Lauren and Michael

Image 1 of Lauren and MichaelHow We Met: We met in a college French course, my freshman year. I was the class nerd and he was the class clown…The typical bad boy type, he had long rockstar hair in a ponytail and a lip ring. I had never understood why girls liked guys like him. But then, one day he asked me if I wanted to hang out after class and study French together. We talked for hours and couldn’t stop. We balanced each other in a way that only complete opposites do. Our first date was to a French film festival and I have to say, I couldn’t have asked for a more romantic way to meet someone!

Most people say they fell in love, but I like to say we stepped into it…over a very cautious and gradual relationship, we grew to become best friends. We had two years of happiness together under the Florida sunshine!

Image 2 of Lauren and Michael

After that, Mike got into a medical school in the Caribbean and we began a long and arduous road of long-distance. I moved to Louisiana for graduate school and we only saw each other twice a year for several years. I was constantly in tears, frustrated because Skype never seemed to want to work in the rainforest where he lived… I am certain that if we could make it through that, we can make it through anything!

Seven-and-a half years from when we met, we are at least back in the same country, but he just started residency in Massachusetts, while I live in Florida. When people ask us how we met, I usually just like to say that we grew up together…because we have!

how they asked: Canaveral National Seashore always seemed like such a magical place to me…Beach stretched as far as the eye can see, without any imposing condos stripping the shore of its beauty.

Apparently, one aspect of the ‘magic’ that I did not know about was the fact that the national park turns into a nude beach on the weekends. About two minutes after we’d sunk our toes in the sand, a guy walked past us completely naked! I was flabbergasted, and when we looked down the beach we saw that everyone else was nude, too.

I am such a prude, I am not the type of girl to take her clothes off in public. But, my always-adventurous boyfriend was there to push me out of my comfort zone and remind me that when in Rome, you must do as the Romans do…

After a while, I stopped being so self-conscious and we had a blast skinny-dipping in the ocean and searching for seashells on the beach. There was something so peaceful about being out in nature, so…naturally?

Image 3 of Lauren and Michael

I was lounging in a tide pool, when Mike came up behind me. He sat down beside me in the water and said, “This day has really been something special, what do you say we make it even more so…will you marry me?” He had the biggest grin on his face and the most beautiful ring in his hand. Most girls spend their special moment crying from emotion, but after saying “Heck YES!” I started laughing and could not stop. “Did you really just propose to me at a nude beach…in the nude?! Really?!”

Plenty of couples get engaged at the beach every day, but he managed to make it the most unconventional proposal I’ve ever heard of. Telling the story to our families was a little awkward, to say the least, but it was a day I wouldn’t change for anything in the world. Most peoples’ first question is: Where did he hide the ring?

Image 4 of Lauren and Michael