Hannah and Tommy

Image 1 of Hannah and Tommy

How We Met

The story of how we met is actually kind of funny. We’re fraternity brothers. We met in 2013 through

our Honor Fraternity, Phi Sigma Pi. I was already a brother before Tommy was initiated, but at the time we were both dating other people. In the fall of 2014, we began spending a lot of time together. We found that we had a mutual love of travel, Cookout, and being genuinely weird. We went on a few “dates” to different places around Radford University. We visited a cool spot by the river near Blacksburg, trespassed on some property, went on the railroad tracks, and visited the Roanoke Star. It was all pretty romantic to be just friends. Before a date party for our fraternity, Tommy gave me a gift telling me 25 things that made me the perfect date. At the end of the poster, he asked me to be his girlfriend. We have been dating for a year and half now.

how they asked

Evidently, the proposal had been in the works since Black Friday. Everyone around me was in on it too! My parents, his parents, our closest friends all knew about it! Earlier in the week, Tommy mentioned that we should have a lunch date at our favorite restaurant in downtown Roanoke, Jack Brown’s. This wasn’t anything out of the ordinary for us because we usually go to Jack Brown’s once or twice a month for a date. When Sunday came around we made our way to Roanoke like usual and had lunch. Per our usual routine, we made our way to the Roanoke Star right after. All morning Tommy had been on his phone, but said it was for a class project. When we made it to the Star, we walked around to the overlook to find a large group of people standing around a sign. As we got closer, I noticed that it was a canvas of the world with a chalkboard that said, “Marry Me?” on it.

I turned to Tommy and said, “What is happening?” As we got closer, we walked past the group of people and straight to the sign. I immediately began shaking my head and crying. Tommy got down on one knee and took the ring out of his pocket. I’ve never seen him so nervous before and I knew he was nervous because he kept stumbling with his words.

Image 2 of Hannah and Tommy

When he asked he said, “Hannah Virginia Sykes, I love you more than anything in this world. Will you be my chicken forever?” Side note: our nickname for one another is chicken so this was extremely cute.

Image 3 of Hannah and Tommy

I immediately said yes! Our parents, his brother, and grandmother all came rushing out from behind the trees. I was completely surprised (again) to see all of them there. We took photos around the overlook and toasted the special occasion with champagne!

Image 4 of Hannah and Tommy

Image 5 of Hannah and Tommy

Special Thanks

Sarah Gatrell
 | Photography