Juli and Jared

How We Met

I was born and raised in Orange County, California, then my family relocated to Southern Indiana the summer after my freshman year of high school. Jared was born and raised in Indiana, and after I moved to Jeffersonville, we ended up going to the same high school. We met in Chamber Choir.

The first conversation we ever had, he came up to me and asked if I had ever seen The Office. I told him, “no,” and he said, “well you remind me a lot of the character Erin, personality-wise.” I thought that was sweet of him, even though I had never seen the show. (After watching the show, I was even more flattered by this comment of his, because Erin is super adorable. The Office is now one of my favorite shows, and we watch it together all the time!) Jared and I weren’t really friends yet, but we had had a few interactions here and there. My junior year, we both auditioned for solos in the song “Oh, Holy Night” for our Christmas concert, and that was the first time I had ever heard him sing. I was awestruck. We both ended up getting solos, and this was when I considered us officially friends. He was the whole package, a Christian, a baseball player, a singer, extremely handsome, and I thought he seemed so out of my league. We were both dating other people at the time, too, so we never pursued a relationship until a few months later. We started dating at the end of that school year, though it wasn’t official until that summer, and we took our first picture together after our spring choir concert!

Juli's Proposal in In the woods behind his house.

how they asked

Jared and I have been together for almost 2 and a half years. He texted me one day and said, “you know how you’re always saying we don’t have a lot of pictures together? We should get some pictures done with Lindsay.” (A photographer family friend of theirs.) I love pictures, so of course, I agreed, and he played it off as though it was his mom’s idea because she loves to have pictures of the family around the house. When he first mentioned it, I thought, “that would be a good time to propose, there’s a photographer right there!” but I never really gave it a second thought, because he, as well as my mom and dad, were all very good about throwing me off the scent.

I was home from college one weekend in October for my fall break, and we had agreed to take the pictures that Saturday. After checking the weather forecast and finding out it was going to rain all day Saturday, Jared texted me and said we should get them done TODAY (Friday) to avoid any possible weather complications. I was a little stressed, but I had plenty of time to get ready so I started to get primped right then. I can honestly say it was the most beautiful I’ve ever felt in my life. I had bought a new outfit, my makeup and hair were exactly how I wanted them to look, and I had a stomach full of butterflies because I still get nervous around Jared and I just love dressing up for him. Once he got off work, and we both were ready, I drove over to his house.

We were taking the pictures, and it was all going really well, and at some point, we did a pose where my back was to the camera. Little did I know, this was when his mom (the designated camera-bag holder) gave him the ring box, so he was ready to propose right after this picture was taken. (This picture ended up being one of my favorites, too, because he had the ring in one hand, and was posing, saying “shhh” to the camera with the other hand, while I remained totally unaware.)

Marriage Proposal Ideas in In the woods behind his house.

After this picture, he pulled me away from him and looked me straight in the eyes. That’s when I knew. I thought, “oh my gosh, it’s happening,” and he stepped back, smiling wider than I’ve ever seen him, got down on one knee and said, “will you marry me?” I immediately started crying and said, “yes… yes!… YES!” I looked at the ring, told him, “it’s so beautiful…” and jumped into his arms. I looked over his shoulder and saw his dad, as well as most of my family up on a hill taking pictures. It was perfect. I immediately proceeded to jump up and down and all around him, saying, “we’re engaged! We’re engaged!”

After we got back up the hill to his house, I had had time to process what had just happened. I started crying again, harder than I had earlier and gave him a big hug, thanking God for him. Jared really is the perfect man for me. We took a few more pictures together with a sign that his little sister made that said, “she said yes!” and then we took pictures with our families, made a toast with some sparkling grape juice, and went out to dinner at Outback Steakhouse, just the two of us. The whole car ride there I was asking him millions of questions about everything that went into the planning of this day, and I don’t think either of us stopped smiling for the rest of the night. We even got some delicious free cheesecake after our meal! It was nice to be able to celebrate with our families and then have some time alone, too. I can’t imagine it going any better than it did!

Special Thanks

Lindsay Parente
 | Photographer