Jennifer and Zachary

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How We Met

Without meeting one another, Zach and I both attended the same university and had a mutual friend for years. I met my coworker Chad in 2014 and when I was single, he would continuously ask me to meet his friends. I didn’t go out much so fast forward to 2017, I had just graduated and was convinced to go to happy hour at the local college bar. This is where I ran into my coworker and his eyes lit up because he realized now was the time, he could finally introduce his friends.

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I locked eyes with Zach and said hi to him and his best friend/now best man. I left almost immediately afterward but the universe didn’t stop there. The next day I was supposed to watch a football game with a group and with a change of plans, the hosting house belonged to Zach and his roommates. Leaving that night, our friend asked me who I thought was cute, funny, nice, etc. to help narrow down the matchmaking.

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My answer was “Zach” for all of the above and we had our first date that same week. I remember being on cloud 9 after the date, rushing to share details with my then-roommate, but also questioning if I was a little awkward or goofy. As I was showing her pictures of this cute new boy, he messaged me something sweet about wanting to go on another date… and I laugh because one of us literally threw my phone across the room in excitement.

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Despite some traveling and pending school/job plans, we talked nonstop and he drove to meet my family within two months. I got accepted to grad school where we met, which is also where he’s from, and so we were able to stay close; his friends and family became my own. While we both would’ve loved knowing each other much sooner, it’s clear the timing of this introduction was meant to be.

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How They Asked

Zach surprised me with a trip to Hawaii for my birthday (my lifelong dream vacation and a running joke between us because I never shut up about it). I was ecstatic and although it was a “big trip”, Zach is great at making my birthday special and I didn’t question any alternative motive behind the occasion.

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Me being the planner I am created a whole itinerary- which looking back could have definitely made his surprise hard to coordinate. We crammed in so many bucket list places that by the time the final morning arrived, we decided we’d take it slow, grab breakfast, and relax at a park for a while. Zach picked the place and it was next to an actual movie scene, film crew, and all. Somehow our timing worked out and we had the whole entire park to ourselves.

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He took my phone because we wanted to get a picture of the landmark scenery but with a little wind, I faced the opposite direction (unprompted) to fix my hair of course. When I turned around, Zach was already on one knee. The only thing more surprising than the proposal was the fact he 1. Found/hired a professional photographer 2. Posed for lots of pictures without any complaints.

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The entire experience was beyond anything I could have wished for and the pure joy we felt that morning is just as strong today. While we enjoyed the moment fully focused on one another, we were thrilled to FaceTime our families and share the excitement soon after. Later that day, we went on a helicopter ride around the island, looking down at all our lifelong memories.

It was a literal dream come true.

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Special Thanks

Toto & Meme photography
 | Photographer
James Allen
 | Ring