Katie and Cody

How We Met

Cody and I met through my brothers, the four of them, my three brothers and Cody, met in college playing lacrosse and became the best of friends. At that time, I was going to college out in California and had a hard time making it to games, they went to college in Pennsylvania. So our love story truly started on opposite sides of the country but slowly (and thankfully), over time, the miles between us started to grow less and less until we both ended up in Pennsylvania.

It was the summer of 2014 when Cody came home with my brothers to Michigan for a quick visit. It was that summer, although we had met before, that Cody and I first felt those butterflies for one another. I only told one friend, just one friend, about my new found love because surely it wasn’t acceptable to have a crush on your brother’s friend! They were supposed to be off limits, right?

Little did I know he was crushing on me too!

Fast forward a year, I’m still out in California, and Cody is about to have knee surgery. My mom sends a group text letting the family know Cody’s surgery is scheduled for the next day. Now I kid you not, I think I sat for a good 10 minutes debating whether or not to text him- yes, just a simple text, and let him know I’d be thinking of him but finally, something inside me decided it would be totally appropriate! I’d just wish him luck and a speedy recovery and that would be that, quick and simple, or so I thought. My mom likes to take credit for setting us up, because to this day, we’ve been talking ever since! And we started going steady, as Cody calls it, since that August.

how they asked

Now fast forward to October 2017– Cody and I are both in Pennsylvania, as we have been for the last two-ish years, as I finish up my second degree, in Nutrition and Dietetics, and Cody works for New York Life as a Financial Advisor. We love spending time together but as of lately we’ve been so busy quality time is hard to come by. So when Cody mentioned going to his parents for dinner on October 28th, I was so thankful! It would be a perfect excuse to walk away from my hectic workload for a night and just relax! We would finally get quality time together! Ummm… yes, please!

But to my surprise, the Tuesday before the 28th, Cody gave me a call after one of his meetings and told me he had something special planned for Saturday– we were going wine tasting! There was a winery in Westminster, near his home, where we could go. I hadn’t been wine tasting since I’d left California and he knows how much I love wine and how special this would be for us! I loved the idea! So when Saturday finally rolled around, we were both giddy to spend the day together, to go wine tasting, and have dinner with his parents! I came over to Cody’s around 1:00 that afternoon and we left for Maryland. We’ve made that drive a hundred times before but this time it seemed different. Maybe it was the Fall colors dazzling in the sun or just the fact that we were finally having some quality time together but nevertheless, I was so content. As Cody sang the words to every song and I just smiled and giggled with a lyric here and there, we were in the heart of Westminster before we knew it.

Nearing our final destination, Cody pointed out a restaurant he thought we should try sometime. As I lifted my eyes from the music on my phone to this quaint, stone restaurant, my eyes met those of my parents, who had flown in from Michigan, but more on that later! I quick turned to Cody, with tear filled eyes, and immediately started spitting out questions like rapid fire, “Why are they here?” … “What are they doing here?” … “Can we say hi to them?” … “Why aren’t we stopping?” … But Cody just kept driving, trying to recover from what was a huge mistake in the big plan. Apparently everyone was supposed to wait inside but because it was such a beautiful day they wanted to be outside.

Bless Cody’s heart, after being bombarded with questions and tears, he managed to calm me down and take my attention from my parents and put it towards the winery we were about to visit. But once we turned onto the dirt road leading into the winery, I forgot about everything – this was the most beautiful winery and vineyard I had ever seen. I was aw struck. In California the vineyards are beautiful but they are so dry. Everything is dirt and dust in those hills but here, oh here, it was incredible! The grass was luscious and green and seemed to stretch for miles with big billowing trees surrounding, their leaves in full Autumn bloom! Showing off their fiery reds and bold yellow-oranges, I was in a dream.

As we pulled into a parking spot Cody told me he had talked to the owner’s, who were family friends, and because our tasting wasn’t actually until 3:30, we could walk around in the vineyard for a bit. Perfectly content with the game plan, we stepped out of the car and made our way over to the rows of vines. Apparently, the last harvest had just taken place so very few grapes were left on the vines but Cody challenged me to try and find some.

Proposal Ideas Old Westminster Winery

As we meandered down one of the rows, searching intently for any last grapes that had clung to the vine, Cody came up close to me and told me, “you know…I’ve never been a huge fan of the ring your dad got you.”

Time out – Back when I was in high school, my dad and I designed a beautiful sapphire and diamond promise ring that I would wear until the day he gave that special man in my life permission to have my hand in marriage!

