Kara and Kevin; His and Her Sides

Kara’s Side: Kevin and I met in September 2007 at his apartment. We were both attending William & Mary at the time. His two roommates were students in my school psychology program, and one of them invited me and some other school psychology students for dinner and drinks at their apartment. I had no idea that she intended to set me up with Kevin! While I was at their apartment, I remember seeing Kevin walk in carrying some drinks from the car. I instantly found him very attractive. While talking with him throughout the night, his humor and generosity made him increasingly more attractive. However, since I was just starting graduate school, I had made a promise to myself that I was not going to date anyone right away, and instead focus on school. So, I (regrettably) declined when Kevin asked me out the first few times. Then, Kevin came up with a date idea that I couldn’t turn down. (Thank you Kevin for being so persistent!) He showed up at my door one day with a restaurant menu and a rose. He told me to pick out anything I wanted on the menu (he put black electrical tape over all the prices on the menu). He offered to bring dinner back to his place so that I could watch my beloved Hokies football game, and he could still get his date! Who could pass that up?

The Proposal: Since we’ve been dating, Kevin and I plan a trip every summer to his family’s lake house in Deep Creek, Maryland for just the two of us to get away and enjoy a relaxing weekend. This past August, we packed up and headed off for our annual trip. Nothing out of the ordinary…or so I thought! After relaxing at the cabin, we made plans to take the boat to our favorite pizza place. We ordered our absolute favorite pizza, but when it arrived Kevin ate just one piece! If you know Kevin, this is extremely unusual! Of course I asked him about this, and his response was that he wanted to get back to the boat in time to see the sunset. Ok, I didn’t really think twice about it. So, we packed up our pizza and got back on the boat. Kevin parked the boat in the perfect location so that we could have an amazing view of the sunset. Then, he told me to close my eyes because he had a surprise for me. Hmm…. So, I had my eyes closed for a few minutes, and when he told me to open them the boat was covered in rose petals, there was a white tablecloth on the table with a bottle of wine and two wine glasses, and Kevin was nicely dressed complete with a tie! Kevin turned on some music and asked me to dance – we never dance – but, Kevin has done some pretty romantic and elaborate dates before, so I still didn’t think anything was out of the ordinary. All of a sudden, another boat pulls up near us while we are dancing and Kevin spins me around. I turned to see a giant sign with white lights that says, “MARRY ME”. I was completely surprised! When I turned back around to say, “Yes”, Kevin was down on one knee holding the most beautiful ring, which included my grandmother’s diamond.

Kevin’s Side: Kara and I met in the fall of 2007 through mutual friends. My roommates at the time were classmates of Kara’s in William & Mary’s School Psychology graduate program. They invited the first year class over to our apartment for a social gathering one weekend. My roommate, Ally, mentioned that one of the attendees was a friend I might like to meet.

I made sure to look as presentable as possible before heading out to gather food and drinks for the event. When I finally returned, our kitchen was full of people I’d never met. I shook quite a few hands before finally getting the introduction that I’d been waiting for…and I was disheartened. You see, Ally didn’t mention that Kara was going to be ridiculously beautiful, unfailingly kind, and incredibly witty. That’s not the kind of girl a science nerd from William & Mary is fortunate enough to find himself dating. Feeling slightly betrayed by Ally, I spent the evening socializing and trying not to dwell on the girl who was out of my league.

A few days later, Ally’s unsolicited reconnaissance revealed that Kara didn’t think I was too bad after all. After a few more group social gatherings, I mustered the courage to ask Kara to dinner. She declined. Several times. The excuse: Virginia Tech Football. Regardless of what other feelings may have prompted her refusals, it took me quite a while to realize that Virginia Tech football was a serious thing, even for a girl. So, I regrouped and guilt-tripped her into a date by suggesting restaurant food at my apartment while we watched the game. Lucky for me, Virginia Tech won, the weather was perfect, and this science nerd made a decent first-date impression.

The Proposal: My family has a small cabin on Deep Creek Lake in western Maryland. It is particularly special because I associate it only with some of the most relaxing, enjoyable, and positive experiences of my life. Kara and I have visited on many occasions, including our first trip together as a couple. In August of last year, we had scheduled a weekend trip to the cabin to escape from the stress of work and graduate school. Several months prior, I had purchased her engagement ring. Soon after, I asked her parents for permission to ask the big question.

The day of the proposal was spent relaxing at the cabin. That evening, I took Kara by boat to dinner at one of our favorite small restaurants on the lake. Afterward, we took the boat to a quiet spot on the water and sat to watch the sunset. Under the guise of celebrating her recent acceptance into an autism fellowship program, I asked her to close her eyes for a surprise. I quickly switched into dress clothes, spread rose petals around the boat, put out a white tablecloth, brought out a chilled bottle of wine, and turned on some music. After enjoying some of the wine, I asked her to slow dance. Unbeknownst to Kara, some close family friends were approaching on a separate boat as we danced. Out of her view, they held up a 10-foot long sign I had made that spelled out “Marry Me” in white Christmas lights. Once their boat was in position, I turned Kara around to see the sign and knelt down on one knee, ring box in hand.

Photos by Stephanie Yonce Photography