Erica and Joshua

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How We Met

So Josh and I met in a laundry room…No, not a laundry mat, a laundry room. I was temporarily living with a friend before moving into my new place in downtown Orlando. My friend was kind enough not to charge me anything for the time I was there, so one night I decided it would be nice to offer to do laundry. There are no laundry hook ups in the actual apartments, so you have to go the end of the hallway to do so. I had never been before and I’m on the complete other side of this hallway on the 7th floor and Josh happened to be on the opposite side heading to the laundry room too (it was obvious because he had a laundry basket in hand lol). So being the outgoing person that I am, I waved him down and asked where the laundry room was. I want to briefly mention how small this laundry room was…2 older washers and 2 dryers stacked, and oh! I can’t forget about how dim it was in there and the lights were flickering…I had to mention this, because I made a joke about how the lights were flickering and Will, from The Strangers Things was trying to talk to us (which later down the road, it was one of the things that attracted him to me).

As we go in together, I immediately spark a conversation (promise I was just being friendly, and thank goodness I was!) and introduced myself right away and said, “Hi, I’m Erica or you can call me America” (hence why he wrote that on the note: you’ll read here shortly)… I go on and on, but he didn’t say much. In my head I thought he was just maybe shy, which did end up being the case… but that didn’t stop me from being chatty. We go our separate ways, and I definitely acknowledge how handsome he was, but didn’t think too much into it and wasn’t really looking for anything. A couple hours later, I go back to the laundry room and what I saw the moment I walked in is the reason why I am still here telling this story and about to marry the man of my dreams. Attached to my dryer was a yellow piece of paper that said my name. I honestly was so confused! I opened it and this is what it said: “Erica (Merica) So I hope this doesn’t come off as too creepy, but I didn’t get the chance to bump into you a second time. Would you wanna grab coffee or a drink sometime? If the answer is yes, my number is _____. I hope you found the second washer! – Josh”

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I didn’t text him that evening and waited the next day to say yes I’d love to get together. Sad thing to this story, we actually didn’t end up hanging out until about a month later (definitely all on me). Finally, I decided to reach out and when I did, he was being extremely short and hesitant about hanging out (yes, I was a jerk and totally deserved it!). BUT, LUCKILY, he said yes! We hung out and everything felt completely natural! We talked for hours and the next day, we ended up going to Busch Gardens in Tampa as our first date. And I couldn’t even lie if I tried, but the rest was history. We saw each other ever single day and both knew right away what we had was special. It hasn’t been a long journey (yet), but I read this quote, “When you know you want to spend the rest of your life with someone, you want that moment to start as possible.” And, I couldn’t agree more. That is why I said I do to the man I met in the laundry room and I can not wait to sort life out with him one load at a time ;)

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how they asked

Although we met in Orlando, I had to go back home to Sarasota shortly after dating and we had to deal with long distance. His parents live in Floral City and that’s where we normally would spend the weekend we had together because we both loved being there so much. So, I thought the weekend he proposed was going to be any normal weekend we had together… We plan our weekends months in advance, because of how busy our work schedules are. Like most visits, we always try to pick a night to go out with all his friends since most of them still live in town and the rest we spend with his family or alone.

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The night he proposed, we had dinner plans to go with his sister, Carissa and her husband Blake along with their two children (this was planned a month before coming into town). It honestly didn’t even cross my mind anything was going to happen, because Josh and I both loved being with them so it wasn’t out of the norm. Prior to dinner, Josh “had to” help his friend Andres move furniture since his family were “moving” into a new place and needed help. Again, this wasn’t out of the norm. He was extremely close to Andres and would not hesitate to help a friend out. He got me on this one, because hours before, Andres had texted him asking about it and that he may need him (good call guys lol).

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So, Josh left me with Carissa and it eventually turned out where we would just meet Josh for “dinner”. Heading to “dinner”, I was told they were just going to drop me off at this local coffee shop, Mountaineer in Brooksville, FL where Josh and I always go to when we come into town, which is also the location where he proposed. I asked why and his sister just said he wants you to meet a family friend of ours (I was honestly a little annoyed because I just didn’t know why I had to meet this lady, BUT again this wasn’t out of the norm, because Josh was constantly trying to introduce me to friends and family and he knew a lot of people in town.)

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Also, the coffee shop and where we were having “dinner” was a street down, so it really wasn’t an inconvenience at all for me to “meet” this lady then shortly go to “dinner”. I get dropped off and as I walked the corner towards the coffee shop, his friend Julianne was playing the violin version of the song we had discussed would be our first dance, meanwhile our friend, Carson was capturing every moment.

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I IMMEDIATELY teared in shock and knew right away what was happening…but the tears and joy didn’t stop there… Entering the coffee shop door, a note was attached with my name to come in….

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Petals of roses led to a room where I soon found Josh, playing the piano to the song I want to walk the aisle down surrounded with a room full of flowers! It honestly felt like I had my own personal garden! (Yes, I’m still crying lol).

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When he stopped playing the piano, he pulled me towards him and went on with reasons why he loved me. Before getting down on one knee, he held my hand and told me to close my eyes and to open when he told to… He got on one knee, and right before me, my soon to be in – laws stood behind him with the biggest smiles on their faces that made me drop to my knees with all the joy and excitement in the world to say yes, I do!

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But…the surprises didn’t stop there… We had plans months to go to a brewery called Marker 48 after “dinner” to meet all his friends to go out for the night. The car ride there, he wanted me to watch a video he had put together of friends and family who had known about this whole proposal and to congratulate us on our big day.

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I asked if any of my friends and family were going to be there and he somehow convinced me they weren’t, that’s why he had me watch the video, but of course, luckiest girl in the world – I walked into a room full of some of my favorite people in the entire world. Yes, I cried again.

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But, please tell me I had ever right to?! And this how the guy I met in the laundry room got down on one knee to start a journey of a lifetime!

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Special Thanks

Carson Young
 | Photographer