How We Met
In the spring of 2016, I was starting back up on my undergrad at Illinois State University after a mixture of transferring and taking a year break. At the same time, Kassie was in her last semester of undergrad at Florida State University. That February she visited Chicago to see her dad who was in town for business, she happened to post a picture on Instagram with a Chicago geotag. Somehow I happened to see the picture, naturally, when I did I followed her because.. I mean.. ??? but being the shy guy I was at the time we never really spoke.
Fast forward to summer of 2016 – Kassie shared a video of herself singing and I messaged her. I was so in awe of how talented and beautiful she was that I honestly thought I had no chance so I went with more of a ‘friend’ approach. I told her how I thought that was one of the most beautiful things I had ever seen/heard and I’d love to get to know her.
From that DM on, we talked and FaceTimed daily for 3 weeks. We bonded right away over our insane workout routines and our love of the TV show Shark Tank. At this time she had finished her undergrad degree and was visiting family in Nevada before returning to Florida to start her first ‘big girl job.’ Somehow I convinced her it would be a good idea to do a 5-day layover in the Chicago suburbs and stay with me AT MY MOM’S HOUSE. We both knew during the visit there was something there. After the visit Kassie went on to Saint Petersburg and we decided to do a long distance relationship.
After dating for a couple of months there was no doubt in either of our minds that we were with the right person. For our relationship to work I knew I needed to work on myself and make sure I was whole on my own, so we took a break. This was both the hardest but the best thing that had happened to our relationship.
Fast forward to January of 2017 and I reached out to her hoping and praying she was willing to have me back in her life. My mom had talked to her a few times a week and I had sent her anonymous flowers while we were apart to fend off other guys (insert evil laugh) so I was confident. She took a whole week to respond, but she said what was the most significant ‘yes!’ to me.
Exactly one month later Kassie quit her cushy corporate job, I flew down to Florida, and together we drove up to Illinois to finish my last semester and a half of school. At the time I was working as a trainer and a model to cover expenses during school. Kassie ended up finding a remote job so we could travel together. The last two years we have been inseparable, and that’s how we hope to spend the rest of eternity.
How They Asked
I had the girl, the ring, and her father’s (+ family’s) blessing. I knew how I wanted to propose down to the last detail within a month of her moving in, nearly 2 years before the actual proposal. Because we both enjoy working out and then casual nights I knew my goal, and really the most difficult part, would be to create a scenario where she could get all dolled up without setting off red flags in her head. I wanted it to be a complete surprise.
I reached out to Michaela and she was completely on board with my plan from the beginning. I would tell Kassie that I had set up a content photo shoot for my personal training business and I wanted her to be a part of it. This way Kassie would have her nails and hair done! Working out was also such an integral part of our relationship and one of the first things we bonded over so it felt perfect.
Michaela and I set a date, rented out a gym space, and I counted down the days from about 3 months out. We planned out the little details including our cue of when I would be proposing during the shoot – the plan was to recreate a shot Michaela had done with Kassie and me earlier that summer where we were back to back. I didn’t have a single ounce of nerves or anxiousness, I was ready to have a fiancé!
Once we got to the gym we pretty quickly set up and started shooting. Seconds into the shoot my heart started pounding and my entire body was trembling. I gave Michaela a look and let her know I was ready to do it. She set us up back to back and told us to both look forward. I turned around, got on one knee, and tapped Kassie to turn around. I completely blanked on what I had rehearsed and instead spoke what I was feeling. After my rambling, for about 15 seconds Kassie said “yes!”