Jamie and Cameron Van

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How We Met

Cameron and I actually met through a mutual friend in 2016! We were at a rooftop cubs game while I was visiting from Arizona. Cameron ended up spending the whole weekend with us and we exchanged numbers – I went back to Arizona, we snapped and texted for quite a while, I had hopes of moving to Chicago but it just wasn’t the time. Fast forward to 2019 and it was the time! I found a new job and moved to the city with my 3 best girlfriends from Arizona. Cameron and I hadn’t really spoken since 2017 so I really expected nothing of it. Through the magic of social media and some mutual friends, Cameron quickly realized I was moving to the city and we connected. He claims that when he heard I was moving to Chicago his first thought was “Oh, wow, we will probably be together soon”. Within a month of me living here, we started dating. I was hesitant at first as we had so many mutual friends that I didn’t want to stir up the group dynamics. Cameron never was worried and stayed persistent. We started doing “secret” dates, looking for the best old fashions in the city. We spent hours enjoying old fashions and talking until the wee hours of when the Chicago bars close. March 2020 hit and it really moved our relationship from 2 date nights a week to every day. 2020 was such a hard year for so so so many so we always feel a little selfish saying it was so good to us. We spent all of our days together, talking, playing cards, laughing, cooking and trying to keep ourselves entertained but it never felt fast, or forced just felt natural like how it was always supposed to be. On the weekends we spent about 12 hours a day at his parents house in the city with his sisters and I quickly became part of the family. In November 2020, Cameron bought a beautiful home for us in the city and we started living together. It was another natural transition. Attached is a photo from the first night we met! Which he insisted on taking and I was like lol ok…..

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How They Asked

Cameron planned a day of surprises. He told me about 3 weeks ago that he had made reservations for a restaurant I’ve been dying to try in West Loop – it’s been impossible to get reservations, I was so excited. He told me the best he could get was at 5 pm and my first response was “ok grandpa!” we laughed. Friday finally rolled around and we went to the restaurant. Towards the end of dinner Cameron said ok we have to head back to the house, as we were expecting some friends to come over that night. He was in a bit of a rush but I didn’t think anything of it. We walked up to our house and he opened the front door and he transformed our living room into a beautiful magical romantic setting. He picked “our” songs and they were playing on a loop. he got down on one knee and I said “duh, yes, of course!”

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He told me there was a photographer hiding in the kitchen behind the draping and he will come out whenever I’m ready for photos. We sat down on the chair and popped some champagne and he persistently told me that I needed to facetime my family, I of course, asked for a minute. He pushed again and it clicked I said “they’re outside huh” (my family lives in Arizona and are planning to visit towards the end of April so I had NO idea). He opened the door and in they came, we cried and hugged and cried some more. Moments later, in came his family, his parents flew in from London where they are temporarily living.

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Little did I know both our parents had been living at Steve and Sheila’s all week! Kind of a “all my friends are hanging out without me scenario” ;) We all had champagne, we fixed up my make up took family photos and just enjoyed. Then Cameron told me there was one more surprise. All of our family and friends in the city were waiting for us at the rooftop bar down the street from our house and whenever we were ready we could head there. CUE THE TEARS AGAIN! We walked up to the rooftop and cried, had a toast and then proceeded to drink the night away with our friends. It was a blast and I couldn’t have planned it better myself. He’s something special!

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Special Thanks

Colby Campbell
 | Photographer