How we met
Tanner and I met when I was 13 years old and he was 12 years old. We met at church, where both of our families attended. When we met, we hit it off and instantly became friends. All of our friends thought we wanted to date, but we made it clear that we just wanted to be friends. Quickly, Tanner became one of my best friends. In high school I didn’t see him much because he got wrapped up with school. When I was a junior and he was a sophomore we were both dating other people, but those relationships didn’t last long.
We reconnected after those breakups, and it was like nothing had changed from that moment we met in junior high. After hanging out a lot with each other and our friends, we slowly realized that we had feeling for one another. We finally got up the nerve to talk about our feelings, and realized we both wanted to be more than friends. We have been together for almost 5 years now!
how they asked
I’d spent most of the first half of 2017 living abroad. That time and distance in our relationship really left an itch for me to propose as soon as I landed. I planned a different type of proposal everyday: boat ride on the Chicago river, the Wharf in San Francisco, beach in Michigan, New York City…you name it. None of them seemed to fit the type of “dream” proposal I knew Hannah deserved. Traveling solo gives someone a lot of time to dream and plan and the only person I could think about was Hannah. The only thing I could plan in my head, was my future with her.
One day after backpacking, I sat down in a coffee shop to do my daily download. Low and behold, I had a message from Ashley Wittmer (our photographer). Ashley had heard some proposal rumors through the grapevine and the two of us, along with Emily Dusel (our wedding planner), grabbed breakfast 3 days after I landed. We planned a fake photoshoot for Hannah, where she had to get professional headshots done. She bought a dress, did her makeup and headed downtown. Just as she left my house, my friend and I met up and drove downtown to setup the proposal sight.
When she finally got there downtown, Emily gave her a letter from me, telling her to meet me around the corner at the top of the stairs. I waited for her, with champagne, flowers, and the ring. The whole thing was a wonderful surprise, she never saw it coming. I read her a speech, which none of us remember, and she was absolutely speechless-except for when she said YES!