Let’s Go travel guides are for the rugged adventurer or the budget-conscious hostel-hopper who savvily wants to make his way through a city’s hidden secrets. The Four Seasons is not on the itinerary. But for one former Paris research-writer, doing it on a shoestring was not the order of the day when he asked his lady love to be his wife.
“I like a good show,” says Brendan H. McGeever, a 2003 Harvard Business School graduate, who met his fiancée Yvonne Pollack, a comedian and actress, at a New York comedy club in February 2000. “We’d been together for three and a half years and had already discussed getting married, so I wanted to find ways to surprise her.”
On the way to work one morning, McGeever lured Pollack to the comedy club where they had first been introduced, serenaded her with Lionel Richie’s “Hello,” and presented her with the heirloom engagement ring that had been presented to his grandmother in 1935. After Pollack tearfully replied, “Sure,” the couple enjoyed a surprise breakfast that McGeever had planned at the Four Seasons.
As they finished their eggs Benedict, McGeever, who worked for the Let’s Go’s Paris guide this past summer, cryptically announced to his new fiancée, “I made reservations at your favorite restaurant… in the Seventh.” It took several guesses before Pollack realized that McGeever had not only booked a table for two at her favorite restaurant in the Seventh Arrondissement in Paris, but also round-trip tickets from New York on a flight departing that evening. The couple enjoyed a relaxing pre-honeymoon weekend in Paris, “shopping, eating, visiting some museums and hitting a really good steak-frites place.”
No date has been set for the wedding, but the couple plans to tie the knot within a year. McGeever’s advice to young men ready to drop to one knee: “It’s a story that will be re-told for a very, very long time. People will always ask how you met, and the runner-up question will be when and how did he propose, so it’s worth every ounce of energy to do it right, and to do it in a meaningful way.”