Jim, son of CEO/Founder of Bill Hansen Catering, shares his engagement story!


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It was a Friday, early in the morning, when I was awoken to breakfast in bed! What a wonderful and unexpected surprise! Jim told me to enjoy my scrambled eggs and pancakes and to pack a bag because we were going away for the weekend! He had already cleared it with my boss, so we were off on a surprise getaway to a mysterious destination. Unbeknownst to me, Jim had planned to ask me to marry him and he had nervously stowed away my soon-to-be engagement ring, in a pocket of his jacket, close to his heart.

We drove the two hours from Connecticut to Judith Point in Rhode Island and hopped aboard a ferry, which was headed to Block Island, a place we both had never before been. It was March 27th, in the northeast; but instead of cold weather, we were experiencing unusually warm temperatures. It was as if Jim had planned the beautiful weather too! We took the one hour ferry ride to Block Island, sitting on the top level with the warm sun on our faces and the refreshing breeze in our hair, and disembarked the vessel and headed to our bed and breakfast, the 1661 Inn. Jim had arranged the whole weekend and had informed the innkeeper of his plan to ask for my hand in marriage. Per his request, a chilled bottle of Veuve Clicquot was waiting for us in our room. Since it was off-season and unseasonably warm, we mostly had the entire island to ourselves! Our room, a cottage, overlooked the marsh where hundreds of birds made their homes, so we could hear their sweet songs from our small porch. Beyond the marsh, we could see the ocean in all her majesty.

We got settled into our room and started exploring the island right away! Jim had researched the sights and we began our adventure. As the day was starting to end, Jim said he’d like to go to Mohegan Bluffs, where a lighthouse overlooked the water. So, we headed off in that direction and we made our way to this special spot. The sandy trail led us to the bluffs, which felt like the edge of the world. To the left was the beautiful lighthouse, down below were the waves crashing on the shore and we could see ocean for miles and miles in-front of us. It was breathtaking, and the sun began to set. Jim had planned that too! I turned to him and he was down on one knee with his hand in mine. His words were like a dream, more beautiful than any I could have ever imagined, and will forever be engraved upon my heart. He presented me with the ring, in its velvet box, and lovingly asked for my hand in marriage.  He was shaking and I was too. My answer was a resounding yes! We sealed this life-changing moment with a kiss and a hug that lasted for what felt like days. He had brought the bottle of champagne and glasses, on surprise, and we sipped the bubbles as we excitedly considered the next step toward our future. The champagne flowed and so did our tears – tears of joy, love and excitement! It was dark by then, but you could see the sparkle from my shiny new ring and the sparkle from our beaming smiles a mile away!

Jim had made a reservation at Eli’s, a restaurant in town; so we headed there by foot continuing our amazing adventure, now as fiancés. We walked, hand in hand, under a blanket full of stars; as if we were the only two people on this earth. It felt like time stood still, just for us. Dinner was absolutely delicious, like no other bite of food had ever before tasted. We made our way back to our room and called our parents to give them the exciting news! We were both walking on air. I remember everything about that night because it was the happiest of my life.

We enjoyed the rest of the weekend, having the time of our lives, as we continued our exploration of the island. As we headed home that Sunday, our smiles still remained huge and we sparkled brighter than the sun.