Ariel and Donovan

How We Met

Donovan and I met when we were 17 at our mutual friend’s birthday party. We were both dating other people and didn’t really think twice about each other. One year later, we found out we were going to the same university, and a friendship started to grow. Donovan was always there to be a listening ear and to fix or build any furniture for me. When we both started working at our university’s gym we became closer-but we were both still dating different people.

My senior year of college, we realized that we had feelings for each other and started dating. But after a year and a half, we ended things because he wasn’t ready to commit. My prayer was that we would find our way back to each other eventually.

A year and a half later, I had a girls night planned for Valentines Day at a local bar. After getting a drink, I turned around and he was walking through the door. We spent the rest of the time, dancing the night away. That was basically the beginning of the second act of our relationship and we’ve been pretty inseparable since!

How They Asked

Donovan told me we were celebrating my birthday early–but making one stop first. We headed over to the Observation Deck at CEB Tower which is a building in Rosslyn, Virginia that gives you a 360 panoramic view of Washington D.C.’s monuments and landmarks.

When we got to the top floor, we stopped to look at the Washington monument. When I turned around he was on one knee and asked me to be his partner, equal, and wife. Of course, I said yes!

Immediately after, my sister, his sister, and one of my best friends, who also happens to be a photographer, came running out.

There were plenty of smiles and happy tears! We celebrated with them over champagne and then headed off to dinner. When we got in the car, he pulled out his phone and said that other people wanted to congratulate us on our engagement. He then proceeded to show me a compilation video from our family and friends with heartfelt messages.

After eating an incredible meal at Fiola Mare in D.C. we headed home to our apartment. When I walked in the door, I was greeted with 20 of our close friends in my apartment to celebrate!

Special Thanks

Garrett Hoppin
Photographer