How We Met
Steven and I went on our first date when I was 15 and he was 16. We’d been involved in honor bands and summer camps together before then (all the way back to middle school!) and shared mutual friends, but we first talked after we played a concert together and he sent me a message asking if I’d like to hang out sometime. Neither of us followed up until two months after that when I posted a Facebook status that read something along the lines of, “Never miss a chance to tell someone what you really think about them, because regret is worse than a negative response”. I was really directing the advice at myself, but a few moments later I had a new message from Steven saying he was inspired by what I posted to tell me what he thought of me, and asked once more if I’d like to spend time with him. After that, we were basically inseparable.
We were instant best friends with plenty of inside jokes to spare, and the romance was very quick to follow. We could share everything from our favorite music to our deepest fears and insecurities, and we had too many adventures to count. He went to college a year before I did, about an hour or so drive from me, but when I left for school I moved across the country! So we spent three years on opposite coasts. It was supposed to be four, but once he graduated he joined me in Miami to start his master’s. Getting to live with my partner and spend every day with him at home and at school was a dream after spending all that time apart! I had always dreamed of spending my life with my high school sweetheart, but I never thought it would actually happen. Growing up with him through so many important milestones only solidified how strongly I felt about spending the rest of my life with him.
How They Asked
Steven’s dream since his senior year of high school was to make it into the Disneyland All-American College Band. He auditioned every year of his undergrad and didn’t get in. Finally, after his fifth attempt this year, he made it! It was a huge deal for him, so naturally, we went all out and got annual passes, made matching t-shirts, everything we could to celebrate (and be as embarrassing as possible). Then, on only the fourth day of performances, he dislocated his knee in the middle of a set, chipping a piece of bone in the process. He was out of most of the sets for weeks, only able to watch his friends perform from the sidelines. Thankfully, they were able to re-choreograph him into the sets in his wheelchair so he could finish out the summer! But sadly for the two of us, we decided the best course of action would be for him to take a semester off of school while recovering from surgery. He’d stay with his family in California while I went back to Miami to start my master’s degree.
We’d been seriously talking about getting married for the past year or so, and my badgering him about his plans to propose became a running joke with us. I’d beg him for details only for him to always refuse, but tease me with very ambiguous hints about when it would happen. Most recently, he told me he wanted to wait until after his recovery and physical therapy, so he’d be able to properly bend down on one knee. But then, on his last day of performances in the park, I got the surprise of my life…
It was already an emotional day because it was Steven’s last day of performing with his newfound best friends, as well as our last day together before I’d be leaving to go back to school without him. I spent the day with his family watching all of his sets. When we got to Main Street that evening, we also met up with Carl and Erin, two of our best friends who told me they could only get to the park after they got off work. The crowd was huge, including family and friends of the performers, photographers and videographers galore, and a mass of other park-goers. I knew something was fishy when I turned around right before the performance began and I saw my mom try to sneak into the crowd behind me… she saw me looking her direction and ducked!
Then, as the band started playing Stevie Wonder’s “Isn’t She Lovely” I got pulled up to be serenaded, as they always chose a girl from the crowd when they performed this song. Little did I know, Steven was hiding just outside the circle of musicians surrounding me! Everyone parted and I was steered towards him, where he smoothly hopped out of his wheelchair and got down on one knee – his good knee, of course! The craziest part was that I was so shocked, I didn’t even have time to answer before I had to sit down so they could finish the performance! Once it was over, they were met with thunderous applause, and we finally got to have our moment so I could say – YES!!
Turns out, my parents had been hiding from me in the park for hours, waiting to sneak in just for this moment. Carl and Erin had also been lurking around all afternoon, sending Steven updates and even videos of me from far away! They had helped him plan it all. Everything from our matching shirts to the ring box had to be Ariel themed… she’s my favorite!
As for the ring, Steven explained to me that he wants to go to a jeweler and pick one out with me when I come home for Christmas. In the meantime, the one he proposed to me with has a watermelon colored stone, in honor of our dear friend Davis who we recently lost to lymphoma. He told me that after we pick out the ring I’ll wear permanently, he wants this one to sit on a reserved empty chair at our wedding so that Davis can be there with us… as if I wasn’t already crying enough! Thank you immensely to all of our family and friends, and of course AACB 2019 for making this the most incredible, magical moment I’ve ever experienced!!