Ben and Vanessa

Image 1 of Ben and Vanessa

How We Met

Vanessa and I met when we were both high school freshman. She sat across from me in the speech class where I remember our conversation immediately taking off. We didn’t actually start dating until we were in college though, which is quite funny because we never planned on going away to college together – things just have a way of working out! I remember being so enamored by who she was becoming that I had to take the risk, so I asked her to be my girlfriend. Although everyone expected it, to us it was somewhat of a pleasant surprise as we moved from having a friendship to having a romantic relationship. Freshman year in college was our year!

Image 2 of Ben and Vanessa

Fast forward and we’ve been dating for 7.5 years now; she resides in Houston while I’m living in Dallas, still, our relationship has been flourishing like that of a new couple. We love to travel and explore new places and we’ve been very fortunate to have traveled to many different cities over the past two years. It’s come to define us to an extent, so we always use this opportunity to reconnect.

Image 4 of Ben and Vanessa

how they asked

Originally we planned on vacationing in Hawaii over the summer. We always plan our trips months in advance so going to a beach was a no-brainer; however, due to a little bit of luck and a little spontaneity, that trip quickly swayed to beautiful Australia! We’ve always dreamed of going Down Under so if we could make it possible now then why not?

I knew I wanted to propose over the summer so after the trip was finalized, I got to work on choosing the ring. I asked a lot of questions to understand her style and after some hunting, I found the ring that would eventually fly 17 hours with us to Sydney!

Image 3 of Ben and Vanessa

I wanted her to have a memorable day, so I drove us up the coast to go hang out with some kangaroos and planned a little adrenaline adventure and went zip lining. I told her the day before that I wanted us to go out on a date, so when we got back to our Airbnb she knew it was time to get dressed up and get going. I mentioned to her that I wanted to get some pictures of us in front of the Opera House so we can add to our travel album, but instead, when we got in the Uber I took her to Bradley’s Head – a beautiful amphitheater overlooking the Sydney Harbor. We arrived and as soon as we walked down the steps and onto the amphitheater, she saw the setup on the pier which consisted of candles and roses. I got down on one knee and the rest is history! We scurried off to a five-star restaurant downtown and had a celebratory brunch the day after. The final trick up my sleeve is surprising her with our story on her favorite site!

Image 5 of Ben and Vanessa

Special Thanks

Christian Michael
 | Photographer
Annika de Bruijne
 | Planning