Anna and Taylor

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How We Met

Taylor and I are both from The South (he’s from Tennessee, I’m from Alabama), and we are both actors! We met doing a little musical in West Hollywood, CA called Bronies, about Bronies. It was SO hilarious and was a blast to perform. We played love interests in the show, but we were really just friends for a while before it became anything more. I remember we went to a party at one of our cast mate’s house and we ended up talking the WHOLE night. We just never ran out of things to talk about. He took my mom and I out for sushi when she came into town to see the show, and that’s when we started dating. We joke that my mom was on our first date, which really… She was!

Hahaha! We went to a diner one Sunday and talked for hours and hours, and I knew something with him was different. He was my best friend, and I loved him and trusted him in a way I hadn’t ever experienced before. I had to fly to New York to sing in a concert a few weeks after we officially became boyfriend and girlfriend, and he had to be there a few days later for an audition. So he extended his trip a couple days on the front end and I stayed a day later so we could have a date day in NYC! We had plans to see Beautiful: The Carole King Musical (my all time favorite show). I had lived in NYC for a year and a half before moving to LA, so I took him to a couple of my favorite food spots before the show. New York with him felt like a completely different place.

We had dinner at Schnippers (41st & 8th) and I’ll just never forget the way he looked at me there. I suggested a pre-show cookie at Schmackary’s (45th & 9th), which is a super popular dessert spot. We split two cookies (red velvet & s’mores) and got a little table in the corner. I remember he looked a little upset for a second, or confused. He was looking down at his coffee and the cookies. I asked him if everything was okay and he looked up and said “I think I’m in love with you.” And I told him I love him too, and we kissed and hugged and I remember seeing people taking pictures of us. We kind of made a scene. It was magical. We walked out of the cookie store and he started yelling “I love this girl!” over and over again on the street.

Fast forward 10 months, and we are back in NYC. I spent a month of my summer there working on a new musical, and Taylor came for my 21st birthday and stayed until I was done with the show. We had one night where we celebrated with all of my NYC friends, some who hadn’t ever met him and couldn’t believe how handsome and how sweet he was. He made that night SO much fun. The night before, which was the night that I’d be turning 21 at midnight, Taylor took me to this amazing Italian restaurant in the East Village. After that we walked around a bit and found a little pub. It was about 30 minutes to midnight, and suddenly Taylor jumped up and said we had to get a cab.

He told the cab driver to take us to Schmackary’s. I knew they closed at midnight and I thought there was no way we’d make it uptown in time. We pulled up to Schmackary’s at about 11:57, right as they were locking the door. Taylor talked to the person working there and told them it was my birthday and that we just wanted one cookie, and we didn’t care what kind. They were SO nice and let us come in. Since they were closing, we walked outside and stood next to the Schmackary’s mural, sharing our “Monster” cookie. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a little gold bracelet. He had already given me 21 birthday cards and so many gifts that day, but he said he had one more. Etched in the bracelet was the coordinates of where we were standing. Of Schmackary’s. Where he said he loved me for the first time. He said he considered getting me something that said ‘Schmackary’s’ on it but he thought if one day Schmackary’s wasn’t there anymore, we’d know exactly where it happened. It’s the most special birthday gift I’ve ever been given.

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During Bronies! The Musical.

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On my 21st birthday in NYC.

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On our first anniversary in Santa Barbara!

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The night we said ‘I love you’ in NYC.

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One of our many Disney dates.

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New Year’s Eve!

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My ‘Taylor’ bracelet with the coordinates for Schmackary’s in NYC.

how they asked

Taylor and I both live in California, but I spent the summer away in Atlanta, Georgia for work. 3 months away from my guy. He came to visit every two weeks, but when it came time to fly home, I was seriously SO excited.

After the long flight to LAX, I got off the plane and practically sprinted to baggage claim to see him. He stood among the drivers, holding a piece of cardboard with my last name on it in big letters. I jumped into his arms and kissed him and we had a really sweet reunion. I guess I’ll preface this whole thing by saying that I am VERY hard to surprise. I’m a little too observant and I pay a little too close attention to details… So yeah. Nothing gets past me. BUT. He completely pulled this off. ANYWAY so we sorta walked over to the baggage carousel and got all of my bags. I noticed he had on his backpack, which I thought was interesting, and he was wearing track pants and tennis shoes, which again, I thought was interesting because he’s always dressed up.

Again, I am FAR too observant. He told me he wanted to carry all my bags so I sort of started to lead the way over to the doors. He said “Not yet” and kept walking down the corridor of baggage claim toward an escalator. I remembered the last time he had parked at the airport we had come in upstairs so I didn’t think anything of it. We got to the top of the escalator and Taylor started taking all of the TSA tags off of my baggage. As he was ripping off the tags from each bag, he said “Please don’t be mad but we are getting on another plane right now.” I was taken ABACK. “What?!” I was REELING. He lead me over to the Sky Priority check in (SKY PRIORITY?!) and told me to wait back where the line was. Yeah, that’s right. He didn’t let me see the boarding pass. He hid it from the security checkpoint workers too.

