Lauren and Garrett

How We Met

Garrett and I met through a mutual friend during the summer of 2017 when we were both living and working in Charlottesville, VA. My soccer team had needed an extra sub for our game, and Garrett, who had just moved back into town, graciously threw (literally) his dinner into the fridge and came to our rescue (such a dude thing). We both experienced a lot of personal growth that summer after having found ourselves recently single after both our long-term relationships ended. As a result, we spent the summer hanging out with what became our mutual friend group – enjoying all things Charlottesville (hiking, soccer, sand volleyball, and lots of vineyard hopping!). I was in the middle of embracing the “single and not ready to mingle” mindset, while Garrett had slightly different plans….and thank goodness for that!

Marriage Proposal Ideas in Charlottesville, VA

Garrett made a personal goal for himself to experience NYE in a different country for at least the first five years after graduating college. When we started dating in October, he began to plant the seed for me to join him in Paris that year. At first, I thought he was joking. To travel internationally 2 months after starting to date someone was unheard of in my book and simply beyond crazy. Despite initially laughing it off, he persisted and eventually, I started running out of excuses not to go. We both absolutely love to travel and knew we wanted to be able to with anyone we were seriously dating, so despite every rational thought that said no, I threw caution to the wind in late November and I decided to say yes! I planned out this really cute/elaborate “say yes to the trip” picnic – equipped with French wine, Eiffel Tower cookies, and note that quoted Thomas Rhett’s lyrics about seeing the Eiffel Tower at night. I had been anxiously awaiting his reaction for days only to have my thunder stolen in the most magical way. Turns out, he purchased our flight to Paris two days before asking me to be his girlfriend…! I felt like I was living a Hallmark movie – talk about a mic drop moment! The rest is basically history – we had an incredible time exploring France together, confirmed we traveled extremely well together, and are looking forward to our 3rd annual NYE trip this year!

Lauren and Garrett's Engagement in Charlottesville, VA

How They Asked

Remember when I said Garrett bought plane tickets to Paris shortly before he asked me to be his girlfriend? Well, that’s not the only crazy thing that occurred around the same time period. The night he asked, we found ourselves having a long life chat (when are those ever short) on the stairs in front of the Omni Hotel on the downtown mall in Charlottesville, VA. During this live chat, Garrett told me point blank that he was going to marry me. He opened with something along the lines of “you might think this is insane (answer, yes…yes I absolutely did), but my dad said the same thing to my mom the day they met, and they’ve been married for 30+ years now so it’s kind of a thing for my family.” While I thought the sentiment was super sweet, I’m a little bit of a realist, so I reigned him back a lot with a “let’s try dating first and see how that goes.” Fast forward, a little over 2 years later, and we’ve now gone through many seasons of life together. We did a year of long-distance, recovered from ACL surgery, both switched jobs, and moved away from Charlottesville. The town still holds a special place in both of our hearts so we planned a weekend to return, visit friends, pick up our wine club boxes, and soak up my favorite holiday season.

On Saturday morning, as we were walking to breakfast on the downtown mall, Garrett began remarking that our Omni stair spot was nowhere to be found due to construction. To set the stage, it’s 11 AM. I’m absolutely famished (truthfully borderline hangry) and really excited to eat at one of our favorite breakfast spots, so I nod along, say something like it’s been that way for a year…it’ll be back….let’s eat (so romantic, I know…my mom, after this story, is continuously encouraging me to pack an emergency granola bar for situations like this). He follows up with a “you know, that’s where I asked you to marry me.” I correct him since it’s where he told me he was going to marry me and that it’s most definitely not the same. He pauses and says “well, do you still want to marry me?”

Quick aside, Garrett has been colloquially asking me to marry him now for over a year (smart man, consider the seed very well planted). It usually starts somewhere along the lines of: “what’re you doing next Thursday? Want to get married?” To which, I’ve now started automatically saying: “I’m not going to answer that till you ask properly.”

Cue that line and response + continued pulling toward breakfast and coffee (I know mom…I know….granola bar…). Garrett carries on and says “well you know we are in Charlottesville and I love you so incredibly much” à it is at this point that he drops my full name and I FINALLY clue in that something is happening. He gets down on one knee, I start freaking out, immediately fall to the ground with him (he just looked so lonely and we’re a team!) and say YES more times than I can count. It was the easiest question for me to answer – I truly cannot wait to marry my best friend, favorite adventure buddy, and the love of my life! The backdrop may be construction instead of our stairs, but the moment was perfect in its imperfection, just like our current and, hopefully, future marriage will be!