Athena and Rob

Image 7 of Athena and Rob

How We Met

It was the beginning of classes Freshman year at Syracuse University in the fall of 2010. The new class of music majors at Setnor School of Music was settling into their first big hurdle…Ear Training 101. Luckily for Rob, he was enrolled in the same class as his roommate Dylan. As they met their classmates, many of whom would go on to be some of their closest friends, Dylan befriended the girl who sat next to him who seemed to struggle at Ear Training, Me.

Image 1 of Athena and Rob

Fast forward to Junior year. Time of year: Fall. Location: Our friend, Matt’s dinner party. Rob nervously approached me to ask if I’d like to dance. As he fumbles around to think of a clever line, the next song comes on: “Jump in the Line” by Harry Belafonte. Before they know it, Rob & I are dancing like the rest of the party joins in. We sing, dance, laugh, and realize just how similar we really are. Before this moment, our only real communication was from a knock-knock joke I had sent to Rob in Music History a year ago. “Knock knock. Who’s there? Daisy. Daisy who…..Daisy me rollin, they hatin…”. To this day, I still think that’s hilarious. The night ends in all of them retiring to Dylan and Rob’s place for some late-night eats. While Dylan was preparing everyone his gourmet omelets, Rob & I would share their first-ever kiss.

For our first date a week later, Rob took me to Chipotle on Marshall Street. As I struggled to eat the massive burrito gracefully with lettuce in my hair and carnitas on my face, Rob knew he was with someone special. We hit it off from date 1 and they’ve never looked back.

Image 2 of Athena and Rob

How They Asked

I’ve always said that I wanted to be removed from everyday life when Rob would pop the question; meanwhile, Rob had been jotting down notes for years about how he would approach this big moment. We decided on a trip to Ireland for our annual Labor Day Weekend trip, and Rob immediately began planning for that surprise.

Image 8 of Athena and Rob

He was unsure how he could pull off such a move as I’m always planning ahead for their trips. Luckily, I turned to Rob and said “I don’t know what to do before our huge 8-hr Game of Thrones tour in Belfast on day 2, can you figure out all of day 1?” Little did I know, he had planned out an airtight timeline and, bar 1 brief panic at 11 am in a cafe in Dublin about how fast dinner was coming up, I didn’t suspect a thing.

Image 4 of Athena and Rob

After Rob figured out how to drive on the other side of the road, they arrived at their hotel, the Titanic Hotel Belfast. We enjoyed a romantic dinner at a small restaurant called the Barking Dog, then got drinks at the Tipsy Bird (the animal theme of the night was lost on Rob until after he had planned all of this). As their drinks come out, both of them laugh at the giant pink goblet I get as they make their way up to the empty upstairs bar.

Image 5 of Athena and Rob

If you know anything about me, you know I’m more of a whiskey drinker; however, Rob is laughing because he knows I’m going to have a picture taken in about 10 min with a said goblet that we’ll have forever. At this point, we had been together almost 7 years and for every date, Rob had given a toast to the two of them for the occasion. He would highlight whatever was going on in their lives, or what they have to be thankful for, or what they had to celebrate.

Image 9 of Athena and Rob

This date was no different at first until Rob’s toast ended with him down on one knee asking me if I would marry him. To everyone’s shock, I actually said yes and they enjoyed their favorite vacation trip together engaged. The surprises didn’t end there as my knack for planning had clearly rubbed off on Rob. During the proposal, he hired a local photographer to capture the moment and give them an engagement shoot in the streets of Belfast along the River Lagan. Once they arrived back at the hotel, I was met with flowers and champagne from the hotel staff. Needless to say, I was completely blown away.

Image 3 of Athena and Rob

Image 6 of Athena and Rob

Special Thanks

Lewis McClay
 | Photographer
Tipsy Bird
 | Venue