It was in that moment, all of the little pieces came together as Cody asked me if he could switch the ring I currently had on my finger, the one from my dad, for a new ring. Ummm … cue the tears! I told him through watery eyes and a shaky voice, yes that would be okay! Now, I wish I could say I remember ever word he spoke to me but in that moment I was so overcome with emotion and excitement! I do remember him saying, as he got down on one knee, that I could start planning what song I wanted to walk down the aisle to! And just like that, my six foot four boyfriend is now looking up at me asking,

“Katie, will you marry me?”

Yes, a thousand times over, yes, yes yes! As he held that perfect little blue box with the ring we had picked out together earlier that summer!

Time out – he told me the ring we picked out was appraised at the wrong price and as much as it crushed him, he wouldn’t be able to get it. He was so apologetic and so believable! Well now I know that Cody had already purchased the ring, he just needed me think it wasn’t coming. Sneaky sneaky!

But there we stood (and knelt) in that moment, a moment I had dreamt about for years and years, and here it was! As I slid the ring my dad had given me off my finger and handed it to Cody he placed his ring on my finger! It was official, we were ENGAGED!

Katie and Cody's Engagement in Old Westminster Winery

Katie's Proposal in Old Westminster Winery

Engagement Proposal Ideas in Old Westminster Winery

Wedding Proposal Ideas in Old Westminster Winery

Marriage Proposal Ideas in Old Westminster Winery

Where to Propose in Old Westminster Winery

Okay, one more time out – A little less than a year ago I had told Cody when he proposed there were only 3 things that NEED to happen, the rest would be up to his planning and imagination…

1) ask my parents for permission

2) make sure my nails are painted and

3) please, have someone get a (quality) photo of you proposing

Okay now back to the engagement! As Cody and I kissed, newly engaged, he turned me around to introduce the fabulous photographer, Kim, who had captured every moment of the proposal! No way was this real! Within seconds we were in a “full blown” photoshoot!

I laugh now, but in the moment Kim told me to hold out my hand and show off the ring! But oh my gosh, my hand was shaking so badly! It’s a miracle the photo even turned out!

I think I was still trying to process everything that had just happened and thankfully (I think) Kim recognized that so she gave us a moment to ourselves and snapped a few more photos before leading us over to a beautiful wooded area just across the dirt road.

As she set us up for another photo, my back to the dirt road, Cody facing me I saw Cody’s face light up as the sound of tires on the gravel came closer and closer. Cody nodded beyond me and said, “why don’t you look to your six (o’clock).” As I slowly turned around my eyes met three packed cars full of our families and close friends! Cue even MORE tears!

Everyone was smiling and waving full of excitment! And even though I had mistakenly seen my parents before, I was still in shock to see them! We quick snapped a few more photos, as I tried hard to look normal and fight back the tears but when our photographer told us to go meet our families, I was off to the races!

I guess it’s how it’s supposed to go; everyone knows but me but, I was so impressed with everyone’s ability to keep a secret!

My parents had flown in from Michigan earlier that week, which was funny because I had called my dad the day before and he pretended to be busy at work! I also found out we were never really going to have dinner at Cody’s parents, that was just a ploy! And all my girlfriends had known for weeks along with my brothers! (I’m starting to wonder if I should be concerned how great these people are at keeping secrets!!) But my brothers were particularly excited about the engagement because not only was I engaged, yay for their sister, but I was now engaged to their best friend who would soon become their brother-in-law … apparently, dating your brother’s friend isn’t totally off limits after all!

Standing there, surrounded by family and friends, with shouts of congratulations, laughter, lots of hugs, and even more tears, it’s hard to find a word that truly captures all the emotion. The closest word that comes to mind is JOY but even then it still doesn’t quite do it justice. I’m sure many more brides who have come before me know that I’m talking about. But I’ll tell you what, I sure could have lived in that moment forever!

As we wiped away our happy tears and the last hugs were given, we slowly migrated over to the picnic tables set up outside the winery. The ower brought out a few bottles of wine and Cody’s dad set us up a picnic spread of delicious snacks! It was the perfect way to celebrate this new beginning, as one BIG happy family! But the celebration didn’t end there, it continued as we made our way down the street to a quaint, stone restaurant, yes the restaurant Cody had pointed out just hours before!

In Cody and I’s time together, we’ve always joked that I was the “type A” gal with the plan while Cody was much more spontanious, more of a “fly by the seat of your pants” kind of guy but I’d have to say, I found myself a man with a plan and not just any plan, a plan that far exceeded any of my dreams!

We are so excited to be engaged and are looking forward to this special time in our lives! Thank you to everyone who made this special day happen! We love you all and are thankful!

Special Thanks

 | Photographer