Kelsee and Tannen

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How We Met

Tannen and I met in middle school and instantly hit it off since we were both athletes and had a lot of the same friends. We became, even more, close when his best friend asked me to be his girlfriend in the 8th grade, and the best part of that was that Tannen had to help him out with it because he was so nervous! All throughout high school Tannen and I liked each other but he would cut us off every time when we got close to dating. Even though both of us dated other people we kept gravitating towards each other when we were single. When my ex and I broke up that’s when I decided that I was going to marry the next person I dated. Tannen and I started talking and hangout out again like old times when he told me he wanted to start dating but I wasn’t ready for a relationship at that point. After I let him know that I wasn’t interested in a relationship he started dating someone else. I always liked keeping in touch with Tannen but I’m the type of girl that doesn’t talk to guys when they’re in relationships so throughout that time we didn’t talk.

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A year goes by and I haven’t heard from Tannen, I only see these posts that this girl was tagging him in so I went ahead and reached out to him to see how he was doing (honestly, I missed him). It turns out that I texted him a couple of days after they broke up! We began hanging out all the time and started getting feelings for each other. At the same time that Tannen and I were talking, one of my best friends admitted to having feelings for me and wanting to take our friendship to the next level. It ultimately came down to who I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. A few months after Tannen and I starting talking again he sent me this 5-page text message pouring out his heart to me, saying how much he’s always liked me and how whenever he broke it off during high school it was because he felt it wasn’t our time “yet”. It took me a couple of weeks to reply to him because I didn’t know what I wanted. Finally, when I made my decision about who I could picture myself with, I texted Tannen and asked if I was too late to tell him how I felt. Once we got past the awkward “I like you, you like me” phase everything was falling into place. We hung out often enough that our families were giving us a hard time about why we weren’t dating yet. When it came to when Tannen asked me to be his girlfriend everyone said: “about time”!

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how they asked

The 4th of July is a big celebration in my family and all of us get together, even family from California come up. We have this bench in a park in Salem that overlooks the Willamette River and is in memory of my great grandparents that we all like to go to. My grandpa passed away a year and a half ago and while everyone was up for the 4th of July last year we went to the bench and spread his ashes in the flowers and the river. That’s when Tannen started planning the proposal without me knowing. Tannen and I have talked about marriage before and there were three things I asked to be done: 1) Have my whole family there. 2) Have a photographer to capture it. 3) Have my nails done.

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Tannen had the whole thing planned that when my family went to the bench this year for my grandpas memorial he would propose. We all got an invitation in the mail for the celebration at 2:00 followed by a burrito feed at my parents house (which was not unusual). When we got to the bench, my mom wanted to take a selfie with my sisters and I. So while we had our backs to everyone that’s when Tannen was behind me and down on one knee! When I turned around and it hit me what was happening, I couldn’t stop crying. Tannen was even crying! He could hardly get the words “will you marry me?” out. I had no idea that any of this was happening! My whole family and my best friend were there and he had one of my best friends growing up taking pictures! Tannen knew how important the bench became to me and how special it was to have my grandpa there in spirit.

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Special Thanks

Megan Tatton-Carpenter
 | Photographer