Jessica and Derek

Image 1 of Jessica and Derek

How We Met

My best friend Jessie was getting married, in which she selected me to be her MOH. While helping her plan her wedding I had always heard about Kyle’s best friend Derek. She always had amazing things to say about him-mostly about his kind heart, love for Jesus (and hunky body.) One night we skyped with Derek and Kyle and the first thing we see is them in their wrestling singlets.. what a great first impression! ;) After that, Derek and I messaged on Facebook for a couple of months to help each other plan/come up with ideas for their bachelor and bachelorette parties, small talk, etc.. I learned a few things about him that I thought were attractive and stalked him on Facebook and Instagram on the daily.

We didn’t meet in person until the rehearsal dinner for Kyle and Jessie’s wedding. The second I saw him, my heart skipped a beat and thought of every way to interact with him without coming off as a weirdo. We hung out with the group and didn’t have any “real” conversations until the day of the wedding, when I forced him to dance with me. (I had a couple drinks and was feeling really brave.) From that minute we hit it off. After the wedding, we went out to downtown San Diego (Gas lamp district) where we had drinks and hung out a little bit. He mostly took care of me and made sure I didn’t get into too much trouble. Afterwards, we went to the beach and walked around for hours. He was a perfect gentleman, holding my shoes, holding my hand (at one point I looked at our hands and said “holy crap, we’re holding hands” killin the game guys, I know..) and making sure I didn’t drown as I ran into the waves while it’s pitch black outside..

We went paddleboarding the next day with people from the wedding and I tried not to stare too much at him while he was doing handstands and showing off. We all said our goodbyes and went home..On the way home, I decided to just text him, not caring about looking desperate or follow the rules of “the dating game.” We texted/skyped/talked on the phone non-stop until I made my first visit out to Vegas to visit him, two weeks after K&J wedding. We saw each other every weekend for eight months, going back and forth between Vegas and Phoenix before Derek was hired on to the Phoenix Police department, allowing him to move out to Phoenix.

I feel so blessed to have met Derek and couldn’t think of a more perfect man for me. He is self-less, kind, humble and patient with me. I thank God everyday for him and the series of events (especially our best friends, Kyle and Jessie) that lead to him and I being together!!

Image 2 of Jessica and Derek

how they asked

Derek and I are avid hikers, hiking every week if not more, so when he suggested that we go for a hike on New Year’s Day, I didn’t think anything of it. I had just gotten a ton of new hiking gear for Christmas and was stoked to use it for the first time! He works for the police department and told me that one of his coworkers suggested this really great hike at South Mountain. Upon arriving at the trailhead, I noticed the beautiful view of all of Phoenix in one direction and the rest of the mountain range in the other direction. The trailhead started after hiking a series of steps. Upon my arrival of the second to last step I noticed that there were a ton of other hikers staring at us at which point I saw my parents directly in front of me.

Image 3 of Jessica and Derek

After a moment of confusion I realized that all of my family and best friends were standing at the top holding a series of signs that spelled out “will you marry me?” I instantly started crying and absorbing the amazing words of love and affirmation coming from Derek.

Image 4 of Jessica and Derek

It was everything I had ever wanted or could imagine, being there with the most important people in my life!

Image 5 of Jessica and Derek

Image 6 of Jessica and Derek

Special Thanks

Ashtyn Foster
 | Ashtyn Nicole Photography