Joe and Becca

How We Met

Joe and I met last July when he was on a month long assignment at a summer camp for Young Life. I was visiting for a week as a babysitter for a family who was also there on assignment (A-team). The first night at dinner, I remember two (of the four) kids fighting, and retreating to another table with one of them in the dining hall for dinner. Lucky for me, Joe ended up sitting at that same table. By chance, we sat next to each other again that night for an event, and by choice, Joe sat next to me just about every chance he got for the rest of my time there! At first, I was oblivious. By the end of that week I was secretly hoping he would ask me out, fearful that I’d never see him again.

He did, and our first date was a dream. What I thought would be a coffee date became a visit to a puppy breeder, a wine tasting, a dinner full of laughter, and more- all a surprise to me! By the end of the date, I knew that ‘taking things slow’ was overrated. I remember telling three of my closest friends almost immediately that I wanted to marry him. About a month later, we put a label on it. Not even seven months after that, he put a ring on it!

how they asked

As I drove home on Sunday night after asking Becca’s parents for their blessing to marry their daughter, I couldn’t stop thinking about something that her dad had said. He told me the story of his proposal to her mom- how he pulled over next to a dumpster on the side of the road because he ‘just couldn’t wait’. My plan was to propose to Becca two weeks from that conversation, and was on track to be ready by then. However, his words rung in my mind “if I were you, and I had the ring. I would probably drive down to Virginia beach and propose right now”. I didn’t have the ring, a plan, or a photographer, but I decided that I couldn’t wait. On the four hour drive home, I began to put the pieces in motion.

I called Becca’s best friend Taylor and informed her that my plan had changed. I would be driving from my home in Charlottesville to Virginia Beach in 40 hours rather than two weeks to propose. She was on board, and helped come up with a plan with her other best friends Katie and Laurissa to convince Becca to be on the beach that Tuesday night, dressed up and ready to “take pictures on the beach” with her three best friends (now bridesmaids). Getting her there involved a whole lot of necessary deception, calling her boss and getting her out of work, and convincing her that missing work to take pictures on the beach with her friends was the right decision. I even called her the day before and convinced her to buy sunscreen on her way to coach lacrosse practice so that she wouldn’t be sunburnt for the proposal. Nice touch, eh?

I had always wanted to give Becca my late grandmother’s family ring. From stalking her pinterest, I knew it was a style she loved and I was so excited to give it to her. The only issue was, I still needed to get it resized and refurbished, and the jewler was not open until Tuesday (the day I wanted to propose). I e-mailed him several frantic messages asking if he could make it happen before I left, and he responded almost immediately- 14 minutes after my late night e-mail. I was able to pick up the ring at noon before heading to Virginia Beach on the big day!

Our photographer, Lauren Simmons, was overjoyed to receive a phone call from me on Sunday night asking her to take photos of our surprise proposal. She gladly changed her schedule and committed to doing the shoot in such short notice, and even helped create part of the plan!

So that Tuesday night, Becca reluctantly left work early (with her boss’ encouragement) and drove to her apartment to get dressed up with her best friends. As they walked to the beach together, I heard them coming and turned the corner to meet her in the middle of the street, a few steps from the oceanfront. I stepped out from behind the corner and called to Becca. She stopped in her tracks, jaw dropped, and ran towards me. She jumped into my arms and kissed me.

As her friends snuck away (bawling, might I add), Becca started peppering me with questions about what was going on and why I was in Virginia Beach and not Charlottesville. I quickly realized that she did not anticipate my reason for being there like I thought she would, and I got really, really nervous. As we got down to the beach, I anxiously took my shoes off and began to walk her down to the water. She said that in that moment, she knew that I was there to ask her to marry me.

We got to the water, I dropped to one knee, and told Becca that I wanted to marry her. Unfortunately for you (the reader), those words will stay between her and I forever. Well, I guess I will share that I did ask her to grow old and fat with me, which she seemed to agree to (see laughing photo).

Before I could even finish getting the words “Becca, will you marry me” out of my mouth, she told me yes. Her jaw dropped again when I showed her the ring and put it on her finger. The next few minutes proceeded to be some of the most special moments of our relationship, and I am beyond grateful to have had Lauren there to capture it. I am even more grateful for Becca saying yes to me, and will forever cherish April 11th, 2017 as one of the best days of my life.

Special Thanks