Jenna and Will

How We Met

On November 22, 2013, I was out one night in Baltimore with a group of my best friends at a local bar. We were all having a blast. Towards the end of the night, I went to find a few of my guy friends. As I walked down the stairs to the main bar area, which looked out to the entire bottom floor, I spotted the blondest, most adorable guy standing with my best friends. He had this infectious smile, was dancing to the music and looked like he knew my friends well. I walked down those stairs and straight up to him and said “Who are you? I’m totally digging your energy?” If you know me, you know I don’t even use phrases like “digging your energy” and I definitely don’t approach guys first. There was something different about Will though. I was drawn to him immediately. Right away we started chatting and soon after exchanged numbers and planned our first date…the rest is history. We’re still shocked to this day we never met before, once we realized we have about 100 friends in common and grew up 15 minutes from one another.

how they asked

Will and I had our first date at a restaurant in the historic area of Ellicott City, Maryland in the winter of 2013. We met for drinks, but the night ended in endless laughs and an immediate connection. We shared our life goals, our strengths and our weaknesses with each other. Fast forward two and a half years and we decided to move in together in Historic Ellicott City! I was so excited to start this journey together. 2 months after moving in, horrible floods destroyed our favorite new hometown that July, making national headlines. The restaurants, bars, antique shops and more were destroyed. We were devastated. Those business owners’ lives were changed forever. We had moved there specifically for the charm of this cute city, as well as the amazing main street full of our favorite shops and restaurants. We were just so lucky nothing had happened to our apartment, since we are at the top of the hill where the flooding started and went downhill. Fast forward seven months and slowly, most of the shops and restaurants had begun to reopen. We were ecstatic! All of our date nights at our favorite spot could continue once again! The day of the proposal, we were set to go to lunch with my parents on Main St. at the restaurant where we had our first date, which was finally reopened!!! I thought nothing of this because it was a spot we frequented and was just excited to be going back.

Image 1 of Jenna and Will

As we started to walk down the hill and eventually got right in front of the restaurant, Will grabbed my hand and spun me around. To my surprise, there he was, down on one knee, red faced and crying, laughing, smiling. He said to me he’ll never forget our first date, the night we ate messy buffalo wings and drank our favorite beers for hours, getting to know each other.

Image 2 of Jenna and Will

Where we started an incredible journey, my best friend brought everything full circle and asked me to spend forever with him. To my surprise, he had asked his boss, who has a photography business, to take pictures, of the entire thing. I was so in shock, Will had to say “Jenna, you still haven’t said yes yet..” to which I screamed YES OF COURSE through tears and laughs. Next thing I know, my best friends and parents are running across the street, screaming and jumping for joy. They embraced us with the biggest hugs. Tears were shed, there was lots of laughter and happiness in that moment. I didn’t think twice about why they were all there. They quickly led Will and I across the street to another one of our favorite restaurants where Will had rented out the entire bar area. 40 of our best friends and family were there waiting for us and when I walked in we was greeted with applause and shouts! They were ecstatic. At that moment, I realized Will had planned an entire engagement celebration with everyone who loves us. The next three hours, we all celebrated together with margaritas, gold balloons, sparkly cupcakes, and tons of pictures! Will made all of my dreams come true that day!

Image 3 of Jenna and Will

Special Thanks

Alexandra Mandato
 | secretly photograped proposal and celebration