Love and Mishaps in Las Vegas: How I Proposed to My Wife
When I moved to California to begin a career with the Internal Revenue Service, I had no idea where my life would end up 15 years later. California has become my home, and it’s where my wife, Hanna, and I have decided to raise our family. But it wasn’t even in California where one of the biggest moments of our lives took place.
Hanna and I had been dating for more than two and a half years after meeting through an online dating service, when, on one of Hanna’s breaks during law school, I decided to surprise her with a vacation, planning the whole trip without telling her the destination. So, when we landed, Hanna learned that I had whisked her away to Las Vegas, and I capped the surprise with a visit to the Las Vegas Eiffel Tower. After an amazing dinner, we made our way up to the top of the tower to get a bird’s eye view of the famous Las Vegas strip. It was a gorgeous night, but there was more to come.\
What Hanna didn’t know was I had rented a truck with a LED sign that read “Hanna, Will You Marry Me?” The plan was for her to see the truck below us as we took in the gorgeous skyline of Las Vegas. After I popped down on one knee — and ultimately got that fateful “yes” — we would celebrate with champagne.
When Things Don’t Go As Planned
Unfortunately, I didn’t account for how far away we would be from the truck, and my message was illegible. Forced to think on my feet, I noticed there were telescopes on the viewing deck, and we could use those to look at the sign. Except, I didn’t have a quarter for the telescope. Scrambling and still trying to keep the allure of the surprise up, I asked strangers for a quarter. Finally, out of earshot of Hanna, a guy tells me that he sees the person waiting to bring out our champagne, and he gave me a quarter with a wish of good luck.
Once the quarter gave us the green light, I aimed the telescope at the truck and asked Hanna to look. And she saw… a Las Vegas showgirl. She was confused, but I asked her to look to the left of the showgirl. She looked through the telescope, looked back at me, looked through again, then I saw the tears welling in her eyes. Finally, I got down on one knee and proposed among a cheering audience.
One of the Best Decisions I’ve Made
We were married on October 19, 2008, and we spent the first seven years of our marriage traveling and settling into our careers, despite insistence from our families to start our own family. But we wanted to make sure we were prepared and had time to build a life together as a couple first. Additionally, when I decided to establish Landmark Tax Group, I knew I needed to devote much of my time and energy into making it a premier option for people seeking relief. Hanna gave me the support and encouragement to do that, just as I cheered her on in her law career pursuits. Among all this, starting a family just wasn’t in the cards for us until 2016.
In the spring, our son Benjamin was born. He is an intelligent boy who keeps us on our toes. We’re excited to watch him grow, especially as he becomes a big brother because we’re excited to announce that we are expecting another child! As a family, we love to travel, and adding one more child into that mix is only going to make our adventures more fun. Maybe someday we’ll tell stories of our California adventures, or maybe we’ll take the kids to the spot where I proposed to their mom.
Regardless of where our family adventures take us, after more than 10 years of marriage, I can honestly say deciding to spend my life with Hanna was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. And hearing her say “yes” after all that panic was a tremendous relief.
—Michael Raanan, EA, MBA