Samantha and Daniel

How We Met

Let me set the scene for you. It was sophomore year of high school. I was a cheerleader and Daniel, a wrestler. On this particular day, cheer practice was canceled. My girlfriends and I were finally happy to have the afternoon off. We didn’t have much planned because, well to be honest, we were way too young to drive. So naturally, I had my mom pick me up. On the way to my mom’s car, I stopped to talk with a friend. I didn’t know it then, but the boy standing next to him would turn out to be the love of my life–Daniel Joseph Couts. While all three of us we’re talking, Daniel asked to see my brand new pink Razor, which was totally cool at the time. Before I knew it, I heard my mom honk as she pulled up into the parking lot. I grabbed my phone, jumped in the car and as we pulled out, I was hoping Daniel would look up as I left. Just as the car was almost out of sight, he looked up. We made eye contact. **Que butterflies** Right when he was almost out of sight, he gave me this incredibly sly side smile as we drove away. Kinda like the emoji side, sneaky smile. “I think I like him,” I told my mom.

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She said laughed and gave me the look you give any high school girl when she says she likes a boy. You know the look. It’s that you don’t know anything about love because you’re in high-school, look. It didn’t bother me though, because for some reason I knew we’d talk again. I couldn’t wait to get home and tell my best-friend that I just met this cute wrestler at school. I finally got home, drop by backpack on the bed, flipped open my phone and there it was right on my screen: New Contact, Daniel. That sneaky boy put his own number in my phone! He stole my heart from that very moment and I never completely got it back. I say completely, because as any high school relationship, we had our dramatic gossip-girl-like moments. After high school, we grew up and went our separate ways.

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We ran into each other about three years later, this time I was a sophomore in college. It was like meeting a complete stranger who I was in love with. We start dating again, and it was like we picked up where we left off. Fast forward seven years, and now we’re engaged. I am over the moon excited! Not because of the ring on my finger. Not because I get to say the word fiiiaaanncceee every chance I get. But because he’s my person. My best friend. Though we are complete opposites: I am an extrovert, he is an introvert; I am loud, he is quiet; I live my head in the clouds while he brings me down to reality. It’s almost as if simplicity and complexity crave each other, he is my world. And I can’t wait to spend forever with him.

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how they asked

Daniel’s proposal was riding solely on the notion that I would do everything exactly how he thought I would do. He apparently knows me better than I know myself because I did just that! Let me explain. I recently met a photographer at my best friend’s bridal shower. Her work was absolutely amazing! So much so, that I immediately started following her Instagram page afterwards. Every week she would post amazing romantic couple photos and every week I’d like them. One day I opened my Instagram and noticed I had a Direct Message notification. It was the photographer! She explained how she was looking for a couple to do a styled shoot to add to her portfolio and wondered if my boyfriend and I were available? In other words, she’d trade our time for free photos. FREE PHOTOS? Yes please, sign me up!

For months I’d been begging Daniel to take professional photos with me to hang in our new home. I even tried using it as leverage to get him to agree, because he hates, absolutely hates, taking photos. “How much do you love me?” was a text I sent Daniel. I started round 2 of begging him. Just as a side note, Daniel is a saver. You know the type that’s always looking for a good deal. So as we’re texting I even threw in the word “free” multiple times to sound extra convincing. After a few hours of hesitation he finally agreed to take the photos only because he had the day off. I was overjoyed! I was finally going to get my photos. I set up a location for the shoot, I communicated with the photographer, I bought my dress, I bought Daniel’s outfit to match mine, I got my makeup done, I did my hair; YOU GUYS, I PLANNED MY ENGAGEMENT. We get to the beach and I can tell he’s super nervous! But Daniel’s an introvert and I accredit it to the fact that he’s not comfortable in front of a camera, which by the way is very true.

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Half way into the shoot the photographer asks us to do the “follow me” pose. You know the Pinterest famous pose that all couples do where the girl leads and the guy is following holding her hand? So I’m faced away from Daniel and the photographer says “Okay, got the shot. Turn around.” I turn around and there’s Daniel.

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On one knee, asking me to be his wife. I was completely confused and unaware of what was going on. As I look into his eyes I can tell he’s completely serious and starts off by saying “This was all for you…I am completely in love with you…” The entire middle portion of the speech is a complete blur as my heart was racing and my hands began to shake. All I could think about was how much I loved him and if this was real life? As I focus in on what he’s saying he ends with “Samantha Alexandra Salazar, will you marry me?” YES, YES, YES!

The rest of the shoot turns into an engagement shoot and I begin to cry every 10 minutes because I cannot contain my emotions. The day I had dreamed of for years was finally here and tears of happiness kept rolling down my cheek.

After the shoot, I find out that Daniel actually hired the photographer, and they concocted a planned to trick me into this “styled shoot.” And it 100% worked. I mean, my ugly cry face says it all. I had no idea. Well done Daniel Couts. Well done. Here’s to not just the first time you successfully surprised me, but to forever with you and to the beginning of a lifetime of love and happiness together!

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Special Thanks

Stephanie Portugal
Aisha Marshall
Deigo Figuero