Fashion / Weddings

Young Houston Couple’s Engagement Brings Plenty of Surprises — a Europe Fake Out Turns Into a UT Dream

How Lexi Sakowitz and Mike Marek's Big Moment Came Together

BY // 02.10.20

Ah, February, the month of romance. Love is in the air. Cupid is warming up his bow. And our thoughts are turning to romantic engagements. This is a new PaperCity series of engagement stories that will continue throughout the year. 

When was Mike Marek ever going to propose to an anxious Lexi Sakowitz? She knew it was coming. But he held out. He didn’t ask when they were in Zermatt, Switzerland. He skipped his chance when they were in France’s romantic Provence.

The duo, she a real estate agent with Compass and he a senior associate with Vinson & Elkins, had planned a trip with friends to visit Switzerland and France in the summer of 2017. It had been a year and a half or so since they had begun dating and marriage was clearly in their future. But when?

Lexi was convinced that this European jaunt with friends would be the perfect time to receive a diamond.

Mike and buddies scaled the Matterhorn while the girls stayed at a lower altitude. At the end of his two-day climb, he phoned Lexi and asked her to make the 8.4 mile trek to the base camp. She recalls that after that four and a half hour solo hike, “I was almost certain after his successful summit and this surprise request to meet him at base camp that this was the time . . . the only proposal I received was that we should start making the hike down to get some dinner.”

Bummer.

The group moved on to Provence where a truffle hunt was organized. One of Lexi’s sisters suggested that maybe Mike would hide a ring for her to find in one of the truffles.

Wrong.

“I had gotten myself over excited several times by this point and when we returned from our trip back to Houston,” she says, “I honestly put a proposal to the back of my mind.”

Mike hired two photographers to capture the surprise moment of his proposal in the Blanton Museum in Austin.
Mike hired two photographers to capture the surprise moment of his proposal in the Blanton Museum in Austin.

Then in September, they joined friends in Austin for a University of Texas (his law school alma mater) football game and headed over to the Blanton Museum that morning for a supposed rendezvous with friends. The couple was the first to arrive just as the museum was opening.

“I asked if we should wait for our friends and before I could finish my question, he reached into his boot and pulled out a little navy box,” she remembers. “He got down on one knee with the box whilst holding my hand and told me he wanted to spend forever together and asked if I would marry him.

“Tears of joy tickled down my face and I, of course, said yes to the man of my dreams who I’d been certain I wanted to marry for many months.”

That was just the first surprise. Mike had hired two photographers to capture the moment and he had arranged for family and friends to meet them at The Driskill for drinks and then brunch at Perla’s. This was exactly how Lexi had imagined her engagement, surrounded by loved ones. Mike remembered that. Thus, no engagement in Europe.

“Our proposal and the celebration that followed was absolutely perfect for us and I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. . . ,” Lexi tells PaperCity. “UT won that day. So it looks like everybody won on the day of our engagement. “

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