Justine and Devin

Image 1 of Justine and Devin

How We Met

Devin and I hold the city of Austin very dear to our hearts as it is not only the city where we live now but the city where we first met 5 years ago in March 2013. At the time, I was living in Brooklyn, New York while Devin was living in San Antonio, Texas – a mere 1,800 miles or so apart.

My friend, Carin wanted to celebrate her birthday in Austin during South by Southwest (SXSW) and invited me along about a month before. Keep in mind that I am normally a planner when it comes to travel but everything seemed to work in my favor: I was able to request time off from work easily, flights were oddly inexpensive and I had never been to Austin before, so why not? Carin had mentioned that her friends would be picking them up from the airport Thursday evening, but I thought nothing of it. When the time came, bags were packed and we were off to Austin to celebrate.

Meanwhile, Devin had every intention to enjoy all the music that SXSW had to offer. The first day he arrived he entered one of the events and had a great time, so much so that his wallet ended up falling out of his backpack. Hoping that this wasn’t going to be his luck the entire trip, he drove to San Antonio to retrieve his passport the next morning and immediately drove back to Austin as to not to miss any of the events. Later that night, Devin’s buddies had mentioned they had to make a stop at the airport to pick up their New York friends. He didn’t think much of it at the time either, continuing to enjoy his time in Austin. It wasn’t until later on in the evening when I had arrived with his friends that Devin introduced himself to me. After just a few short hours of knowing each other, we both knew this was something special.

For the next two days, we were inseparable. We had barely just met 24 hours ago yet we were holding hands everywhere we went. (Gross right? Our friends thought so at the time, too.) Unfortunately, the weekend had to end early as Devin had his friend’s birthday bonfire to attend about 3 hours away in Tilden, Texas. Thinking that this was the last time we would see each other, we exchanged numbers and agreed to keep in touch when we both went back home.

I found out much later on that all Devin could talk about was “the girl that he had just met” that night. Devin had gone home to San Antonio on Sunday morning and knew he had to go back to Austin since I was leaving on Monday and it was only 10 am; if he left now, he could be there by 12 pm and we could have a whole day together before I left. His friend, Hesh, was still showing Carin and me around so Devin had reached out to him in secret and told him that he was on his way back to surprise me.

Meanwhile, in Austin, I had no clue that I would be seeing Devin again. Since it was St. Patrick’s Day, Hesh had suggested we grab a green beer at a pub nearby to wind down from the weekend. I was surprised to see Devin sitting on the porch when we arrived, and even more surprised at how excited I was to see him again. We had spent our last day in Austin together exploring the UT campus and soaking up the last few events of SXSW, right up until the very hour I had to go to the airport and return to New York – 4 am, to be exact. It wasn’t until the next morning that we discussed how lucky we were to have found each other and that everything really does happen for a reason. It was at that point that we decided to really give this thing a shot, and it sure seems to have paid off.

how they asked

Devin and I have known for years that we wanted to spend our lives together, but it wasn’t until one of our more recent trips to NYC that he realized I had never walked across the Brooklyn Bridge in my 26 years as an apparently terrible New Yorker and decided how he wanted to propose. Devin knew how important my friends and family in Brooklyn have always been and, since my 30th birthday was coming up, he enlisted the help of my best friend Ashley and planned a surprise trip to New York for my birthday; but that wouldn’t be the only surprise that weekend.

Devin told me he had planned a surprise birthday trip, but he was careful enough to be vague about the location. He gave me clues as time went on, such as what the weather might be like and if I would need either a bathing suit or ski goggles so I knew how to pack. It wasn’t until that morning at the airport when I found out she was going to New York, and I couldn’t have been more excited!

When we arrived and got settled at Ashley’s apartment, Devin filled me in on what the weekend plans were, which centered around a big birthday party Saturday night in the city with all of my close friends and family. Little did I know that this was just a distraction for the real surprise the next morning. Since there were apparently no plans made for that Sunday, Ashley suggested that we do something fun that day, such as visit a museum or walk across the Brooklyn Bridge, knowing I would ‘pick’ the bridge.

Image 2 of Justine and Devin

Sunday morning came and it was the most beautiful, sunny New York day. As we approached the Brooklyn side of the bridge, Devin slowed to stop and look back at the skyline. I wanted to take a photo of us, but Devin asked me to put my phone away so he could tell me the real reason why we were in New York. Once he revealed his plan and told me how much I meant to him, Devin got down on one knee with a ring in hand and asked me to marry him. Once I got over the shock of it all, I said yes!

Looking back, I now see the clues I should have seen all along: the reason why Ashley just so happened to have her camera, the reason Devin did his hair instead of wearing a baseball cap (no, the hat would NOT fly off despite how windy it could have been on the bridge), and not even the fact that Ashley’s husband Adam was carrying her purse for a good portion of the walk because there was a bottle of champagne in it for later!

With our close friends there to celebrate and my home city as the backdrop, it was everything I could have imagined and more.

Image 3 of Justine and Devin