Genna and Jonas

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How We Met

Jonas and I went to high school together and grew up in the same small hometown. He was a grade above me and was part of the cool “soccer guy clan.” I was always too shy to talk with the soccer guys, especially since they were in the grade above me. Jonas and I both were on the tennis team though, which is where we got to first get to know each other. Although the girl’s tennis season was in the fall, I was the boy’s tennis manager so I was always around for the boys’ matches and practices. Jonas and I were only friendly throughout high school and didn’t start talking until the summer after my freshman year of college.

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Jonas sent me a direct message on Twitter asking me how my summer was going. I was so surprised by the message but immediately messaged him back. The rest was history. We spent every day that summer hanging out with each other. I felt like I knew Jonas my whole life, even though we hardly knew each other in high school. Throughout the summer we realized how many coincidences there were between us–we both had pets named Callie, both weren’t born in the US, both were majoring in economics, both had older parents, both played tennis–the list went on and on. As the summer came to a close, I was heartbroken.

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Jonas was attending Rutgers New Brunswick in NJ and I was attending the George Washington University in Washington, DC. I didn’t want my summer fling to end! But to my surprise, Jonas and I texted constantly once we went back to college. He immediately made plans to visit me in DC and when I went to pick him up at Union Station, he had a bouquet of flowers and asked me to be his girlfriend. Long-distance is never easy, but with Jonas, it felt so effortless. We made sure to visit each other every month and made the most of our time together. Fast forward 3 years, Jonas and I moved down to Pensacola, FL together since he was stationed there for flight school. He is currently a 2nd Lieutenant in the Marine Corps and hopes to be a jet pilot in the future. We’ve traveled all over the world, adopted a kitten named Shay, and have had too many fun nights out together exploring DC. I can’t imagine anyone else to spend my life with and it’s crazy to me that my soulmate was in my very own small hometown.

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How They Asked

Jonas and I planned a trip to San Francisco, CA before he started flight school with the Marine Corps. Everyone raved about Napa Valley so we rented a car and drove down to see the world-famous wine country. Jonas told me to dress up since he booked a wine tasting at one of the Napa vineyards. I was positive he was going to pop the question then. As the day continued on and the wine tasting came to an end, I was trying to hide my disappointment. As we were getting the check, Jonas suggested we check out a different vineyard. I thought “why not?” since we were only in Napa Valley for the day and had nothing else planned. When we arrived at the vineyard, I was shocked at how beautiful it was.

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It was the golden hour at this point and the rows of grapevines were glowing. As Jonas and I approached the vineyard’s entrance, a lady came out and handed us two glasses of wine. She said we could have a private tour with one other couple if we’d like. I was very excited and said sure! She gave us a great little tour and then said we could have some free time to explore. Jonas and I went out to the grapevines and gazed out at the valley.

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I suddenly realized we were the only two people in the entire vineyard, besides the other couple. As I turned around to look back at Jonas, he was down on one knee with a ring. The couple who was with us suddenly had cameras in their hands and were capturing the moment. Tears streamed down my face as I was purely shocked and overjoyed. I later learned Jonas made the ring box from scratch out of wood and that the private “tour” we were on was strictly for the engagement and the actual vineyard itself was closed to the public. I can’t stop thinking about that day and how perfect it was!

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Special Thanks

Peter Cafaro
 | Photographer