How We Met
I attended a wedding with my friend, Lauren, who at the time was dating Garrett’s brother, Tyler. (They’re engaged too!!) She posted a picture of us on Instagram and Garrett saw it and immediately texted Lauren because, “I was so beautiful and he had to meet me.”
Lauren let me know a couple nights later when we went to the movies and I wasn’t really sure if I was into meeting someone and dating at that moment but ultimately decided it never hurts to just meet someone! We set up a double date, mini golf, one short day later. (I like to say I went into this blind because I agreed to meet him without knowing anything about him or even what color hair he had!) Now I can only speak from my point of view (even though we do agree in our own ways on this) but when Lauren and I went to pick him up, he got in the car and something in the air just changed. Something sparked in us and we hit it off immediately, talking the whole way to mini golf. I don’t think we both knew how to really flirt very well but we just chatted the whole time, played a round of air hockey (where I almost struck him with the puck, whoops! It got a little competitive) and won a rubber duck in the claw machine. Then the four of us had dinner and went our ways. He ended up not getting my number (which he will never live down) but he took care of it the following day and we ended up meeting up for a late night diner night… and the day after that, we watched a movie at my house… Not long later he surprised me with a trip to Sandy Hook in the Atlantic Highlands, where we took a walk on the beach, watched the sunset and he made our relationship “official”!
how they asked
Our first day in Disney began at Magic Kingdom with Garrett, my parents, my brother John and his son Dex. We spent the morning and afternoon going on rides and of course, meeting Merida (one of my faves!). We are avid Disney goers and lovers! We decided to spend the second half of the day at my favorite park, Animal Kingdom. (Back in 2012 I participated in the Disney College Program so naturally, I consider this my “home” and is why it has so much meaning to me). During our walk through the park, Garrett decided it was time for him to get his favorite coffee back in Africa so we parted ways with my family to go run our errand.
Along the way he pulled me aside and began to put his bag down and reach into it while telling me it was time for me to go on an adventure and that this was one I had to do on my own. My heart is now pounding out of my chest, waves of emotion attacking me because I think I know what is happening. Garrett hands me an iPad with a custom case he made that said “Our Adventure Book” and walks me over to a table so I can begin my adventure.
He informs me that there are 3 videos and instructions, just follow them and we would see each other again soon. I begin to play video one as he leaves, tears in my eyes, to find that the first video is him with a makeshift green screen in different Disney movie backdrops. He explains his love for me, what I mean to him, his first impression of me and where we are at now, in complete detail. At the end of video one, he tells me to put on my walking music playlist titled “Songs that remind me of Jen” and head over to the Expedition Everest snack stand where the Cast Members will be holding a small gift for me.
I get to the snack stand and ask for the gift- two small handmade ceramic unicorns. We always joked that we would have ceramic unicorns like Vladmir does in Tangled… so he had them made for me!! Onto video number two! This video is filled with little videos of people wishing us the best- my best friend from my Disney College Program, his cousin from Canada, his parents and his grandma. At this point, I am bawling but it’s time to make my way to the Tree of Life for the last video. Video number three- Garrett explains how we’ll always have each other, us against the world and he couldn’t wait any longer for this moment. He tells me all of our dreams are going to come true and that I should now turn around.
I turn around to find Garrett standing behind me, ready to propose. He gets down on one knee, the ring box he made in hand, and asks, “Can I say something crazy? Will you marry me?” Of course my response, through mascara filled tears and trouble breathing, because of excitement, is “Can I say something even crazier? YES!”. We ended up with a decent sized crowd applauding us and congratulating us and even an amazing stranger who ended up recording the whole thing and offered to send it to us! My family came back over to us with tears, hugs and kisses!
But if the proposal wasn’t enough? When we got home that night, there was a bottle of sand with a note in it waiting for me. The note told me that he had found a fabulous photographer and we had an engagement photoshoot set up at the Grand Floridian and Polynesian with her in just 3 more days. And that proposal montage video?? Now I understand why he was using his go pro! (Enjoy the video he put together!!!)