Brandy and Gene

How We Met

Gene and I met in July 2002, when we were 15, at Cherrystone Family Campground in Virginia. I was there with my family, and he was there with his friend. One night I found my little sister Holly, 10 years old at the time, talking to a boy on a walkie-talkie. When confronted she told me the boy was hers and I was to not get the other walkie-talkie to steal him away. Of course, I had to be the protective older sister, so I ran back to our campsite and turned the walkie-talkie on the channel they were talking on. When I asked the boy who he was and why he was talking to my little sister he responded with, “this is your knight in shining armor.” We ended up meeting and had the best week ever! We tie-dyed shirts, hung out on the beach, and he serenaded me by playing the guitar and singing “Wherever Your Will Go” by The Calling.

Brandy and Gene's Engagement in Maggianos Annapolis

Later on, I found out he found his walkie-talkie as him and his friend was walking through the woods, he was kicking-up sticks and leaves when he kicked the walkie talkie that still worked! Talk about fate! After our week-long adventure we both went back to our home states, Maryland for me and New Jersey for him. We lost touch for awhile but 12 years later we reconnected on Facebook. We’ve now been together for 5 years this month. We still love telling the story of how we met to anyone who will listen, and ‘Wherever You Will Go” will always give me goose-bumps when I hear it.

Where to Propose in Maggianos Annapolis

How They Asked

Every year on New Year’s Eve, Gene and I go to dinner with my family and this year was no different. Our reservations were for our favorite restaurant in Annapolis, Maggiano’s. After we ate our delicious pasta entrees my mom insisted we take a family picture by the Christmas tree near the entrance to the restaurant. This is also the area people wait for their table. The area was crowded and the guests did not look happy as they were waiting an hour or longer for an open table. I complained and informed my parents I would not be asking these very hungry, unhappy, people to move just for us to get a family picture. Of course, my mom wasn’t having that so she went up, talked to some of the guests and people started moving away from the tree.

She called over to us to join her, I was reluctant but decided to go along with it to make her happy. Our family, my mom, dad, sister, niece, Gene and I gathered around the tree while a patron took our picture. After a couple of pictures, I went to walk away but Gene grabbed my hand and when I turned around I saw a small box in his hand, as he was getting on one knee. 16 years after claiming to be my knight in shining armor, and 4 years and 11 months of being his girlfriend, this man was asking me to be his wife. Through my excitement and nervousness, I said YES! After I was able to breath again, we sat back at the table and the restaurant brought us a dessert with sparklers and “She Said Yes” written on the plate. We finished our NYE at a hotel in Annapolis, playing hang-man and Phase 10!

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