Jessica and Matthew Van Dusen

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How We Met

Matt and I met online through a dating app while we were both living in South Florida. We are both teachers and he’s also a football coach, so our schedules led us to meet each other in that way! After talking for a few weeks, we finally had a chance to meet up. And we still joke about the first impression I made by being half an hour late for our first date! It’s a good thing we ended up talking for hours and he gave me another chance.

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For the first few months of our relationship these schedules also made it so we could only see each other once a week as we lived about an hour away from each other. But Matt always managed to make time to plan a fun and different date, and get to know me in other ways when we couldn’t be together. He snagged impossible-to-get Hamilton tickets, planned Disney trips, involved both of our families, and always found fun date night spots. Totally swept me off my feet! After about 8 months of dating, an opportunity came for him to move and coach in Georgia and asked me to come with him! And we are loving now living in Atlanta!

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How They Asked

Just like everyone else, a lot of our plans understandably had to change with the uncertainty of COVID-19 and quarantining. Totally unbeknownst to me, Matt was still working on designing the ring and planning when he could propose throughout all of this! After canceled trips, birthdays, and cruises, we were finally able to plan a weekend away in Savannah, Georgia.

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While I was just thinking this would be a change of scenery to celebrate summer and our state opening back up, Matt had the ring in his pocket ready to surprise me. Shortly after getting into town, we took a walk to the beautiful Forsyth Park in historic downtown Savannah. As we walked through the oak trees, Matt suggested we try taking a selfie near the fountain.

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I snapped the picture, and as I was bringing the phone down I noticed he was down on one knee! He asked me to marry him right there in the middle of the park. After I kept asking him if he was serious and if this was real, I was so excited to say yes. It was so unexpected and the perfect start to our weekend in Savannah!

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