Jennifer and Kevin

How We Met

Kevin and I met on Bumble in October 2016. After a few days of us talking on the app, Kevin asked if we could meet up for brunch in Lansing. Kevin quickly charmed me with his witty humor and fun personality. Our second date we went to an MSU football game and our third date was spent at an apple orchard. After that, the rest was history and we spent every weekend doing something fun together including camping trips and vacations to Florida. February 15, 2017, was a bittersweet day; the day Kevin found out he was accepted into PA school in North Chicago, IL. Though I didn’t want him to leave, I knew that if it was meant to be, our relationship would persevere through the distance. We went from seeing each other every day to sometimes once a month.

Every goodbye and mile apart was bittersweet, and at times challenged us, but worth it and ultimately made our love for each other grow. The more we got to know each other, the easier it was to fall for him. I remember sitting on the beach in Miami just talking and laughing and at one point thinking “wow I could spend the rest of my life with this man.” Fast forward to now where I’ve never been more sure that Kevin is who I want to spend the rest of my days with. He brings out the best in me and is always a source of laughter and happiness. Kevin is my very best friend and I’m excited about our journey together.

how they asked

“Jennifer, Since day one, you have continued to make me smile, laugh and been a constant source of positivity in my life. While life is an uncertain adventure, I am 100% confident that no matter what, I want to continue the journey together with you, until my last breath. I love you more than anything else in the world. Will you marry me?”

I knew from very early on that Jennifer was one of a kind. I remember being astounded from day 1 how she mirrored my personality both in quirky humor, an active lifestyle, a love for the sciences, and positive and caring nature. While I was apprehensive to fall for Jennifer right away, as my life was taking me away from Michigan (PA school in Illinois), when she said she was willing to persevere through distance, I didn’t hesitate to reciprocate my commitment.

One year later, in spite of the challenges of distance, our relationship continued to grow. I was fortunate enough to land a clinical rotation in Michigan which would give us a 7-week break from dating at a distance. I knew that I was ready to take our relationship to the next level and this would be a perfect time. Conveniently, Jennifer had booked an hour of couples photography in Lansing MI, the very city we met and fell in love in, and knowing it would be completely unexpected, I began to scheme a proposal.

The first step: buy a ring, Jennifer never hesitated to share via Instagram the ring styles she liked (literally 100’s of examples), so I had a very specific idea of what I wanted. I first asked Jennifer’s mother for her blessing, and she was even willing to join me in designing the ring with Reaver Jewelers in Southfield, MI. The challenge lied in coming up with a reason I had to go somewhere and I couldn’t tell Jennifer where, and that I would be missing for a few hours. I made up a fairly unbelievable excuse, and even though I’m sure Jennifer knew it was a lie, she trusted that what I was doing was likely for the benefit of us.

I coordinated with Miah, the photographer. The secret “code phrase” to take place roughly 10-15 minutes into our photography session. The phrase was “oh there’s something wrong with my camera, just give me a minute” at which point I was to break into my proposal.

For the proposal, I knew Jennifer was envisioning a picnic scene. I purchased a picnic basket which I filled with champagne, flutes, as well as the ring. Upon the photographer’s cue, I was to run back to the car, grab the “engagement basket,” which Jennifer had no idea we had been traveling with the entire weekend, and return with the basket and propose.

The weekend of the proposal, we stayed with Jennifer’s best friend and her boyfriend in Lansing MI. Sunday, the day of the proposal, we ate brunch at the very restaurant we had our first date on October 2, 2016. While we ate brunch with friends, I continued to gaze at the very place I met Jennifer reflecting on everything we had experienced since that fateful day in October 2016.

The day was hot… It was 97 degrees F on June 17, 2018, in Michigan. As we began to walk to the daisy field I knew the proposal was to take place at, I quickly realized this location was much farther than the car than I had anticipated! After a few photos, upon Miah’s cued line, I stood up and needed a reason to remove myself so I could grab the basket. The best thing I could think of was to fake an illness. Stating “oh… I don’t feel so good, do you think I have a few minutes?” I immediately began to run toward the car.

There I was, in dress shoes, slacks, and a button-up shirt, running in 97 degrees F heat. I knew perspiration would be a factor, but the wheels were in motion and the plan had to be executed. The car was nearly 1/4 mile away, and upon the return trip, I felt the sweat breaking through. When I had reached Jennifer and Miah, before I was in sight, I stopped, collected my thoughts, and entered the next phase of my life with Jennifer, happier and sweatier than ever. I have never felt a love like I feel with Jennifer, and I know without a doubt she is my other half, whom I now feel complete with as long as she is by my side. I will love her endlessly until my dying day.

Special Thanks

Maria Horford