Elise and Matt

Image 1 of Elise and Matt

How We Met

Matt and I first met during our freshman year of college, in English class. Being an English major, this should have been my first indication that we were meant to be. In fact, Matt says that he knew back then that I was his true love–but I was taken. Four years later and two degrees down, we met again on Capitol Hill. (And he totally pined for me during those four years in between.)

During the first month of that D.C. summer, true love blossomed: he tolerated my Virginia Woolf obsession, and I tolerated his constant joking. We started dating on June 14, 2014, and when summer ended, Matt left to pursue his MBA, and I started law school.

Matt stuck with me through the trials and tribulations that would become my first year of law school, proving to me over and over again just how committed he really was (i.e., putting over 30,000 miles on his car just to visit). Our year apart established a very strong foundation for us—we experienced the full range of human emotions during my first year of law school, and I felt constantly amazed at Matt’s patience, kindness, and understanding during that time.

The next year, Matt moved to Nashville, where I was in school, and we quickly started exploring its magic together. Although we had (and have) so much fun in this city, our imaginations drew us towards a more international adventure.

how they asked

Matt and I planned our trip to Paris for months—booking flights in January 2016, picking out Airbnbs during class and at work, making lists of museums each night, and saving as much money as possible. On July 1, 2016, we finally boarded the plane for what would become the most magical trip of our lives.

We didn’t sleep at all on the redeye to Paris: our excitement was so high that we spent most of the flight talking about our plans. (Little did I know, Matt couldn’t sleep because he was so nervous about getting the ring through customs!)

On July 4, Matt really wanted me to wake up early so we could explore the Luxembourg Palace, the seat of the French Senate. The building was really close to our Airbnb, so his suggestion to explore it felt very natural. I, however, was feeling a bit tired and insisted on taking my time, even asking him if we could take a break after breakfast to sit and relax and enjoy the city in the morning—to which he firmly replied, “No.” Honestly, I was slightly annoyed that he wouldn’t let me rest!!!

By 9am, Matt was practically dragging me through the Luxembourg Gardens, even though I swatted him away as I tried to take pictures of each statue and flower. As we approached the front of the building, I was mesmerized by its beauty and I lifted my camera to take some pictures of it. I still remember looking through my camera’s viewfinder when I heard Matt quietly say, “Elise?”

So I turned around to answer him, but he was on one knee.

Image 2 of Elise and Matt

My heart started racing and I felt my hands shaking as I watched him wipe away tears, trying to get words out. We both laughed nervously as he opened the ring box and told me I was the one constant in his life. When he asked me to marry him, all I could do was cry and laugh and nod. After sliding the ring on, he jumped up to hug me.

Image 3 of Elise and Matt

The surprise grew when I turned and saw a photographer standing by—the wonderful Lindsey Kent of Pictours Paris (and the reason we had to be at the Palace by 9am). Matt excitedly told me that she was going to do a proposal photoshoot of us right then and there, and then we had a formal engagement photoshoot at the Eiffel Tower later that night. I’ve never smiled so much.

Image 4 of Elise and Matt