Alyssa and Branch

Image 1 of Alyssa and Branch

How We Met

Our story began when we were 14 years old in middle school on the Outer Banks, NC. While there, we bonded in the school band and on the soccer team. We were even co-captains together! It didn’t take long for me to develop a little crush on him. Our first memorable interaction occurred at an 8th grade birthday party, where he was jokingly asking girls to marry him. He eventually walked up to me, got down, and asks “Hey, will you marry me?” I played along by saying “Yes” and he walked away smiling. I thought he was pretty funny and cute, so that next weekend I shyly asked him out over text. Who knew the next time he would ask me that question, it would be for real?

how they asked

Ten years later, we were living together in our first apartment with our first dog, Banks, in Durham, NC! A special weekend was approaching, but little did I know just how special it would be. Branch had finished graduate school at Duke University, and both our families were visiting Saturday for the graduation ceremonies. Leading up to the weekend, there were several small clues that made me suspicious of a possible proposal. Not only did I know that it would be the perfect weekend, but also he kept mentioning taking graduation pictures with me and he even seemed overly excited the day before. However, once the day arrived, my suspicions quickly evaporated.

On Saturday, our families attended his hooding ceremony and toured the campus. Later in the evening, we went to the baccalaureate service and, after, his mom begged to take pictures of us at the Sarah P. Duke Gardens. I started doubting my suspicions when Branch began acting uninterested in the pictures and my family claimed to have suddenly left to see a movie. The last straw was when I quickly scanned his pockets for a ring while walking to the gardens, but noticed nothing out of the ordinary. At that point, I decided it wasn’t going to happen.

When we arrived at the gardens, we met his two sisters who acted as our personal photographers. They started snapping pictures of us near a beautiful pond complete with brick stairs and a wooden arch. After several rounds, I was really over the heat and ready to leave. But then, Branch said “Let’s take one more.” So as I try to bear a couple more photos, he tells me to kiss him and right after gets down on his knee. I really thought he was joking, but I was flooded with emotion when I realized this time was for real. I’m sure he said some really sweet words, but I could not focus with all the excitement! Lastly, as he pulls out a beautiful ring from his wallet (ah ha), I hear the same words I heard so long ago: “Will you marry me?” Of course, I immediately said “YES!” and turn around to be surprised by our families, our closest friends, and even Banks! It was absolutely the best day of my life and I cannot wait to marry the sweet boy I fell in love with 10 years ago!

Image 2 of Alyssa and Branch

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