Lacey and Drew

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How We Met

Our story is my favorite story. Drew and I met on August 29, 2015 – the weekend before I began my sophomore year at James Madison University. “FROG week” is what students refer to it as – the week before classes when the Freshman are going through orientation. Sororities and fraternities host parties almost every night throughout the week, which is how Drew and I stumbled upon each other. Whoever said you can’t meet your future husband at a frat party was wrong (thanks TKE).

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Drew was at JMU visiting his friend for the night, which is how he ended up at the party. My friends and I had no intention of going to this party, but nonetheless, we ended up there on our walk home. Shortly after we got there, Drew and I ran into each other, and here we are. As someone who wasn’t very big into the party scene during college –telling people that I met my fiancé at a frat party always makes me laugh. When I take a minute to think about it, though, it amazes me to think about how much had to happen for our paths to cross. Had my friends and I just kept walking, had I chosen to stay home that night, had he decided to come to visit another weekend; the possibilities of what could have happened for us not to meet – are endless. It makes you wonder whether things happen by chance or by fate.

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After the party, we parted ways. Neither of us asked for each other’s phone number – I didn’t even know his last name. Luckily, his friend was able to get in contact with mine, or we would not have been able to keep in contact, and the likelihood of us running into each other again is even slimmer than us meeting, to begin with. At the time, I had no idea he wasn’t a student at JMU. Following that weekend, he returned to Virginia Beach for work, and I began my fall semester. Little did we know, within a week and a half, we would be inseparable.

We spent the next two and a half years in a long-distance relationship until I graduated. We would see each other mainly on weekends or on holidays. He lived 3.5 hours from JMU – even further when I would go home to Pennsylvania for the summers. Nine out of ten times, he would make the drive to me because I was so busy with school or work, and he never once complained. I will never forget one time, in particular, he got off of work at 6:00 pm, drove 3.5 hours and then sat with me in the library for another hour or two so I could study. I will never forget how much he sacrificed for me, how much time he devoted to me, and how selfless he was through it all.

I wouldn’t trade our journey for anything. Life is so precious, and I try to remind myself often how blessed I am to have had the privilege to love selflessly & unconditionally and be loved in return. I get to marry my best friend, my biggest supporter, and closest confidant – and I will forever be so grateful.

How They Asked

Drew proposed to me on February 24, 2018. Luckily, it was a beautiful day in Virginia Beach. I had come to visit for the weekend when he popped the question. The beach has always been my happy place, so I loved going when I was there. That day, we were going to take pictures (photography is one of my favorite hobbies). I was taking pictures of him when I found a glass bottle hidden in the sand.

At first, not going to lie, I thought it was legit. I had stumbled on a real message in a bottle, that had been floating in the open ocean, and washed up here. But when I saw the way he was looking at me, I knew it was something else. I opened the bottle and unrolled a typed letter. After I finished reading, I looked up and he slowly got down on one knee. I said yes, of course, and the rest is history! After a year and a half of being engaged, we are set to get married in the next few months.

Special Thanks

Danielle Hartlaub
 | Photographer