How We Met
Kate and I met when we were 9 years old, on the back of the school bus, when Kate was assigned to the same seat as me. Which was a big deal, since I was a 5th grader and Kate was a 4th grader and only 5th graders were supposed to sit in the back. We immediately became best friends, a mutual love of Harry Potter bonding us, and we spent hours and hours with our friends “playing” Harry Potter — creating wands and spell books, teaching classes, and pretending to tromp through the Forbidden Forest. When I had to live an hour away for the summer when we were 12, we exchanged addresses, but I was unsure if I would hear from Kate. But Kate wrote me at least one letter every week and Kate’s mom drove down to pick me up from my grandparent’s house every weekend so we could spend time together. That summer cemented our friendship forever. We progressed through our awkward teenage years as the best of friends, spending every weekend together, despite living 25 minutes apart (which was far, when you are dependent on parents for rides). We spent summers going to movies, listening to music, and role-playing our favorite fandoms online with friends. During the school year, we would talk on the phone every day after school and write each other dozens of notes, which we would exchange on the weekends. We were inseparable. It was in the spring of 2004 that we finally admitted to each other that we had “more than friends” feelings for each other. Our first six months of dating were in secret, as we struggled to figure out what it all meant to us and how we were going to navigate coming out to our friends and families. But we knew that what we had was different and special and that it was worth fighting for. We have loved each other through high school, college, in different cities and countries, countless jobs, and a house fire. 11 years into our relationship we were finally given the right to legally marry.
How They Asked
For our 12 year anniversary, we went to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Hollywood. We had been to the one in Florida when it first opened, so we were excited to be able to visit the Hollywood park. We spent the day drinking butter beer, going on the rides over and over, and exploring Hogsmeade. At sunset, after having visited the rest of the park, we decided to return to WWoHP to buy wands before we left.
We chose out McGonagall and Lupin’s wands (our favorite characters growing up). We bought one last cup of butter beer and were sitting on the steps looking up at Hogwarts. She handed me Lupin’s wand box and told me to open it. Inside she had slipped a beautiful ring — I immediately burst into tears as she asked me if I would marry her. Of course I said yes!! We are getting married October 2017, on our 13th anniversary! We returned to WWoHP to shoot our engagement photos.