How We Met: In 2009, Dan and Janine were both in South Florida working in the yachting industry, he a deckhand on a yacht, she an associate editor for a yachting magazine. There was an instant chemistry when they met at an event. They became friends and over the course of the next few years, spent time together at yachting events and kept in touch while apart.
In a twist of fate, in March 2012, both found themselves in Florence, Italy, for work and decided to spend the week together exploring. Janine describes their Florence experience as the best trip she has ever taken. They laughed their way through museums and ate their way around the city. But, alas, he was working in Italy and she in the States. It was a brief foreshadowing for what was to come and their friendship continued despite distance and other relationships.
In early 2013, Dan and Janine once again became close. They vowed to see one another as soon as possible. But Dan, again, was in the Mediterranean and Janine still in the U.S. For the subsequent months, they communicated daily, both anxiously awaiting their reunion. In February 2014, Dan made his way back to Fort Lauderdale and immediately the two fell head-over-heels, picking up exactly where they had left off in Florence. Both still in the yachting industry, Dan got a job working on a yacht based in Fort Lauderdale as a first mate and Janine is now the PR & communications manager for a yachting brokerage, they now live together in Fort Lauderdale — when Dan’s boat is in town.
how they asked: Janine travels home to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, every year for Thanksgiving. Luckily, Dan’s boat schedule changed and he, too, was able to travel home with Janine. He concocted a plan to propose during Thanksgiving weekend in front of her family, and his — he invited his parents down for the occasion. After conspiring with her family, Dan decided the best place to propose would be when they were hunting for the Ketterer annual Christmas tree up in the Pocono mountains. Dan spent the proceeding days crafting a homemade christmas ornament to hang on the tree. On Friday, November 28, Janine, her parents, her brother and his wife, her aunt, uncle and very close cousins and Dan and his parents all clamored into cars to for the drive to the tree farm.
Janine suspected nothing, as her family always goes tree hunting like this every year. Freshly laid snow was on the ground and snowball fights ensued. There were photos being taken, and still, she suspected nothing. After a while, Janine realized that Dan was nowhere to be found. She went looking and found him by a beautiful tree. “I made us an ornament,” he said. Little did Janine know that he also had set up a GoPro to film the proposal. Janine went to inspect the ornament, and when she turned it around, she saw “Janine, will you marry me,” hand carved into the wooden ornament.
Shocked, she muttered a few words until he stopped her to tell her how much he loved her. Then, dropping down to one knee, Dan asked, “Will you be my wife?” to which Janine responded an enthusiastic, “Yes,” without skipping a beat!
Dan then slipped the ring on Janine’s finger and her brother immediately was on hand with champagne in customized champagne glasses for the occasion. And then the celebration began…