Lauren Kelly and Bryan

Image 1 of Lauren and Bryan

How We Met

Who said true love can’t be found over Keystone Light in a Frat Basement? Not us!

Our story begins at the University of Connecticut. Like most college students who are home for the summer, we were both counting down the days until school was back in session. In July of 2009 we both made our way to Storrs, Connecticut for a summer party. I headed to campus with my best gal pal Melanie and when we walked into Bryan’s fraternity house, I immediately pointed at Bryan and whispered to Mel “who is that?!” And so it began…

We were both in the same circle of friends and also happened to both be Chapter President for our respective fraternity/sorority. Somewhere over the next few weeks of seeing each other at around Husky Village (Sorority/Fraternity houses) and at social events, phone numbers (and more importantly, BBM pins) were exchanged and a friendship was formed. For months, we spent all day and all night BBM’ing back and forth about anything and everything. Our relationship really started by doing small favors for one another (taking turns bringing each other cheap champagne to parties, sharing class notes/study guides, etc.)

There were quite a few rounds of “Bryan and Lauren” that lead us to where we are today. Even though early on we both knew we wanted to end together, the timing wasn’t right for nearly four years. We went through many phases of either 24/7 talking or several months of silence (sometimes for no apparent reason), but somehow always found our way back to one another.

After three years of off and on, the last of which was six absolutely painful months of avoidance, Lauren decided to break her silence and texted Bryan on Thursday, May 16th with one final plea: Do you think we can ever at least be friends? Bryan’s response was every girl’s text nightmare: Who is this? (I’d been deleted??!! Knife. To. Heart.)

A few tearful hours later, my phone buzzed with a text from Bryan “Lauren?” And from there, we were back to nonstop talking. That Sunday, while standing on an Amtrak from DC to NYC, Bryan asked what everyone was waiting for “Is there any chance for this? Or no shot in hell?”

The timing was finally right and two weeks later, we went on our official first and last first date, May 31st, 2015. From that day on, we’ve been inseparable. We’ve now been living together for two years and although we already feel married, we’re ready to officially tie the knot in the coming year.

Image 2 of Lauren and Bryan

Image 3 of Lauren and Bryan

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Image 5 of Lauren and Bryan

how they asked

We are really fortunate to have lived in New York City and are now only 15 minutes away in nearby Hoboken! From the start of our relationship we have become adventurous eaters and have been to many of the best restaurants in NYC. I do keep a small bucket list of restaurants that we have yet to go to, and every now and then we’ll pick a new one for special occasions or a much needed night out! At the beginning of 2016, I decided to make a reservation at Tavern on the Green in Central Park – a place I have been wanting to go to but never found the right time. Because they were participating in Restaurant Week, I thought this was the perfect excuse to go there, though we never go out on weeknights. I had made the reservation so I thought nothing of it, but looking back, all the signs were there (Bryan’s suit jacket, his haircut, his not wanting to to check his coat).

When the waiter came to take our order, I noticed Bryan was ordering a really nice bottle of wine…on a Wednesday! I told him that wasn’t necessary but he insisted as we hadn’t been out to a really nice dinner in a while. When the waiter heard his order he immediately chimed in “Ohh celebrating anything special?” … “Nope!”

On one of our very first dates we ended up being caught in the cross fire of an engagement and flashmob style photographers at a restaurant on the Upper East Side so after that awkward experience we had vowed not to get engaged at a restaurant. So it was no surprise that nothing happened on Taven on the Green – just an amazing meal, a fantastic bottle of wine, and the pleasure of each other’s company.

We headed home and as Bryan opened our front door I started my normal routine to put down my bag and take off my one million layers needed for commuting in the city. All of a sudden behind me I hear “I got you SO good!” and when I turned the corner out of our foyer I quickly realized what was happening.

Set the scene – white flowers covering our kitchen table (my personal favorite and very much resembled the dozens of flowers I had received from Bryan over the years) and Bryan has his coat off and is holding a navy blue box. The second I realized what was happening, I rushed over to our kitchen and started shouting “Oh my gosh” on repeat, cue the tears and the hands up to my face in a standard ‘freaking out’ motion. After about three minutes of continuously saying “oh my gosh. is this happening?” I was finally able to compose myself and when I opened my eyes Bryan was down on one knee looking at me like “can I talk yet?”

As I’m sure happens to many others, the rest is a little bit of a blur but ended with Bryan saying the one thing I had been waiting 6 years to hear “Will you marry me?” to which I obviously responded with an over the top YES!

Image 6 of Lauren and Bryan