Jenna and Zachary

Image 3 of Jenna and Zachary

So I have always been a dog lady. But Zachary has never had one — and never really thought he needed a dog until he met me. Last summer we decided to add our giant teddy bear into our lives. We named him Dodger after our first vacation together when we watched the Dodgers play the Brewers in Los Angeles. Now Zachary is the biggest dog person it just melt SN my heart that he finally is able to see how much love is in having a dog! Fast forward a year later .. it was one day before my birthday Zachary was begging me to go take Dodger for a walk at our favorite beach spot. It was the first warm sunny morning in Milwaukee after a brutal winter.

Of course I said yes. — So I changed into some hiking clothes and sprayed dry shampoo in my hair after not washing it for three days (because who washes their hair everyday?) We parked at Seven Bridges– it’s our favorite path to walk to the beach. I took Zachary there early in our relationship because it’s my favorite path to the beach — you having have to walk through the woods, over seven bridges, to make it to the sand. It’s also where my parents met when my mom was only 17 — my dad asked her to be his wife one year later at the same beach. So, the location always meant a lot to me. Especially after 37 years of my parent marriage.

As we were walking across the bridges with Dodger, Zachary was was being silly the entire way. Grabbing me, kissing me, and showing his giant smile the entire way. I made the comment I usually do when he makes me all mushy gushy, ” why are you being so cute today?” And all he said was “I don’t know, maybe because it’s so nice out?” We finally made it to the beach and the sand was hot.. too hot for what I was wearing.. and Zachary kept insisting we just walk a little bit further down the beach. I joked and dragged my feet, “I AM SWEATING, it’s so so hot.”

He laughed and we finally made it far enough for him to be content with letting the dog off the leash and having him play in the water. I sat on a giant log and Zachary came over by me with his big mouth smile. He asked me what I wanted for my birthday tomorrow, which he already bought me a kayak earlier that week. I laughed and said “well I don’t want anything more? And my birthday is tomorrow! I don’t need anything else” so we joked around because he’s never been the best at giving gifts without me knowing or at least hinting what I want. He then looked at me and said “well I wanted to give you something for awhile now..”

Zachary got down on one knee, and pulled out a box from his pocket. Of course I blacked out.. and thought shut up this isn’t real. He opened it and inside was the most perfect ring I could ever imagine. He said some words but all that I heard was “I love you so much, you and Dodger have changed my life for the better .. will you marry me?” And of course I’m a hot mess balling my eyes out– all that came out of my mouth was “Are you serious? Is this real?” And naturally, “did you ask my mom?” When it hit me that It WAS indeed real.. I grabbed him and shouted yes yes yes! Dodger jumped on Zachary and I — he was just as excited.

It was all so perfect. Just the two of us, our dog, the sound of the waves, and the exact spot my parents got engaged. I couldn’t have imagined a better way for him to do it. I cried, called my mom and cried some more. We can’t wait to get married. He’s my best friend in the world and my life wouldn’t be the same without his caring heart.

Image 1 of Jenna and Zachary

Image 2 of Jenna and Zachary

Image 4 of Jenna and Zachary

Image 5 of Jenna and Zachary

Image 6 of Jenna and Zachary

Image 7 of Jenna and Zachary

Special Thanks

Krista Radtke
 | Photographer