How We Met
Austin and I met as any typical millennials meet nowadays… on the internet (sorry mom and dad). It was my Sophomore year of High School and I had just gone through an extremely rough time at school. One gloomy January day I opened my Facebook and see a friend request from Austin, 20+ mutual friends. I clicked his profile picture to see who he was and thought hmm.. he’s pretty cute and looks real. (With all of the fake Facebook and Myspace pages going around you could never be too sure who was real and who was a catfish, even in 2011). So I clicked accept.
But that’s too easy of a love story to end there, right? Over the next week, we started messaging back and forth on Facebook, which leads to me giving him my number. Back in 2011, the coolest thing to do was ooVoo chats. One night Austin was watching his nephew, Jacob (who was 5 at the time), and asked if I wanted to ooVoo. I said sure! Jacob, being the 5-year-old he was blurted out “UNCLE AUSTIN WANTS YOU TO BE HIS GIRLFRIEND!”. Austin’s face immediately turned red and I just laughed. I remember jokingly asking Austin if this was true and he said yes. I thought to myself, wow, a breath of fresh air. I said yes, and that Facebook relationship status immediately changed.
Fast forward a month or so… we broke up. To this day we joke about who broke up with who. Which may sound weird but we’re light-hearted people who know everything happens for a reason. It can be hard to date when you’re 15 and 16, live 30 minutes away from each other in different school districts and don’t have a driver’s license.
I’ve always been a semi “anti-social media person”, which sounds crazy. My Best Friend, Allie, knew all my passwords and would log into my accounts to make the funniest posts. Later that year in the fall once Junior Year started Austin messaged me on Facebook and asked to text. So Allie, who was on my Facebook said “Text me first! I don’t know where I put my phone”. Because Allie didn’t have my phone, I had my phone, and Allie was setting me up. By January of the next year, Austin and I texted non-stop. March comes around and Austin asks me to hang out, we hung out for the first time, went to Rita’s, split Swedish Fish flavored ice, Sang “What makes you beautiful” in the car and watched my favorite movie, UP. I was smitten. Fast forward to May. Austin walked me out to my car after hanging out, mentioned how pretty the sunset was and asked me to be his girlfriend, again. Now, the rest is history!
How They Asked
I could not have planned a more perfect engagement, even though I jokingly gave him a million ideas for how to propose.
We booked a trip to Aruba. We travel a lot so this is not uncommon for us to go out of the country. I’ve gone to the same nail tech for over 5 years now and she gave me the idea to start taking professional photos at all the places we travel to. That way when we’re old and grey we aren’t looking back on selfies where half of Austin’s face is cut out because I’m extremely short, and Austin is extremely bad at taking selfies. I ran the idea past Austin and he was casual about it, didn’t seem eager but wasn’t opposed to the idea. I messaged a few photographers but ultimately liked Michael-A-Fowler’s style the best. I let Austin know I was planning on booking the photos with Michael. Once again, Austin was casual about it so I booked it.
On February 27th, we left for Aruba. Austin always said he’d never propose on Vacation so I didn’t expect it. We had a ton of fun excursions planned for the week and I thought to myself ‘if he’s going to propose it’d probably happen at the beginning of the trip’. Well, that didn’t happen. We’ve been together for almost 8 years at this point so I wasn’t disappointed or shocked he didn’t propose *yet*, I just figured it’d happen back home on a random day.
March 2nd, our last full day of the trip. We planned on hanging out at the beach all day, going back to the resort to get ready for our pictures, then going to dinner after. Austin and I started getting ready for photos and I wanted to make sure my hair had enough time to dry (naturally curly) so I told Austin it might take me longer than normal. (Which is true because normally I’ll leave the house with wet hair). To my surprise, he didn’t mind. That should have been my first hint something was up, but I didn’t think twice about it. We drove to Eagle Beach and walked out to the Divi tree around 6:10 pm to meet our photographer, Michael, before sunset. When we were walking to the beach I looked at Austin’s pockets just to *check* if there was a box. Nope!
Okay, it’s not happening, I can stay cool. We met Michael and he said “Amy and Austin! It’s so nice to meet you!” – Should have been another hint, I never told Michael Austin’s name. I just messaged saying I wanted to take photos with my boyfriend. I didn’t even notice this but Michael’s assistant did and started talking about something else. We talked about the style of the photos and started shooting. Michael wanted to come up with something to make us laugh. He asked what Austin’s favorite food is and within .5 seconds I blurted out “steak!”. Which is true, the guy loves steak. Michael laughed and told Austin to imagine that I’m the juiciest steak he’s ever seen, which is extra hilarious because I’m a vegetarian and even before I was I never liked steak.
This was surely the easiest way to make me laugh. Michael would tell Austin to whisper in my ear “steak” so we would laugh and have genuine smiles. We walked around the beach some more then came back up to the Divi Tree right before sunset. Michael positioned me so Austin was standing behind me and told me to look off into the distance and smile so he could get the lighting right to truly capture the sunset. Okay, easy, I’ll smile, this will give me a little break. Michael mentioned the lighting was good and asked Austin what I looked like. Still turned away with Austin behind me I was expecting to hear “steak” and laugh. Instead, I heard “Amy”. I thought to myself, ‘that’s not right?’, so I turned around. I see Austin down on one knee and hear the words “Will you Marry Me?”. I instantly started bawling. Do you know the really ugly Kim Kardashian meme cry? That was me. Sobbing, shocked, happy, ecstatic, you name a feel-good emotion – that was me at that moment. In between covering my face, wiping my tears, and walking closer, my eyes met Austin’s. He was tearing up, too. It felt like it was just us. I managed to say “Yes!” between the happy tears and Austin put the ring on my finger. We hugged and I cried more.
Our photographer, Michael, and his assistant came up to congratulate us and ask if I was shocked. I joked and told them about how I looked at Austin’s pockets before and didn’t see a box so I knew it wasn’t happening. As I said, I should have known something was up when Austin was fine with me taking longer to get ready. Austin used the extra time to get the ring out of his bookbag, put it in that tiny useless pocket in your pants that barley fits a quarter and made sure I wouldn’t suspect a thing. The photographer told me about how Austin messaged him after I booked the photos and mentioned he wanted to propose to me during the pictures. Cue the second hint I should have picked up on, Michael knew Austin’s name from emailing him, not from me saying Austin’s name. Once again, didn’t even notice.
Other people on the beach cheered and wished us well on our engagement. We took more photos after the proposal and I thanked Michael and his assistant a million times for helping Austin put this together. It still doesn’t feel real. I get to marry my best friend, my high school sweetheart and my favorite person in the world.