online and came across the idea for the Ring Cam and thought it was a perfect thing to capture the moment she said YES. Nothing else would have provided us with a view of her beautiful face as she decided to spend the rest of her life with me. Next was asking her parents, who live an hour away. So I made an excuse that I would be staying late at school proctoring an exam, on February 29. I took a half day and drove up to see her parents who had somewhat of an inkling as to what was about to happen. I made sure to bring gifts and as I waited in the house with her younger siblings. I was so nervous to talk even though I knew they would be happy. They came through the door and we small talked but I knew the conversation needed to happen right then and there. I told them how much I loved their daughter and how amazing they had been to me and my family for the past 7 years. They raised Adrianna perfectly, and I asked if I could officially become a part of their family by marrying their daughter. Her dad looked at me and told me that they already considered me a part of the family as I got both of their blessings for the proposal. Last, but the most important part was the proposal itself. To prepare, I practiced several times with the Ring Cam, bought a GoPro® and had gotten a fleece blanket with a collage of over 100 pictures of us from the past 7 years on one side, and me asking “Adrianna, will you marry me?” on the other. A little backstory on the surprise anniversary weekend. She had told me that she would tell me the surprise on Thursday night and as I walked in the door, there she was standing, asking if I would go to prom with her. She had beautifully planned a prom night for us and my closest friends, including tuxes, dresses, limos, and pictures – the whole nine yards. She had spent months planning it and each step of the way I was surprised. I truly had no idea where we were going until the day of. She had booked the “The Club” suite at Adventure Suites up in North Conway, NH. Now the suites are themed and this one was designed to look like a prom night club. There was a Jacuzzi, a dance floor, a DJ booth, and bedrooms upstairs. It was the most amazing and unique experience that we had. So me and the guys texted secretly, anxiously waiting for a time where would be planning the proposal. On Saturday, we got a chance to get away from the girls (who didn’t know) and plan the proposal in the room. The plan was that after we came back from dinner in the limo ride, one of the guys would pretend to get a phone call and let the front desk people (who were in on it) know. They would then come knock on the door and ask for Adrianna and me to come sign some stuff as a way to distract her. In the meantime, the guys would hang the collage from the 2nd floor, set up the lights to the perfect dim setting, clean up the whole suite, set up the song “Everything” by Michael Bublé (which would be played by one of the other guys hiding as we walked in), and set up the GoPro®. All within 2 minutes! We ran through it once and we knew were going to knock it out of the park. As the night came closer, the guys got ready in their tuxes and the girls in the dresses. Adrianna’s mother had kindly come to take “prom” pictures of us, and we went in the limo to an Italian restaurant for dinner. At dinner, I was so nervous, it was very noticeable. But I held it together to the best of my abilities. There was a brief window where Adrianna was away from the dinner table and we told the girls that I was going to propose, obviously stopping them from having any reaction as Adrianna walked back. The guys thought it would be easier to coordinate that way. We got back from dinner and I grabbed the Ring Cam. I gave my friend the signal and he left for a few minutes. Shortly after he returned, we heard a knock on the door and it was showtime! We left the room and I gave my friend a thumbs up, as the guy stalled her by having her sign some forms and me by buying her a rose. Perfect! We walked back after about 2 minutes but the door was locked (not part of the plan). We then asked the guy to open the door and as we walked in, our song started playing and everyone was gone. Perfectly executed by the guys, who I truly appreciate for helping me pull this off! I brought her up to the collage and showed her all of our pictures on there and told her that I had one more surprise for her. She closed her eyes, I took her by the hand, and guided her to where she needed to be. I told her that she is a caring, beautiful, hard working, and an amazing person. She inspires me everyday and she cried before I even had a chance to ask her to marry me. I got down on one knee and asked her, to which she said YES! We kissed and hugged and my friend who was hiding went to grab our friends, who were waiting in the lobby, as our song played over the speakers. We danced and as our friends walked in, they all started cheering and congratulating us. And every single second of it was recorded for our memories, forever. We danced and called our parents for a great ending to a truly memorable night!