Ella and Jack
How We Met
Oh man, oh man, where to start? Jack and I met the day before I turned sixteen. I attended a relatively small all-girls high school, he went to the equally small all-boys school, and, somehow, I had never met him before. I was a sophomore in high school, and, the day before my birthday, my best friend was going to go to the all-boys school to audition for the very small production cast of a play called The Foreigner. For the sake of moral support, I decided to go with her and see what it was all about. We were only sophomores, and we both figured all of the roles would be offered to the seniors of the two schools. At the last minute, I decided to audition for the fun of it, thinking nothing would happen. But as fate would have it, I was cast in one of the only two female roles, and Jack, a fellow underclassman, was cast as well. Being the only two non-senior members of the cast, we were constantly lumped together as though we were already best friends. Our fellow cast-mates loved teasing us, telling us how “cute we were together” and anything else bound to make us blush. After three months of rehearsals and shows, Jack asked me out and I was totally shocked. I had loved spending time with him through the production process, but never saw that coming. Obviously one thing led to another, and now here we are!
how they asked
After our first play together, we went on to act in two more together. The plays at Catholic High School are what started and maintained our relationship at such a young age. So, being the most thoughtful guy in the world, Jack planned a production of a proposal to take place back where it all began– the Catholic High Auditorium. It was the week before Thanksgiving, and I got a call from a family friend who worked on the sets and lighting there. He told me that he needed to test the lights for the play, but that no one was around to help him set them. He asked me if I would come to the auditorium the day after Thanksgiving around 5:00 to help him out and that it wouldn’t take more than thirty minutes. I was having a family thanksgiving dinner that night at 6:00, so I went dressed in my outfit for the evening and Jack tagged along. We pulled into the parking lot, and I was immediately reminded of all the nostalgic feelings I felt when we did the plays and would chat outside in the parking lot after rehearsals. The parking lot was totally empty, after all it was a holiday! We met our family friend and lighting guy at the door and we walked up. He told us to go through the backstage door and he would go to the front so we could get started. When we walked through the backstage door, my heart melted.
Immediately, the song “Sleep on the Floor” by The Lumineers started playing, and I saw the flicker of candles dance across the entire stage. I just looked at him with disbelief, he reached for my hand, and we walked on stage. Jack had set up an entire set of all of the old props from the three plays we had done together. It was overwhelmingly sweet!
The curtain was drawn, and the space was just me, him, and a set full of memories. He started talking, and honestly I would barely remember any of it if he hadn’t written it all down in a letter for me to reread later! He got down on one knee, and pulled out the most beautiful custom Anna Sheffield engagement ring, complete with the same center diamond my mother had in her engagement ring. Everything happened so quickly that we realized I still had on a promise ring he had given me three years earlier. I am NOT a crier, and I started to blubber like a baby. I, of course, said yes!
But then Jack screamed “SHE SAID YES!” The curtain magically opened to reveal an auditorium filled with all of our friends and family. If I was crying hard before… Oh man. It was amazing. We swapped that promise ring out for my new engagement ring in front of everyone we love.
My little niece ran on stage first with a bouquet of flowers, and then everyone followed! So many of the most important people in our lives were there to congratulate us both in person! It was by far the most amazing curtain call of my life, and I am so lucky to marry my high school sweetheart, the most kind-hearted and amazing man I have ever known!