Lauren and Spencer

Image 1 of Lauren and Spencer

How We Met

Spencer and I met on board a cruise ship in June 2016. We were both traveling with our families, and while this was Spencer’s first cruise, cruises are a tradition with my family. I vividly remember seeing Spencer for the first time on the first day of the cruise. My friend and I were walking through the promenade when I passed him, and I remember he gave me a little nod, and of course, I had to make sure he knew I was interested… Naturally, I threw him a little look over my shoulder after we had crossed paths. We saw eachother several times over the next seven days, but outside of exchanging glances, we never spoke… Until the LAST night. My friend and I decided to go to the karaoke bar for one last hoorah, and I saw Spencer out in the promenade, so I decided to venture to the bathroom (hoping he would FINALLY speak)… As I was making my way back to karaoke, Spencer caught up to me with a one-liner… “I’ve been dying all week to catch your name.” We chatted for a few minutes, and even though I told him I need to join my friends at karaoke, as I walked away, I told Spence to “come to find me later.”

Image 2 of Lauren and Spencer

On the last night of a 7-day cruise at almost 11 PM, I told him to “come, find me later?!” Well… he did! We spent the next 3-4 hours talking on the pool deck, overlooking the dark ocean. My parents were absolutely frantic when they realized I wasn’t in my room at nearly 3 AM, and like the good parents they are, they searched the ship high & low to find me. Thankfully, they did–Spencer & I were just lost in conversation & had no idea how late it was!

Image 3 of Lauren and Spencer

As soon as I saw my dad’s face when he found me, I immediately jumped up and told Spencer I had to go (without exchanging contact information!!) As I walked back to my cabin with my parents, who were not very happy, to say the least, I looked at my mom and said, “but mom… He didn’t even ask for my phone number…” I’ll spare you her response, but I eventually told her that he was just “the most amazing person I’ve ever met.”

Image 4 of Lauren and Spencer

The next morning, I was determined to find this guy, so I did what any girl would do, and typed every detail I could remember about his personal information into google. Eventually, I found his soccer roster (with his last name!!), and subsequently found him on Instagram and followed him. He messaged me a few hours later, and I was SO relieved I had found the right guy!!

Two months later, Spencer drove 9 hours to spend a week in North Carolina with my family and I. Near the end of the week, Spencer & I decided to pursue a long-distance relationship.

Image 6 of Lauren and Spencer

How They Asked

During Spencer’s first trip to see me, we ventured off to Raleigh to spend some time away from my family—just the two of us. I took him to Pullen Park, a quaint little park right beside my alma mater, NC State. We walked around for hours, talking & taking silly pictures. Afterward, we went to eat in downtown Raleigh at the Pit, a local BBQ restaurant.

Image 8 of Lauren and Spencer

Image 9 of Lauren and Spencer

Fast forward 4.5 years later to November 27, 2020, Spencer told me that we were going to a nice dinner in Raleigh, but we needed to stop by NC State’s campus to see his roommate. He and his roommate had convinced me to give his roommate’s cousin a tour of campus, and although skeptical, I agreed. We were driving from my parent’s house to Raleigh, and as we were nearing Raleigh, I desperately needed to use the restroom. I had my suspicions about things because Spencer had me wear a nice dress, and I was trying to distract myself by drinking nearly two bottles of water on the way!! I knew that NC State’s campus would be closed due to the pandemic (and Thanksgiving), so I begged Spencer to stop as soon as he could. As we were getting closer to Pullen Park, I asked him to stop at the gas station on the corner by the park.

Image 7 of Lauren and Spencer

Spencer pulled into Pullen Park—not the gas station, and I was so focused on getting to the restroom… I really did not think twice. After everything was handled, Spencer asked me to take a stroll around the park. As we strolled through the park, I noticed that it was decorated for Christmas… and I also noticed that everyone was staring at us… we were a tad overdressed! As we started to approached the far side of the park, I noticed white notecards hanging from a bridge.

Image 10 of Lauren and Spencer

I pointed this out to Spencer and asked if he thought they were Christmas wishes from the community. As we got closer to the bridge, I realized what was happening and started to sob… The “notecards” I noticed were pictures of Spencer and I—from our first date at Pullen Park in 2016 to the last time we had seen each other the month prior. Spencer led me across the bridge to the gazebo in the middle of the park and begged me to hold my tears in long enough for him to get on one knee. Of course, I said YES, and both of our families and closest friends joined us to celebrate with dinner at the Pit.

Image 11 of Lauren and Spencer

Image 12 of Lauren and Spencer

Image 13 of Lauren and Spencer

Image 14 of Lauren and Spencer

Image 17 of Lauren and Spencer

Image 18 of Lauren and Spencer

Image 15 of Lauren and Spencer

Special Thanks

Megan Morales
 | Photographer