Cody and Samantha

Image 1 of Cody and Samantha

How We Met

Cody and I met in 2014 (4 years ago!) as freshmen at the University of Florida! I was attending school in a Spring and Summer cycle and he was on the traditional Fall and Spring cycle. When I started college in the Spring, I knew finding friends would be a challenge because everyone already had a semester to establish their groups. Early in the semester, Cody invited me to hang out with him and his friends and we all really hit it off.

Image 2 of Cody and Samantha

We spent so much time hanging, studying together, and having everyone gather around as I was making dinner down the hall! The guys were always asking me for advice about girls and the topic of first date ideas came up. I mentioned that picnics were always a good idea, they were thoughtful, personal, and really intimate – a thousand times better than dinner and a movie. I never expected for any of them to remember this small detail. But by the end of the semester, Cody had planned a surprise picnic for me where he asked me if I was interested in starting a relationship.

Image 3 of Cody and Samantha

Starting this relationship on 8 months of long distance taught us how to communicate and we spent long nights on the phone learning about each other. The cycle of 8 months of long distance and 4 months in the same small town really taught us to appreciate the time we did have together. We made so many memories during our Spring semesters. From tubing down the Florida Springs, exploring our small college town, going on 3-day weekend road trips, paddle boarding on the lake, camping in Georgia, cruises, coffee dates, and late night ice cream runs in the middle of our binge study dates. It was a time filled with so much laughter, adventures, and being young and in love.

Image 4 of Cody and Samantha

Eventually, we found ourselves with internships in Florida, Massachusetts, Delaware, and New York. Cody ended up graduating 2 early and got accepted into a Master’s program in North Carolina. With hundreds of miles between us, hours of driving or flying just to see each other on 3 day weekends and holidays, and trying to figure out how our relationship fit into our collegiate and professional careers we had to work together to navigate this tricky time. He was offered a job in Boston and I was offered one in New York City. Both of which were our dream cities but left us worried that we would be facing even more long distance.

Image 6 of Cody and Samantha

how they asked

After 3 years of dating, we were finally living together in Massachusetts and looking to move to New York City together to start our careers! With such a big move ahead of us, talks of engagements and weddings came up! He offered to go ring shopping early in the year and I was so excited at the idea of a possible engagement in the near future. As the months passed after we went to look at rings I started to worry that it wasn’t going to happen soon. Between budgeting for our move and our 4-year anniversary trip to Europe, I began to tell myself that an engagement would just have to wait.

Image 5 of Cody and Samantha

Cody was insistent we dress up and go to the Eiffel Tower for a picnic the first day we got there. I was worried that we would miss our check-in time and was annoyed that our train was late and that we were sitting in traffic to go to Eiffel tower. All I wanted was to go and check into our Airbnb and relax before our dinner reservation.

When we finally got to our picnic spot, he popped open the bottle of champagne, we got to talking about the past 4 years, and my worries went away. He seemed a bit uncomfortable and I asked if he was okay. He mentioned that his leg was cramping a bit and I offered to stand up for a bit. We both stood up and he said that it had been a fun 4 years and all of a sudden he started to get down on one knee.

Image 7 of Cody and Samantha

Cue the waterworks because I instantly started crying and kept asking over and over what was happening and why he was doing this. I was not expecting this proposal for so many reasons! I am that person who usually guesses what her birthday and Christmas gifts are and nothing really surprises me. We had also talked about proposals and he was always said that he didn’t want to propose in public. We usually do more big gestures just one on one and don’t make huge scenes. I honestly thought it was going to be a few more months or years before it was going to happen. While I was crying he was smiling and asking me to marry him and I was so overwhelmed with emotions that could only respond with nods and more tears!

All of a sudden a lady came up to us and congratulated us and he is shaking her hand and thanking her for capturing our special moment. He hired a photographer!! I had mentioned how having photographer at proposals was such a great idea and I had no idea that he had to remember this small comment from 3 years prior! I did not notice her at all leading up to the proposal and I was so happy that she captured everything! From our picnic conversation to my ugly crying, it was all so magical and she was able to capture it all!

Image 8 of Cody and Samantha