Kristin and Zach

How We Met

1997: Zach and I met in first grade and would often be assigned to sit together as our last names both begin with the same letter. When we weren’t seated together, Zach would steal glances from across the room as he puts it. We’d spend the next few years in confusing friendship/frenemy territory, filled with cooties, awkward teasing, and birthday parties. We always sensed a spark but as children, neither of us wanted to admit our feelings. Half the time I was convinced he thought I was annoying and half the time I thought we were friends, to be honest, it was very up and down. Little did we know our mutual connection, Tori (my best friend and Zach’s cousin) would be masterminding our future. Years would pass and eventually on Christmas Eve in 2015 our beloved Tori finally forced us to talk about our feelings when she blurted out, “So when are you guys just going to date already?”. This led us down a whirlwind of stories and ultimately to the unfolding of how we felt over the years.

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Kristin (upper left corner) Tori (lower left corner) Zach (lower right corner)

How They Asked

Just shy of three years later, Zach would propose. I was tricked into thinking we were getting dinner with Zach’s parents on Coronado Island, only to pass the dinner spot, and end up overlooking the bay with a gondola waiting. I was suspicious of the plan until he told me, “I planned this surprise awhile ago and it just happened that my parents chose this weekend to visit, so we’ll enjoy the ride and then meet up with them later for dinner.” Well, that excuse worked for me! Fast forward to being serenaded by a mandolin player on the gondola and Zach popping the question a few minutes later.

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From there he’d fool me yet again, saying we were meeting on the Coronado pier for the “real” dinner. But of course, we wouldn’t. Instead of this plan, we’d pass the restaurants and hop on a quick ferry to downtown San Diego’s Gas Lamp district where we used to live.

Upon arrival, we were greeted by a horse-drawn Cinderella carriage, a man in a top hat, and the overwhelming sense that the night would be one to remember. After strolling through our old neighborhood in Gaslamp, we were greeted by friends and family outside of the US Grant Hotel. Now, Zach and I have always loved New Orleans, so it’s only fitting our friends and family greeted our arrival with Mardi Gras masks and a Second Line parade (a walking parade basically) in true New Orleans fashion to our final surprise: our engagement party inside the hotel!

Now, we are looking forward to celebrating our wedding in March in the city we love the most, New Orleans.

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