Allison and Brandon

Image 1 of Allison and Brandon

How We Met

We met in the most romantic, swoon-worthy, shaking at the knees way possible: Tinder! But really, I don’t know how the notorious hook-up app landed me my future husband, but I’m forever thankful for the mutual swiping to the right! After exchanging witty banter over text for about a week, he had to find out if I was just as funny in person as I was in the virtual world. We met at a speakeasy bar in Portland, and as I hobbled in having just broken my shoe strap getting out of the car (sums up my life), I was met with the brightest and kindest baby blue eyes I’d ever seen. Be still my heart! The conversation was easy as we bonded over our love of travel and terrible dad joke style sense of humor. It was just obvious that Brandon was the most genuinely kind and silly person I’d ever met. We went from bar to bar chatting into the night. Even after the awkwardness of running into an ex on our first date, he still decided to stay.

Image 2 of Allison and Brandon

The night ended with a kiss and a promise to see each other again. As we were making plans for a second date, he found out he got a job offer based out of San Francisco with training starting in Houston within a week. Though I knew I wasn’t about to start a long distance relationship only one date in, we kept our plans to hang out before he left for the fun of it. The second date kept us out long into the night, delving deeper into all the hot topics of life, and ended with both of us realizing there was more to this than a surface level connection. We spent almost everyday together until he left for Houston, and continued talking while he was gone. After a week, he decided the job truly wasn’t for him, and luckily moved back to Portland.

Image 3 of Allison and Brandon

The day after he got back, we went camping at a favorite spot of mine. I was excited to see him and I brought a book called 100 Questions to pass the time on the drive; basically it asks all the questions that gages who someone is deep down: morals, values, political/ religious beliefs, etc… and as we went through all the questions, we realized how incredibly compatible we were. I felt like I had known him forever. I attribute that book to how intensely intimate and connected we became so early on in our relationship, and after that camping trip, four dates in, I knew I would marry him one day.

Image 4 of Allison and Brandon

Note: I am a commitment-phobic. I never thought I would get married and even if I did, I would have to date someone for 10 years before I was sure. But after two weeks of knowing Brandon, every question or doubt I had had with other relationships vanished. There was no doubt in my mind he was the one I would spend the rest of my life with.

Image 5 of Allison and Brandon

how they asked

When we first started dating, we came across a picture of the Northern Lights and I had mentioned how it was number one on my bucket list to see, and may have slipped in a “oh it’d be pretty cool to get engaged there”. And then never brought it up again. Fast forward, we had been planning a 3 month long backpacking trip to Southeast Asia before I started nursing school in Boston in the spring. He said he booked some secret destinations after Asia that I didn’t get to know about until the day of! He’s so sneaky. So here we are on the trip of a lifetime with my best friend by my side. After our fill of Pad Thai and sunburns, it’s time for secret destination!

As we float around the rooftop infinity pool in Kuala Lumpur, he finally tells me we’re heading to England, Tromsø, Norway, Spain and Portugal! As I start looking into things to do in the cities we’re headed, I see that Tromsø is one of the best places in the world to see the Northern Lights. I AM STOKED. I bring this up and he plays it off as if this is news to him. So coy. When we finally got there, we book a tour and on what happened to be the only clear night of our stay, we head out into the fjords in search of the lights. We settle on a frozen lake with snow capped mountains surrounding us. After what felt like forever, the lights finally appear and DAMN do they make an entrance! The guides say it’s the best that it gets. I have tears streaming down my face from how beautiful they are and how lucky I feel to be in this moment. Brandon then takes my hand and leads me away from the crowds.

Image 6 of Allison and Brandon

He confesses he had this tour planned the whole time, and then gets down on one knee as the Aurora Borealis dances wildly above us. I have never been more calm or self assured as I said yes to spending the rest of my life with my forever adventure partner.

Image 7 of Allison and Brandon

Image 8 of Allison and Brandon