Emily and Justin

How We Met: Justin and I met the day we moved into college in 2007. My roommate Erin and Justin shared the same major and instantly became friends. I wouldn’t give him the time of day. It wasn’t until Sophomore year that I was cordial towards him. By the time we moved back into the dorms Junior year 2009, we had been dating for 2 months.


how they asked: Justin and I share a birthday; August 8th. It’s always been a special day to us. We don’t do big birthday parties but spend the day together, just us two. This August 8th we got on the subway and went up to 181st street. I’ve never been that far up in Manhattan but he said there was a park we were going to visit. The Fort Washington Park is along the Hudson River underneath the George Washington Bridge with hidden trails among the trees with tennis courts and plenty of grassy seating. I was taking pictures as we made our way down to the Little Red Lighthouse at the waters edge. Once there he asked if I was ready for my present. He gave me a self-published chapter book called The Lighthouse Stories by Justin Johnson. Inside are 3 short stories he wrote and the dedication read “To Emily, please say yes.”

When I looked up he had a ring box pulled out with the most beautiful ring in it. He got down on one knee. (At this point I don’t remember anything but the ring. Justin told me later he asked me to marry him and I repeated yes over and over.) When he stood up I told him he had to put it on my finger. After we had kissed he said “look over there.” There was someone crouching in the grass and when he pulled the camera down from his face, I saw it was Justin’s coworker Sean. He had captured the whole thing. Immediately afterwards we did engagement photos with the lighthouse and bridge and skyline. It was more than I could have ever hoped for.