How We Met
Tyler and I met in November 2017 while both on vacation in Aruba. I was vacationing with a friend for the week and one day we saw there was a rum tasting at our hotel. We sat down to start the tasting and these 2 guys ran by, had the same reaction we did (cheap rum tasting on vacation?! Sign us up!), and sat down across from us. We spent the early afternoon laughing with them, tasting delicious local rum and I embarrassingly finished a whole cheese plate they gave us. After the tasting, the guys had plans with their additional friends at the hotel and my friend and I headed down to the beach for the rest of the day. Later on, Tyler and his friend walked down to the beach (“Hi new friends!”) and the shenanigans continued. That first night Tyler and I found ourselves alone in a hot tub at some point and we had our first real conversation getting to know each other. Instantly, we connected on our love of Harry Potter and movies. Next thing you know it’s been hours and we’re talking about our values and our goals for our lives (Heavy topics for a rum drinking vacation day with a stranger).
could have stayed in that hot tub forever getting to know this guy and it will always remain my favorite conversation I have ever had. That night Tyler and I exchanged numbers so we could share in activities for the remainder of the week. After a week of getting to know each other and hanging out on a beautiful island, I knew Tyler was an important person in my life. The energy between us was just something indescribable and I had never experienced it before. At the end of the week, he flew back to Virginia where he was stationed in the Navy and I flew back to Syracuse, NY. We continued to speak every day and 2 months later I flew out to St. Kitts & Nevis where he and his same friend from Aruba were spending the week scuba diving. We continued right where we left off and started our long-distance relationship. We spent the next 2 years rotating traveling every 6 – 8 weeks for as many days as we could squeeze in. Thank you, Netflix, Disney+, HBO Max, and Delta Airways for basically sponsoring our relationship and supporting its survival. Finally, in January 2020, we decided it was time to see if our relationship would work full time and I moved to Jacksonville, FL where Tyler moved to after getting out of the Navy! We moved in together, after never spending more than 7 days in a row together and it was better than we could have imagined! And the rest is history!
How They Asked
With the pandemic and me being a health care worker, Tyler and I decided to try and plan a wonderful getaway for once we were both vaccinated. So we started making plans for a week in Maui, Hawaii! Now, I am a planner. Very Type-A personality that makes planning my bread and butter. After having such a tough year (as a planet) I dove into planning something positive, fun, and a huge part of my and Tylers lives…traveling. We also were able to get his brother, his girlfriend, and 4 other friends to come to meet us there! Tyler got off the phone with his brother one day and said “I think Brent is going to bring his nice camera to take pictures around the island” to which I replied “Oh my gosh he should! Can we dress up nice and take fancy photos on the beach at sunset?!” to which he replied, “Absolutely”. The thought had obviously crossed my mind that we would get engaged in Hawaii. But Tyler is so bad at keeping secrets from me and he had given me NO hint, so I figured it was better to just look forward to the vacation and not dwell on it. Little did I know, I just set up my own proposal without him having to give anything away.
So we arrive in Maui, meet up with all of our people and we kick it off with a doors-off helicopter tour, snorkeling, and of course, tropical drinks. Life is just wonderful. The next day arrives and it’s “Sunday Funday”. The one day on the trip I did not plan. Tyler’s best friend Justin asked for a charge of Sunday Funday. So we pack up a cooler with everything for mimosas and snacks and head out to a waterfall. Turns out it was 3 waterfalls! Now, I am from Upstate, NY. Since moving to Florida, I really miss the mountains and going for hikes to discover waterfalls. This was already the best day. Some of my favorite people and jumping off trees into deep pools of water beside a waterfall. Next, we move on to a short hike in the more tropical part of Maui. It was breathtakingly gorgeous.
We head back to our hotels to change and meet up with everyone to make some dinner. I noticed Tyler and I were really the only ones who dress up a little. I turned to him and said “Should I change?” he shrugged it off and said, “No, why? You look beautiful”. We had one bottle of champagne left from our mimosas so we brought it with us and headed down to the beach right before sunset and start taking pictures. Our friend Zach set up his GoPro to take a “timelapse of the sunset”. After all the couples had taken photos we all sat down to just enjoy the sunset. Tyler then stood up and started thanking everyone for coming to join us on this vacation and how crazy it was that we could all get together after not seeing each other for so long. He then gestured to me to stand up with him and starts telling me how happy he is with me and how he knows I’ve always wanted to see a proposal on the beach at sunset. That was obvious when I knew! I blurted out an inappropriate version of “Shut Up!” and started shaking. Justin handed him the ring and he got down on one knee to ask me to be his adventure partner for life! And of course, I said Yes! We got a round of applause from the whole beach, popped the bottle of champagne and I honestly sat in the sand with my head in my hands afterward because I was in shock. Once I stood up again I grabbed Tyler and the bottle of champagne and literally walked off into the most gorgeous sunset with him to have a quiet moment.
I had told Tyler the first day in Aruba when he walked down to the beach and found me and my friend there, that my favorite pastime on vacation was sitting on the beach at sunset waiting for a proposal to happen, but it never did. This wonderful man remembered that and gave me the proposal of my dreams. We met on an island and now got engaged on an island.
We spent the week in engagement bliss and when we got home to FL Tyler had one more surprise in store for me. After curling up on the couch exhausted from traveling, Tyler told me we had somewhere to be at 4 pm and I should dress up nice. He brought me to a hotel room at the beach and thoroughly confused I opened the door. Inside was my parents, his parents, my 3 brothers, sisters-in-law, and nephews! None of them live locally and I have not seen my brothers and their families for 2 years because of Covid! I screamed with excitement and started crying. One of the reasons I didn’t expect Tyler to propose in Hawaii was because he said he wanted our families to be present. But this man took the time and effort not to surprise me once, but TWICE. Having our families together for the first time was the most meaningful gesture I could have ever dreamed of.
Now I have a short additional story I would like to add since it is important to us. Before I flew to St.Kitts & Nevis in 2018, Tyler’s friend that had also met me in Aruba had jokingly said he was going to get ordained to marry us in Nevis since he knew how undeniable our chemistry was. So me playing along, I packed a white dress with flowers on it I had recent bought on the off chance I had to get married on vacation lol. Clearly, that didn’t happen. Since then, I have never worn that dress but continued to bring it on every vacation I have ever gone on with Tyler. After a couple of trips, I realized that I wasn’t putting that dress on until I’m getting proposed to or engaged, since it was so funny I originally brought it to “get married in”. That dress was in my closet in Maui and I almost put it on for the beach photos because honestly I’m in Maui and when is there going to be a prettier place to wear this dress I have been holding on to. I voiced this to Tyler and him knowing the history of the dress encouraged me to put it on. Turned out we had little time before sunset to get ready and this is the type of dress you need to tape yourself into, so I opted for my easy to put on a dress. A couple of days after getting engaged we went to this gorgeous spot we had discovered while snorkeling and my friend took engagement photos on my phone. I wore my dress for the first time, standing with my now fiance and the love of my life. Our friend from Aruba, who offered to marry us in Nevis all those years ago, will be officiating our wedding <3