A man and a woman, he on one knee with her hand in his, cast shadows on the ornate, red French-style door behind them. Two cats lay statuesquely still at their feet, summer flowers blooming at their sides.
It was a scene that would make any good romantic swoon.
It was also a scene made entirely from inanimate objects, mere inches tall.
Steps away on the Atlanta Beltline, the living Peyton Momberger and the breathing Taylor Koshak closely mirrored the display. He proposed, and she responded in the affirmative.
Momberger had enlisted the aid of Tiny Doors ATL to execute the recent proposal near the group's Paris on Ponce installment. The 23-year-old realized that by using the arts project, he could call back to he and Koshak's first date in 2013, at the Enzian Theater in Orlando. (The pair met in a public speech class at the University of Central Florida.)
After going to a subpar sushi dinner, he’d taken her to see Michael Haneke's “Amour,” which Momberger called one of the most inappropriate first date movies possible: “a beautiful but depressing French film about a man watching his wife slowly wither away from old age.”
Regardless, the couple hit it off, and shared their first kiss under the marquee outside the theater. So a miniature version of that sign was near the Tiny Door, bearing the words: “TAYLOR WILL YOU MARRY ME?”
Momberger led her to it after they’d dined at a nearby Ponce City Market restaurant, Ton Ton. Koshak, a 24-year-old law student at Georgia State University, said yes pretty quickly once he nervously blurted out his question.
Karen Anderson, Tiny Doors principal artist and director, made the proposal artwork. About those cats? They represented the couple’s pets — Al and Enoch aka Nucky — who Koshak named after Al Capone and Nucky Thompson from Boardwalk Empire.
Anderson amplified Momberger’s excitement to make the moment special for his future-bride, he said.
“It's hard to describe because it's one of those moments in life that seems to happen somehow both in slow motion and all at once,” Momberger said. “It took a little while for our heart rates to settle down and we sat above the door in the afterglow for a bit.”
After sitting there a while, Momberger joked that he didn’t know what to do “because it felt like the end of a movie and the credits were supposed to have started already.”
Luckily, Anderson was also there to take photos.
“I love that photo Karen took of us then, sitting there with the city in front of us,” Momberger recalled. “I think it feels the way it really felt in that moment.”
While an unarguably original proposal, it wasn’t Tiny Door’s first. The group has 11 installments throughout the city, and in 2015, a marriage offer was etched into a small brick around the Cabbagetown installment.
That engagement was successful, as well.