How We Met: Jake and I met at our church (State College, PA) when we were 12 and we hated eachother! I was a “bratty, jerk” and he was a “cocky, know it all”. Fast forward a couple of years, (age 14) when some mutual friends invited me to Grange Fair (a huge fair Centre Hall, PA). Of course he and his friends where there and we all hung out. At this point we really didnt even notice eachothers existence. The whole group of us were walking around when I saw a man with his monkey doing a little show in the street. I walked over to watch him, thinking it was the cutest thing ever, and so the group followed. They all got bored with it pretty quickly and kept walking, leaving me behind. Jake, however, thought my excitement over a little monkey was cute and he knew I didnt really know my way around the fair, so he stayed with me. After that, we got on a tram ride to go meet up with the rest of the group, but it took some time. And of course during that time of talking and laughing, I was falling for him! We already had eachothers phone numbers and after I got home that night he texted me, and we’ve texted every single day since. We’ve been together for 6 years!
how they asked: In 2012, at the age of 18, my family moved away from State College, Pa to Murfreesboro, TN. A whole 12 hours away from my 3 year relationship boyfriend. He stayed there and started attending Penn State University and I moved with my family and started working a full time job.
We’ve been long distance for 3 years (3 LONG YEARS!) so this year he decided to come stay with my parents and I for the entire summer.
I knew we were going to be getting engaged sometime this summer and we had talked about July because June was too soon rushed and August is just too busy. So Ive been on my toes every weekend, waiting! Thursday, July 16, Jake told me that my dad and mom were going to go to the Opryland Hotel in Nashville, TN on Friday to walk around and they had asked if we wanted to double date. I said “Sure! That sounds good!” I asked my mom if I should invite my sister, Brittany, and brother-in-law, Nick, or if they would probably be busy. She agreed that they would probably be busy and I left it at that.
So Friday evening, July 17, we drove to the hotel and started walking around. We got to a starbucks and he asked if I wanted some coffee and i said “uhh yeah!” As we were walking over to get coffee, my dad said “Your mom and I are gonna go look at some stuff. We’ll be back,” and I said “Ok!” Its the end of the summer and the starbucks barista informed me that they didnt have my new fav, smores frap, anymore. Jake asked if I wanted something else and I, disappointed, said, “No thanks.” He got something for himself and asked if I wanted to go walk around. I said, “No, my parents said they would be back! We cant leave them!” Jake, nervous, insisted that we were on a date and needed to do our own thing. I thought it was kind of weird to be there in a group and go separate ways but I let it go. As we were walking, we came across the part of the hotel where there is a river and you can go on a boat tour. Jake asked if I wanted to go on it and I got really excited! I remember watching the boat tour when I was a little girl and always wanted to go on it, but never had. He said he would go talk to the lady and see when we could go and I went to sit on a bench near by. He came back a few minutes later and said we could go in about 5 min. So we sat there and waited. As we waited, he started talking about how the day before he was reading letters I had written him over the past 6 years. Writing eachother letters was always our thing. We both have a huge stash of letters from eachother and we go through them every once in a while. Then he started singing a favorite song of ours by Relient K “Must have done something right”. I joined in and started tearing up, thinking of how perfectly that song matches the way we feel about eachother. The tour guide lady came over to us and told us that the boat was ready so we walked over and they let us go infront of everyone, which I thought was strange because the boat holds a tour of about 25 people. As we got to the boat, it had a small table in the front section of the boat with a white tablecloth, rose peddles, sparkling grape juice, and godiva chocolate. The front of the boat was lined with flowers and lights. I was surprised and said “Umm, what is this?!” We sat down and Jake said “Well, I could tell you werent having a very good day and so I asked the lady if they could do something a little bit special for you.” Jake does sweet and thoughtful things like this all the time so I thought, “Sweet! We get to go on a boat ride by ourselves with some chocolate!”
The boat started moving and the tour guide said, “There are several water falls and when we get to the first one I’ll stop the boat and take yalls picture infront of it!” I thought that was cute and said, “Okay, thanks!!” As we were riding and enjoying the beautiful view, Jake started saying sweet things about me and our relationship, which is nothing out of the ordinary because he is just the sweetest, always!! We got to the the waterfall and the tour guide started coming from the back of the boat up to the front to take our picture. As she started coming over, Jake said to me, “Ive written you many letters over the past 6 years, and Ive written you one more to add to the collection.” He opened it up and I said, “Wait, shes coming over to take our picture.” He started reading the beginning of the letter and I said again, a little more forcefully, “Wait, Jake! Shes coming to take our picture!” But he didn’t stop. At that point she was across the boat from us and pulled out a familiar phone.. my moms! I looked back at Jake and thought to myself, “Oh crap, Allison! Shut up! Shut up!!” He continued reading the letter and I started bawling. I could tell he was saying the sweetest things to me but I couldnt focus on a single word. I was in shock of the beautiful moment that Ive been waiting for and, of course, in shock of my stupidity in not seeing this coming. Seriously, how did I not see this coming?! He got to the end of the letter, knelt down on one knee and asked me to marry him. All I could do was nod my head a million times and cry and he said, “Is that a yes?!” Again, all I could do was nod even harder! He took off my promise ring he gave me when I was 18 and slipped the most beautiful ring I had ever seen on my finger! Ah, finally!!
The boat started going again and as we neared the dock I said, “Where are my parents?!” Jake said, “Im not sure, but we actually get two rounds around the river.” I was trying to take pictures of us and of my ring when Jake finally took my phone out of my hand and put it on the table saying, “Lets just enjoy the moment,” and we did!
When we got close to the dock I saw my parents standing there and I smiled and screamed, “HEY! IM ENGAGED!!!” and my dad said, “What?! You’re engaged?!!” I looked back at Jake and said “Why arent Brittany and Nick here?! Did you even tell them?” Jake said, “Yeah, I told Nick.” I said “What?! You didn’t tell Brittany?!” We got out of the boat and I ran to my parents and hugged them and couldnt stop laughing!
We took in the moment and then my dad said, “Hey, lets go get some gelato!” There is a great little gelato shop in the hotel so as we started heading that way Brittany and Nick popped out from behind a pillar. I ran up and hugged Brittany and started crying! We talked for a minute and my dad said “The gelato place closes at 9 so we’ve only got about 10 min to get over there.” We walked over to the gelato store and when we got there I noticed some more familiar faces- Jakes family from Pennsylvania! I was in shock and ran and hugged them! My mom said “Okay, I think thats the end of the surprises!” Wooh! My heart was full!
We walked around the hotel some more and talked about the proposal before deciding that we should head back to Murfreesboro and get something to eat because I hadnt eaten all day. We went to Ihop to eat, talk, laugh, and enjoy the celebration. When we got our food I looked over to Jake and starting tearing up to hear him announce, “Im eating my first meal with my fiance’!”
I am so incredibly happy I get to marry my absolute best friend! Ive been waiting years for this moment and boy, was it worth it!