how we met
Brittany and I met on the white, sandy beaches of Pensacola, FL in May of 2014. However, the scene wasn’t exactly of serene waves crashing along the shore and a meet-cute that involved going to pick up the same seashell where our hands would brush against one another. Instead, we met during the madness and revelry that is Pensacola Pride where there’s mostly rainbow flags and Jell-o shots as far as the eye can see. I was talking with a friend near the shoreline when a beautiful, albeit sunburned, girl stumbled up to us wearing a gold bikini. It turned out she was also friends with the friend I was talking with. She introduced herself to me, and then quickly asked without missing a beat, “Do you like tequila?” I, in fact, did not like tequila, but when a pretty girl asks if you do… the answer is always yes. Our mutual friend and this new tequila girl ultimately made me drag them out to sea in one of those inflatable intertubes where I eventually left them because, like the tequila, I also don’t like swimming far out in the ocean. I figured that would be the last I would see of tequila girl until two nights later as I shimmied my way through a crowded bar. Out of all of the hundreds of people, there she was. Thanks to my liquid courage I confidently went up to her, tapped her on the shoulder, and when she turned around I asked with a smirk, “Do you like tequila?” Clever. I know. We ended up talking the rest of the night for hours about friends, family, and everything between. We also shared our first kiss that night, and in that moment our lips met the flashing lights and heavy bass all just faded away. We ended up meeting the next weekend in New Orleans, which was close to where we were both from. Then the next weekend, and the weekend after that, and the weekend after that. What can I say? She had me at tequila (which I have learned to love).
how they asked
Brittany and I would likely have two very different renditions of the day I proposed because in her mind we were just having a Sunday funday with friends that involved brunch, watching the Saints game, and eventually going to a concert that night. Simple enough. However, for me it was an intricately planned out day leading up to the most important moment in my life up until that point. Planning had started months and months in advance, and it had many moving parts because I was so wrapped up in making it “the perfect day” for Brittany. So, many of our closest friends would join us throughout the day as we made our way from Uptown New Orleans to MidCity drinking, laughing, and having a great time. At our first stop, Surrey’s Café and Juice Bar, I would run into the day’s first snag. The ring box that held Brittany’s ring was a wooden box, and I had no other place to put it other than by jacket pocket. What does Brittany ask as soon as we step out into the November morning? “Lauren, let me have your jacket. I’m cold!” I panicked and just told her no (which she understandably wasn’t too happy about). Once we got by our friends I was able to sneak the ring box into my friend’s purse so I could give Brittany my jacket, which she wore for the rest of the day. Next we would go to a few bars where the Saints game was playing and have a few drinks. I did ask her earlier in the week if we could go to eat at this specific restaurant alone before the concert since we’d been with friends all day. This specific restaurant was significant to her because it always reminded her of her grandfather, who had done the taxes for and was friends with the owner, Mr. Tommy. Mr. Tommy not only owned Tommy’s Cuisine, but also Tomas and Tommy’s Wine Bar which was a wedding venue and wine bar respectively. The second weekend Brittany and I hung out, I was at a rehearsal dinner and then wedding at those exact venues. The night of that rehearsal dinner as I anxiously left Tommy’s Wine Bar to meet up with Brittany, I definitely never would’ve thought I was leaving to meet my future wife. So, the night of the proposal we were set to eat at Tommy’s Wine Bar, but what she didn’t know was that we would be getting there before it opened and it really would be just us. On the way to the restaurant, I was hit with another big snag in the plans. I, unknowing to Brittany, had gotten us VIP seats for the concert. The band, Grouplove, was special to us from the beginning of our relationship. Brittany had made me read the book “The Fault in Our Stars” because she had a cousin, who was basically like a sister, who suffered from osteosarcoma. Grouplove recorded a song for the movie adaptation’s soundtrack that was one of “our songs,” and her cousin, Meghan, and I became very close as well. In the car ride on the way to Tommy’s I received a call from the VIP coordinator at the venue telling me that the concert for that night had been cancelled. Brittany, of course not knowing what was going on, kept telling me it was no big deal and all we could do was laugh. When we arrived at the empty restaurant Brittany was like, “There is literally no one here. We have the whole place to ourselves!” The manager gave us two glasses of champagne, and I asked Brittany if she would like to sit with me by the beautiful baby grand piano sitting in the corner. For months I had learned and practiced Elvis’ “Can’t Help Falling in Love” to play to her because she had always loved Elvis and how much more of a romantic song can you pick, right? I was so nervous I forgot almost every chord and felt like I was just banging on the piano, but we laughed and sang the song together. At the end of the song where it says, “take my hand, take my whole life too,” I took the ring out of my jacket pocket (which I had gotten back when we had left earlier) and placed it on the piano. Brittany’s face was pure shock like I had just performed a magic trick. Her first words were, “But… I had that jacket on all day!” Ultimately, of course she said yes, and we were joined by more family and friends to celebrate. We still describe it as the most perfectly imperfect day.