It was our last fall semester at UVa and we had been dating for close to two years. We had spoken about getting married and both knew that was our desire, our hope. We were also currently taking a pre-engagement course through our Christian fellowship, Chi Alpha. So, we were both on the same page in terms of desire but as for the timeline, I was unsure.
My thought was that Peter would propose in November or December, most likely during our Christmas break when I was with my family. However, there is an annual nursing pinning ceremony that my family has always come to; it is a special event honoring us nursing students and our educational progress. My parents, my brother and his fiancé were coming down for it and I was so excited to see them! Since my family was coming down to Charlottesville and they had yet to meet Peter’s family, we figured that our family would head down to Williamsburg, where Peter’s family lives, for everyone to finally meet! It was a great plan.
My nursing friends kept telling me Peter would propose when both families were together because hey, when else was that going to happen in the near future? I shrugged it off. “He wouldn’t propose to me the same time our families meet for the first time!,” I thought.
Following the pinning ceremony, we drove down to Williamsburg. My mom had bought me some pretty new jewelry and kept asking me if I wanted to paint my nails but I was oblivious to the signs. Peter was extra smiley but I thought everyone was trying to make a good first impression. We had a lovely dinner at the Aman’s and decided to then go for a stroll through Colonial Williamsburg.
Hurricane Sandy was coming through but it was only showing some drizzles and wind. As we were all walking along, Peter, holding my hand, kept pulling us ahead. I know we tend to walk fast, but why was he separating us from the group? I wanted to all walk together; this was our first real quality time together as families!
I could tell he really wanted to be alone so I gave in. We were aimlessly walking; he seemed confused. I later learned that due to the wind snuffing out the candles in Peter’s original proposal location, his friend, Rob, had to change the spot on the fly. Peter was unaware.
After a series of phone calls that he shrugged off nonchalantly, I saw a gazebo lit with candlelight. I thought it was a Colonial Williamsburg tour or a séance of some kind. Yet another part of me was starting to get suspicious. When I heard the romantic music and Peter nudge me towards the sweet spot, saying, “Come on, Han, let’s go check that out…” my heart starting to pound out of my chest.
Before I knew it, he was holding me and dancing slowly then in an instant, he was down on one knee. My memory goes foggy here but he said something so endearing along the lines of, “Hannah, these past two years have been the best I have had and I want a lifetime more with you. Hannah Elizabeth Knabe, will you marry me?”
“YES, YES, YES,” I said! With that, everyone knew it was safe to come and greet us! I started to sob and the first person I saw was my dad. He held me as tears streamed down his face, too. I looked up and saw family members holding this adorable signs with sweet phrases on them like, “I can’t wait to go on far-away adventures with you!,” and “I can’t wait to grow old with you and share my last name with you!”
Overwhelmed with joy and still in shock, we headed back to the Aman’s for dessert and a toast. We shared stories and talked about our parents’ engagement stories; it was truly a night I will never forget.
That night changed my life.
Their special dates
Hannah Aman & Peter Aman were happily engaged on 10/27/2012 and celebrate their anniversary on 06/29/2013.