Jessica and Matthew

Jessica's Proposal in The backyard of a Historic Riverside homeHow We Met

It all started two years ago…

Wait. That’s not right. Technically, Matthew and I’s story began roughly four years ago. My first day on the job at the company we both work for was in January of 2015. We were dating other people. We worked in opposite sides of the building. And yet, I still found a way to really, really dislike him.

He was too direct in an email, he walked around the office like he owned the place, and he was (is) very good looking. It was so easy to hate him.

And he would tell you the exact same things about me.

We would see each other out and about, having drinks with our respective friend groups at bars in our neighborhood, and consciously make the decision to not say hello to each other.

Timing is everything. And in January of 2017, just two years later, Matthew likes to say a “switch flipped” on me, and this time, when we ran into each other at Birdies, a bar we frequented with our friends, we decided to be cordial. Friendly may even be the best word for it. We talked for a while, but then Matthew asked me to buy him a PBR tall boy.


And, I left the bar.

Engagement Proposal Ideas in The backyard of a Historic Riverside home

(Edit from Matthew: I did not ask her to buy me a PBR tall boy. I simply told her to order mine for me because girls always get served at bars first.)

The very next night, I fell victim to a Bumble disaster date and found myself afterward at, you guessed it, Birdies.

My “date” (if you can even call him that…) also decided to mosey on down to The Bird, and once I saw him, I darted for Matthew Smith, my new “friend.”

Matthew was standing in the corner of the bar, attending an event being held at Birdies that night, and in hindsight, it was fate.

At the moment, it just felt like damn good luck.

“Hey, put your arm around me and pretend like you’re my boyfriend.”

Yeah, because that will make a lot of sense to the guy I just went on a “date” with.

I quickly explained to Matthew the who, what, where, when and why of the situation we were avoiding.

His line:

“It will be more believable if you come and dance with me.”

Wow. What a guy.

It’s safe to say the rest is history.

How They Asked

Similar to our “how we met” story, I guess I need to back up the timeline.

Matthew asked me to send him styles of rings I liked in March of 2018.

Let the control-freakish anxiety for the remainder of the year begin. I tortured myself with anticipation and far too much curiosity as to what his plans were.

It wasn’t until October that I found a Fedex box in our recycle bin that gave it all away. Or at least I thought it had.

October meant pumpkins, fall weather, spiked cider and Halloween, our favorite holiday. Of course, he was going to propose in October!

But I am impatient. And I am not always right.

I grew even more anxious. I pried and, well…cried (bless him). But Matthew told me I needed to trust him, and “be patient.”

His 30th birthday was on December 7, as was his graduation ceremony during which he received his Master’s degree.

The whole weekend was planned for celebrating – I surprised his family with his sister who flew in from Denver, I preordered the new Super SmashBros Ultimate game that was released that same day for him, and a party was to be had the next day with friends and family.

Everything was going as planned until the wind blew Matthew’s graduation gown against his body, and then I saw it – a bulging, ring-box shaped pocket.

(Or was he just happy to see me? Lol ok gross I know, but I had to. Sorry.)

His sister-in-law noticed it too, and to confirm our belief further, his brother asked “does Matthew have a ring in his pocket?” to his wife.

So when it DIDN’T happen by the time we got home, well, I was salty.

And no, we were not all crazy. Matthew confirmed he did, in fact, have the ring box in his pocket.

Again, timing proved to be everything. Matthew didn’t realize my sister wasn’t actually coming to his graduation (she was my decoy for getting a headcount for his sister).

And he said he just knew it wasn’t the right time. But if he didn’t propose in front of an intimate group, I knew he definitely wouldn’t ask me to marry him in front of a ton of people at the party the next day…

I probably could have cut this entire story short and left it at this: I am a very impatient person.

And that whole “Mr. Right, Mrs. Always Right” thing? Yeah, that’s not us. Matthew is mostly, on good days, somewhat always right (ugh. I can’t believe it’s written down somewhere now).

He did propose at the party, and my sister was there, as were our parents and my uncle and aunt and so many other key people in our lives.

After it happened, soaking in the moment as he held me, he just kept saying “Isn’t this better? See, everyone is here. Our whole families are here to celebrate. Isn’t this better?”

It was his plan all along.

Yes, Matthew. You are right. It belittled the idea in my head, and it was so much better.

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