Colette and Jake

Image 1 of Colette and Jake

How We Met

In December of 2015, Jake and I went on our very first date, which turned out to be one of the most awkward first dates of all time. We had briefly met through a mutual friend weeks prior so we didn’t know each other very well, yet we both went out on a whim to meet up again. Jake suggested that we go to the Georgia Aquarium then grab dinner afterward. We quickly realized after arriving at the aquarium that it’s tough to get to know one another when walking through crowded displays of fish, so our awkward visit wrapped up fairly quickly. We moved on to dinner and it was my responsibility to pick the place to eat. Little did Jake know my dad owns restaurants in Atlanta so I knew just where to go. The awkwardness finally let up a little at the dinner table. Jake and I talked for what felt like hours. Among our many discussions, he shared that in six weeks, he would be deploying to Afghanistan for nine months. In my mind, that was obviously a deal breaker for any potential future together. We sat at dinner until we were the last table in the restaurant… Jake had been waiting for the paycheck and that’s when I had to tell him he shouldn’t have let me pick the restaurant. Because our dinner was taken care of by the family business, Jake insisted we go on another date where he could actually pick up the bill. After only a handful of dates, Jake was off to Afghanistan. We thought our relationship would end there, but it did not. We spoke every chance we could and sent packages as often as possible. Nine long months later, I surprised Jake at his homecoming ceremony at Fort Carson, CO. That was the best day. We have been inseparable ever since.

Image 2 of Colette and Jake

how they asked

Jake and I had just gotten back to Atlanta to spend time in our hometown for the holidays. We made plans several weeks prior to grab dinner with friends the night we got in town. On that same day, my sister had asked me to help her out with baby photos of my six-month-old nephew in Piedmont Park. I had warned her that Jake and I had dinner plans that evening, so we would be running to the restaurant directly from the photoshoot, yet she still insisted that I come help out with handling the baby and keeping his attention. My sister and I are very close and her son has been a blessing to our family so she knew I wouldn’t say no. Jake and I arrived to Piedmont Park and went immediately into helping mode in the gloomy Atlanta weather. Towards the end of the shoot, the photographer suggested each of us grab some shots without the baby since we had time to spare. Jake and I were up first. As we were being told how to pose, Jake pulled away from me. I looked at him confused as he shared that the photos weren’t for my nephew at all- it was all a set up. He began dropping to a knee and my eyes welled with tears. I was the happiest girl on earth. As if that sweet proposal wasn’t enough, our planned “dinner with friends” turned into a surprise engagement party with all our family and friends. I’ve never felt so loved.

Image 3 of Colette and Jake

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Our Video

Special Thanks

Kayla Duffey
 | Photographer