Jillian’s friends and family came together to create a night she’ll never forget

Jillian thought she was getting drinks with an old friend after work, but when her cousin ripped her coat and bag off of her before they walked into the back room at the Maman cafe in SOHO, she knew something was up. She walked though the door and her boyfriend was waiting for her surrounded by pictures of the two of them, flowers and candles, waiting to ask her a very important question.

After Jillian joyfully said yes, and got over the shock that that had really just happened, she lamented she hadn’t gotten more dressed up that morning. “How did you know I’d wash my hair today?” she asked at one point, to which Zack replied “I didn’t! I was very excited you did that.” and she realized why he had been trying to convince her to wear a slightly dressier outfit to “work and drinks”. She also realized that he had roped some of her coworkers into the plan. Working at Bobby Brown, being a model for their makeup artists to try out new products on was nothing new to her, and she was convinced that they were just testing out a new eyeshadow palate, but now it made more sense that the artist – who was in the know – said that they should do her whole face “just because they were already there”.

But, there was still the issue that she had chosen to go for more of a laidback vibe of jeans, a t-shirt and a leather jacket that morning, a far cry from what she imagined she would look like at her proposal. But Zack’s sister – the mastermind of the whole night – had foreseen this. Waiting back at her apartment was a new bridal wardrobe and all of Jillian’s hair tools and makeup. So the three of us took a little walk, Jillian changed, and then we spend the next hour wandering around SOHO taking portraits of the two of them while back at Maman their families set up the final surprise of the night: they had all gathered in secret to celebrate with Jillian and Zack on the exact spot where he had proposed two hours earlier.

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