I had NO CLUE where we were going. This whole time I’m basically just laughing. I just couldn’t stop laughing. I came to find out he had already checked his baggage, so that explained why he was wearing casual clothes. So sneaky! Once we made it into the gate area, he explained we had some time and asked if I wanted to grab some food. We sat at a restaurant and had burgers and beer… And he still wouldn’t tell me where we were headed. Once we finished eating we went to a random gate to sit and wait… He STILL wouldn’t tell me. Finally, it was almost time to board. Before we got up from the Salt Lake City departure gate, he said “We’re going to be spending 6 days in Maui.” … I started laughing AGAIN.

I was SO baffled and surprised and excited. We went over to our gate and boarded our first class flight to Maui. We had pasta and gelato and Mai Tai’s on the flight… It was the fastest 6 hours of my life. We landed in Maui, where he had a lady waiting to “lei” us when we got off the plane. We got our rental car and made our way to our resort: Sheraton Maui. THAT RESORT. It’s so amazing. We made it to our incredible room… And Taylor told me he had a week of surprises for me. He told me we needed to leave our room at 7:15 AM the next morning, and we needed to be dressed for a nice lunch after. I really genuinely did not suspect anything. I thought this was just a magical surprise vacation!

I woke up as I was told and got ready. Taylor produced a hanging bag full of nice clothes he and my mom had picked out together from my closet, so I had nice clothes to wear! I thanked him for bringing my favorite Self Portrait dress, and he told me I should wear it since it’s my favorite! I told him I wanted to maybe save it for a nice dinner later in the week, but he insisted I wear it that morning. I still didn’t suspect anything. He’s that good. So we get in the car and we are going crazy about how beautiful Maui is and listening to the Lilo & Stitch soundtrack, and all of the sudden I see a sign that says ‘HELIPORT AHEAD’. I looked at him and SQUEALED. “Are we going on a helicopter?!?” “We may or may not be going on a helicopter tour of Maui,” he said. Again, I just burst out laughing. I guess I know now what I do when I get surprised. I laugh!

We made it to the heliport, and into the Air Maui building where we had a safety briefing with two other nice ladies who I assumed would be going on the tour with us! After that, we boarded the helicopter and took off! We saw the most incredible views of Maui & a neighboring island called Molokai. Our pilot, Cameron, was so nice and told us so many cool facts about Maui and Hawaii. I took a million pictures. It was SO fun. My understanding was that the tour was to last 45 minutes. After we explored Molokai, we headed back across the ocean to Maui, and I assumed our tour was coming to a close. We flew near some gorgeous cliffs, and all of the sudden the helicopter started to descend. I looked at Taylor and yelled “Are we landing?!” but none of us could hear each other so he just shrugged and mouthed “I guess!!”

The helicopter landed in a clearing on a beautiful and remote beach. I slipped off my heels, obviously, because the ground looked really soft and I knew I would sink in. I changed into some flip flops and hopped off. I asked Taylor what we do here, because I thought he’d know more than me since he’s the one who scheduled the tour! He said “We just look around I think!” Hahaha. In hindsight this is all so funny. We walked over to the shore, which was a rock beach, and just looked out, holding hands. I took a photo of him, he took one of me, I took some of us together, and we just talked about how beautiful it was and kissed a few times. I looked behind us and saw the other girls from our tour were on the other side of the clearing taking photos. There was a goat lying inside an overturned trashcan under a tree in the clearing, so I took Taylor’s hand and started to lead him over, saying “Let’s go say hi to the goat!”

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He stopped me and pulled me back in, laughing “One second AG, one second.” He told me the last two years with me had been the best of his life, and he wanted to continue to have years like that… Forever.

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Then he got on one knee and he told me about the moment he knew he wanted to marry me, which was the first time he ever drove me home, which was about a month before we started officially dating. We both shed some VERY happy tears. Then, he got the ring out of his pocket and asked me to marry him.

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My response was a VERY happy, VERY excited, “UH-HUH! YES!”

It was such a magical moment. I looked up to see the two other ladies on our tour were actually secret agent photographers, hired by Taylor to capture the whole thing! I could NOT stop laughing.

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I was SO surprised, SO excited, SO happy. We got to have a mini engagement photo session right there in that beautiful clearing!

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After that, we got back on the helicopter and returned to Air Maui headquarters, where we had a champagne toast and called our very excited families!

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The rest of the week is what Tay refers to as our “engagement-moon.” We explored the Road to Hana, snorkeled, got massages, watched the sunrise, watched the sunSET, and ate INCREDIBLE luau food.

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It was the best day and the best week of my life. I am so excited to spend forever with this amazing man!

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Special Thanks