Danielle and Travis

Image 1 of Danielle and Travis

How We Met

With all the magical holiday proposals circulating over the past few days, I thought it was time I sat down and shared our magical moment- as magical a moment a muggle can have that is.

A little bit of back story. April 2014: I was working as a college professor in Oneonta, NY. Travis, my now fiance, was working for Speedo in Los Angeles, CA (he initially told me he was a model, but I was quick to forgive that lie). Me with some of my girlfriends and Travis with a large group for a wedding, fate shipped us both off on the same Caribbean cruise and the rest is history. We met at the pool the first full day on the ship and after some pool games, pina coladas, and a complimentary ear piercing, it’s safe to say we knew a good deal about each other. We spent every day for the rest of that week together. After three days, Travis told me he would “marry someone like me one day;” my typical sarcastic response: “like me…good luck.” After heading back to opposite sides of the country, Travis realized that, per usual, I was right. We continued to talk daily and over the course of three months, made trips to see each other in Las Vegas, New York City, and Boston where Travis officially asked me to be his girlfriend. After a year of dating long distance, I made the move out to California where we’ve lived blissfully in sunshine (most of the time) for the past two and half years.

how they asked

The extreme Type A personality I am, I had one request of Travis if we were to get engaged- I wanted to be surprised. Having planned a trip for my family to come to California Mother’s Day Weekend, I didn’t anticipate any surprises; per usual, I had the weekend planned to the minute. Avid Disney fans, we decided to go to Universal Studios instead because we finally had other Harry Potter fans, aside from ourselves, in the group. It’s safe to say that Travis and I are complete Harry Potter nerds, who frequently cast spells on each other to terminate arguments, frequently binge watch all eight movies on some weekends, and incorporate the lingo into our everyday lives, naming our dog after one of the popular spells. Upon arriving at Harry Potter world, I was a little bothered by the lack of enthusiasm from the rest of the group. Unbeknownst to me,they had all known about the proposal for quite some time and were literally walking on eggshells behind Travis and I. When we arrived at Hogwarts (the castle for those Muggles who are in desperate need of Harry Potter Lingo 101), I, valiantly attempting to stick to the itinerary, wanted to get in line right away because this ride always has the longest wait time. When Travis suggested we all take pictures first, I was, unsurprisingly, annoyed. After a group photo, Travis wanted us to take one together- it’s safe to say the irritation was growing. Travis, ignoring my vexation, said we should get our wands for the picture. I opened the box to find a note; I quickly dismissed it as the Harry Potter map that came in the wand box, but when I saw my name on it, I immediately knew what was going on; my typical Type A coming through, “what’s happening” was my first response, even though I had a pretty good idea.

I’ve frequently joked with Travis that he’d better have a good speech prepared when he asked me to marry him or I’d say no, but after getting down on one knee, neither of us remembered what he’d actually said. Afterward, I’d learned that Travis had flown out to New York to ask for my dad’s permission while I was in Memphis with my mom. This knowledge brought on more tears, but added to the magic for everyone. I also learned that Travis wanted to dress “nice” that day, but Katie, my sister, told him if he didn’t wear the Harry Potter shirt I bought him, I’d definitely know what was going on. Katie also tried the ring on the night before and it was too small (she had told Travis what size to get), so needless to say, there was a lotgoing on off the itinerary that I was unaware of. The actual proposal, however, went off without a hitch, presented in the golden snitch itself; it was truly the most magical day I’ve ever had. Both of us were so grateful that both of our families were there to experience this with us; however, everyone was most grateful for my ever-crafty mother, Linda, cleverly using our engagement as a means of finagling, no pun intended, our way to the front of every attraction’s line.

In the words of Albus Dumbledore himself, “Words are, in my not-so-humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic.” On that day, four simple words were the most magical ones to ever enter my ears; yes Travis, “I will marry you.”

Image 2 of Danielle and Travis

Image 3 of Danielle and Travis

Image 4 of Danielle and Travis

Image 5 of Danielle and Travis

Special Thanks

Nick Cantwell
 | Photographer
Gin and July Photo
 | Photographer