Laura and Darren

Image 1 of Laura and Darren

How We Met

My family has a beach cabin in Warm Beach, WA that I’ve grown up going to every summer my entire life. This special place means the world to my family and me, and holds more memories than I can count. Little did I know that Memorial Day Weekend 2017 would introduce me to the love of my life in a place so sacred to me.

We had a huge seafood paella party to kick-off Memorial Day Weekend / Opening Weekend for crabbing season with all of our good friends on the beach. As I was enjoying good friends, great food, and even better live music on the Puget Sound, I was introduced to someone I had never seen at the beach before. This tall, dark, and handsome man named Darren introduced himself and I thought to myself, “Good lawwwd. There’s no way you’re single… And how the heck have I not met you at the beach before?” I soon found out that Darren had grown up with our beach cabin neighbors, and has been best friends with their son, Travis since they were kids. Somehow, over 26 years, we had never crossed paths until that very weekend.

Image 2 of Laura and Darren

Long story short, after an evening with everyone around a big bonfire and live music from my cousins singing campfire songs, Darren and I sat next to each other and bickered back and forth for hours about who we felt had better music taste. There were about 12 of us around the bonfire by the end of the night in a heated discussion about, “If you were on an island, what 3 artists would you want to be stranded with you to play you good music.” I was completely enchanted by Darren. I had never met anyone who had as good of taste in music (if not better, but don’t tell him I said that) than me and how natural it was with him the whole evening. Unfortunately, I had to drive back to Boise the next morning at 5:00 AM and I thought, I guess that’s it. A month later, we were together, at Warm Beach, and I’ve never been the same ever since.

Image 3 of Laura and Darren

how they asked

Back in 2011, I had studied abroad in Sevilla, Spain for six months. It quickly became my favorite place in the entire world because of the memories and lifelong friendships I made, aside from the beautiful culture, landscape, and architecture. Darren lived in Germany for a few years and traveled all over Europe, but never made it to Spain. When we decided for Christmas + our birthdays (5 days apart) that we wanted to give the gift of travel rather than presents this year, the brainstorming phase of “where to” didn’t take long to choose a destination.

I had been dying to get back to Sevilla to visit for the first time and Darren had been dying to see what Spain was all about. We spontaneously booked two weeks in Spain to leave the day after Christmas. Our two best friends, Travis & Mallory, (who take the credit for how we met) were going to be in Europe for the holiday as well, so we planned our trip to all meet up once we got to Sevilla.

Image 4 of Laura and Darren

We spent three days in Sevilla, and on our last day there, it was the most beautiful sunny day where I got to show Darren my favorite place in Sevilla, Plaza de España (it’s majestic + they filmed Star Wars there). As we entered the plaza he said, “let’s take a lap,” and seemed a little off but I went with it. Travis & Mallory were behind us, which I thought they were enjoying the beautiful walk, but little did I know, Mallory had her good camera ready for Darren to propose. When he guided me to the center of the plaza and started reminiscing about our relationship, I knew it was happening! He got down on one knee, and pulled out… an Orbit gum pack! I was so confused and started to ‘nervous laugh’… only seconds later, Darren unfolded a tiny cloth that held the most stunning diamond ring I have ever laid eyes on. “Laura Lynn Monroe, will you marry me?” You better believe I said my best YES! For a moment there though I thought, “I hope you didn’t just take me to the most romantic place in the world to ask me if I wanted a piece of gum!” He hid it inside the Orbit gum box so I wouldn’t see the ring box in his jeans!

Image 5 of Laura and Darren

Special Thanks

Mallory Tallquist
 | Photographer
Travis Tallquist
 | Videographer