Brittany and James

Image 1 of Brittany and JamesHow we met: James and I met in high school through mutual friends, during the summer of 2002. One of his friends was dating one of my friends and pretty soon another of his friends was dating my twin sister. Needless to say we ended up spending a lot of time together. I started flirting with him before I even realized I liked him! Then on October 8th, 2002, just a few weeks after my 15th birthday, I asked James to be my boyfriend. Little did I know what was in store for us!

We dated throughout the rest of high school, attending proms and winter formals together and running the high hurdles on the track team. He was a year ahead of me, but luckily he decided to go to college nearby at UC Berkeley. He would call me from his dorm room and encourage me to study harder for the SATs, saying I couldn’t call back until I had finished a practice test. I think we both knew that attending the same university was the only chance we had to stay together. I remember falling on my knees and crying when I got accepted. It was about so much more than a good school! It was about true love!

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We had a wonderful time at Berkeley (except for a break that lasted a few months), then moved to San Francisco together once I graduated. After a couple years in the city, we decided to have an adventure and move to Lake Tahoe. That’s where we were living when he proposed in 2012.

how they asked: I told James he couldn’t ask me to marry him until I was at least 24 years old. After my 25th birthday, I was maybe starting to get a bit antsy. We decided to go on a weekend trip to a nearby winery B&B in the Sierra Foothills to celebrate our 10 year anniversary. But he had me plan the whole trip, so I really wasn’t that suspicious about his intentions.

Little did I know, a few weeks earlier he had skipped work to go buy the dream ring I had picked out. He drove all the way from Lake Tahoe to Steve Padis Jewelry in San Francisco, a 4-hour drive each way, because it was closest place he could get that particular Verragio ring. Luckily they had the ring in stock and it didn’t need to be sized. While the diamond he chose was being set, he met my parents for lunch and asked for their blessing. He managed to get all the way back without me even knowing he was gone!

After a wonderful day of wine tasting, vineyard walks, and a delicious gourmet dinner, James said we should enjoy some wine on our room’s private balcony at the winery. We had bought a 2002 vintage wine to celebrate the age of our relationship. Then he told me to close my eyes because he “forgot” he had a gift for me. That’s when I knew and my heart started racing. But he had more than a ring! He had put together a photo book of pictures of us from the past 10 years together. I went through it slowly, listening to him breathe nervously next to me. On the last page was blank with the title “Our 10 Year Anniversary (the day we got engaged)”. That’s when he got down on one knee and asked me to spend the rest of our lives together. I don’t remember exactly what he said, but I remember exclaiming “Oh, Jamie!” then starting to cry and then he started to cry too.

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We moved back to San Francisco and got married near our home town a year later, just after celebrating 11 years together. We brought the photo book he proposed with to the wedding reception, to share with our guests.

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Wedding photographer: Emily Takes Photos