How We Met
Titus and I met in 2015 in high school, about a month before he graduated (he’s a year older than me). He had interviewed me for a journalism project a few months prior, but I didn’t really know him beyond who he was. I was super excited one day because the boy that I had had a major crush on all throughout my 3 years of high school up to that point was FINALLY walking me to class when Titus came up to me as we were walking and asked if he could talk to me. Reluctantly (and slightly annoyed!) I said goodbye to my crush and followed Titus. He started asking me odd questions that were a repeat of the class trip he had previously interviewed me about and seemed very nervous. I was completely oblivious to what was happening because, at that point, I was only concerned about making it to class on time. Suddenly, the bell rang, and Titus blurted out “Okay, well I was really wondering if you’d like to get a smoothie with me sometime?” I was in such a hurry that I didn’t even realize that I had said yes until I rushed into my classroom and slid into my seat next to my best friend.
I ended up going, and it was the most fun and comfortable date I had ever been on. We quickly realized we had a similar sense of humor, and it felt like he was the first guy that I could really be myself around. We also found out that we were both born in the same city and the same hospital in South Dakota exactly 1 year and 1 day apart- but didn’t meet until that day in high school! I had grown up in Iowa, while his family had moved to Wyoming soon after he was born. CRAZINESS!
Over the past 4 years, our relationship has been through a lot of adventures, ups and downs, and long distance- he’s a fisherman and lives in Alaska during the summers, and I go to college in a city 5 hours away from him during most of the year. I served as Miss Wyoming 2017 for the Miss America Organization last year, and you’re not really supposed to speak publicly about your relationship or go to appearances with your significant other- which can be incredibly straining on any relationship for a year! Somehow we made it through and found our faith in Christ and personal aspirations for life converging, and I’m so excited to continue into the next chapter!
How They Asked
When the opportunity to shoot with Courtney Garrett in Jackson Hole, WY, (one of my favorite places in the world) came along, it seemed too good to be true! Even though it would be a 12-hour drive each way for me on a weekend, I immediately agreed and invited Titus to come along on the trip with me, since there was nobody else I’d rather share that experience with. Little did I know, Titus began forming a secret plan with Courtney right then! I had my suspicions, but of course, nobody knows for sure until it actually happens, and I felt so ready to take the next step with him and become engaged that I didn’t want to put too much pressure on the situation.
After making the 12-hour drive and sleeping for about 4, we woke up at 4:00 am to get ready for my photoshoot. He had packed my favorite outfit to wear that day and was oddly eager to be waking up that early in the morning just to take pictures, but he didn’t seem nervous at all to me! I really had no idea if it would happen that weekend or not.
Courtney took us out to a stunning location overlooking the Tetons, and at sunrise, we began to take photos. It was so cold! I took some alone, and then with Titus before she told me that she had another idea for me individually and that I should turn around to face the mountains. When she said, I would turn back around and throw the blanket-shawl that I was wearing over my shoulder for an action shot. My heart was racing, wondering if this was the moment, and it felt like an eternity because (I learned afterward) that she was moving him around behind me in order to position him for the perfect shot with the Tetons in the background. Not turning around to peek was probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever done and one of the most suspenseful moments of my entire life!
Of course, when I did turn around, my best friend was down on one knee, asking me to marry him in the most perfect way I could have ever imagined. Even though I had been thinking about it, I didn’t know if this was really real life! It was the easiest “YES!” I’ve ever said, and I was so happy that Courtney even thought my shrieks of joy as we continued shooting were from a wild animal. (I assure you, they were me- there was just that much joy haha!)
I cried when he told me that the ring had been designed specifically for me at our hometown jewelry store. It meant even more to me that he had gone to Legacy Diamond and Gems because I know the family who owns it, and they have always been incredibly generous and supportive of me, especially during my reign as Miss Wyoming. The ring features a cushion-cut diamond with a rose-gold inset, a halo, and a thin white-gold band with diamonds on it. I love that it combines every design feature I liked- but I never would have thought to put them together on my own! It is truly my personality reflected in a ring and I can’t wait to wear it forever!