Jemila and Austin

How We Met

January 30th, 2016: During the time Austin and I met, I was a Sixers Dancer, and after a Sixers game on Saturday, January 30th, 2016 my teammates begged and begged me to go out to celebrate a coworkers birthday. I was very hesitant, as I am not one to go out, especially not after a long day/night of working. However, my best friend who was also my teammate insisted that I come for “5 minutes” which ended up being 2 hours. While sitting in VIP with my teammates I felt someone lurking behind me…turns out it was an old friend of mine from high school. We got to talking and catching up & before walking away my friend from high school said, “Are you dating someone?” I replied no. Seconds later Austin comes up to introduce himself, come to find out, he played football with my friend in college, they were moving in together in Philly, and he too was not supposed to go out that night. We talked for a few minutes and then he gave me his number to “text him if my friends and I ended up going out anywhere else in Philly.” I played along and pretended like I was actually going out to another location that evening, knowing I was going home to go to bed (lol). So, I politely took his number and never text him. That night before going to bed I wondered if I could find Austin on social media and see him in a different light rather than the dark, strobe lights of Xfinity Live.

I creeped on my friend from high schools Instagram profile until I found Austin, and followed him. One week later, after not texting him and creeping on his Instagram photos daily, he messaged me and said how sad he was that he hadn’t received a text from me and invited me over to their new apartment for Super Bowl Sunday. I felt like such a jerk, I didn’t think he actually wanted me to text him!!! So, I apologized via DM and then text him so he had my number. However, I did not make an appearance at the Super Bowl Party…that was too soon ;) The next week he invited me over for parties and get togethers at their new apartment and I denied every invitation, until that Sunday (Valentine’s Day 2016) he text me and invited me over and this time, I accepted. He had a rose waiting for me in his apartment, we sat on the couch and watched the NBA All-Star Game two times in a row and talked honestly and openly about who we both were, our past experiences, and beliefs until 3am. That night when I left to go back to my apartment, I said to myself “Jemila, you just met your soulmate and you are going to marry this man.” A week later, I met his family at a family party and the rest is history :)

Jemila and Austin's Engagement in Race Street Pier, Philadelphia, PA

how they asked

Ahhhh my favorite part! On my 24th birthday, July 15th, 2017 Austin and I woke up in our AirBnB that he had gotten us for the weekend in Philly. The entire week I asked “what are we doing this weekend? I need to plan my outfits.” He did not budge and stuck to the story that we were getting an AirBnB and that he had a dinner surprise on my birthday and just hanging out, nothing unusual. So, I let it go and just figured I’d go with the flow. Anyone who knows me, knows that I like to be in control of every situation and I like to have a plan…this weekend I had neither, and for some reason I felt okay with that. The morning of my birthday we went to breakfast and relaxed, and once the afternoon hit we were getting ready for the night ahead…little did I know it would be so eventful!

Austin pretended like we were going to dinner somewhere in Philly and that we were going to catch an uber, all lies! Around 3pm he said, “Our Uber is here” so we went outside of our AirBnB and as I’m looking for an uber, a white limo is sitting outside of the house. Austin jokingly says, “Someone around here is fancy and got a limo,” I giggled and agreed, then I realized WE were the fancy ones walking up to the limo. The limo driver gets out, Austin opens the limo door and my best friend is sitting inside. I was hysterically crying, not understanding what was happening but so surprised at the same time. Austin left me with my best friend and said he would see me later for dinner and to have fun with my friends.

At this point I was just so confused I didn’t know what to expect. The limo drove us around Philly and for the next hour we made two more stops to pick up my older sister from he train station and some more of my best friends, who all joined us in the limo. I was SHOCKED!!! Especially since I had seen most of these people during that week and everyone played along so well. My friends still pretended like they had no idea where we were going, so this made me feel at ease knowing I wasn’t the only one who had no clue what was going on. Two hours later, we end up at the Race Street Pier, took photos with my friends and as I was walking down the pier my best friend said, “Turn around, look there’s Austin.” I turned around and my handsome man was sitting on the bench under the Benjamin Franklin Bridge wearing a completely different outfit than I had saw him in a few hours before.

Wedding Proposal Ideas in Race Street Pier, Philadelphia, PA

He stood up, gave me a huge hug, and walked me over to the edge of the pier. He grabbed a hold of both of my hands, summed up how both of us were feeling about each other since day one, got down on one knee, and asked me to marry him. While sobbing, I said YES!!!!! As we embraced with an enormous, heart felt hug and kisses, I heard cheers and screams of familiar voices…when I looked over his shoulder I saw all of our family and close friends.

Where to Propose in Race Street Pier, Philadelphia, PA

My heart could have burst with joy. Our favorite people were able to witness this incredible moment and I couldn’t have been any happier. My dear friend Amy Pibernat, who is the photographer of all of these photos, captured the moment along with the remainder of the evening.

But that wasn’t it…the proposal was followed by ANOTHER surprise! We had dinner on the Spirit of Philadelphia Cruise with all of our family and close friends, celebrated our engagement, my birthday, and unconditional love.

I get goosebumps just thinking about that night and knowing that I get to marry my soulmate, Austin Howard Medley.

Special Thanks

Amy Pibernat
Sierra Baca | 
Kathleen Medley