Kendra and Benjamin

Image 1 of Kendra and Benjamin

How We Met

Ben and I met when we were fifteen. One random October day in 2009 a friend introduced us in the cafeteria before school. The moment I saw him I was hooked. I had never been so drawn to someone, and come to find out he felt the same way. Like high school kids do, he texted me later that day “wanting to get to know me more”.

Image 2 of Kendra and Benjamin

For the next couple weeks we ate lunch together, hung out after football game and texted non-stop. On the morning of my sixteenth birthday (11/16/09) Ben walked into the cafeteria with a bouquet of white roses and asked me to be his official girlfriend. The rest is history!

Image 3 of Kendra and Benjamin

how they asked

In mid-May Ben got the opportunity to do an internship for two months in Washington D.C. The offer was too good to pass up, so within a few days Ben was off to Washington, while I stayed in Austin to work and wait for him to come home and finish his degree at UT in July. At this point Ben and I have been dating for seven and half years and would both be college grads by August. So as any crazy girl would, I started asking him questions about what was next for us. He threw me off at every turn telling me he was worried about funds and affording an apartment (let alone a ring). So when we made a plan for me to come visit at the end of his internship I had no idea we would be coming home engaged! He picked me up from the airport Friday, June 30 and we soon found out my bag hadn’t made it onto my second flight.

Image 4 of Kendra and Benjamin

Normally this would have ruined my evening and it would have made me really anxious and stressed but I had an incredible calm about it. They told us they would send it to his apartment the next day and we walked out of the airport just happy to be together again. We planned to meet the other interns in downtown D.C. for dinner so we headed to the National Mall to check out some sites beforehand. We admired the Lincoln memorial and as we walked down the steps Ben asked if I wanted a picture. Happily I said yes and he asked a couple standing at the bottom of the steps if they would take our picture. I was fixing my hair when I realized Ben was looking at me and not the camera.

Image 5 of Kendra and Benjamin

I turned to him and suddenly he was beaming and had a box in his hand. Ha ha to be honest I thought he was playing a joke on me. He had convinced me so well that this wasn’t happening anytime soon that I thought there was no way this was real! He told me how much he loved me and had wanted to do this for so long.

Image 6 of Kendra and Benjamin

Image 7 of Kendra and Benjamin

Then just like that he was on one knee and there was a gorgeous ring staring me in the face! I basically shrieked “yes of course!” And we hugged while everyone on the steps of the memorial cheered.

Image 8 of Kendra and Benjamin

It was so magical and such a surprise! Ben had even had one of his cousins there to take secret pictures, and, surprise, the couple taking our photo was the interns I hadn’t met yet!

Image 9 of Kendra and Benjamin

Image 10 of Kendra and Benjamin

One of the interns, Becket, actually had the ring and gave it to Ben when he gave them his phone for the picture. So sneaky! We got to spend the rest of the week enjoying the bliss of our engagement and our future home of D.C.

Image 11 of Kendra and Benjamin

Image 12 of Kendra and Benjamin

Image 13 of Kendra and Benjamin

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Image 16 of Kendra and Benjamin

Our Video

Special Thanks

Jill Salerno
 | Photographer