Lauryn and Jake

Image 1 of Lauryn and Jake

How We Met

Simply put, Jake and I cannot remember when we first met. However, we do know that we were both attending Northwest University in Kirkland, Washington. Jake enrolled at the second semester of my Freshman year, yes I am two months older than him.

Interestingly enough, one thing we both remember is that Jake and I both had a strong dislike for one another. I thought Jake was immature (which he was…and still can be), Jake thought I was stuck-up (which I was…and still can be). Yet, we shared too many mutual friends, making it near impossible for us to avoid one another.

Fast forward three years when I was a senior year at NU and Jake and I were getting along pretty well. We would text occasionally, ask for advice on things and spent an unusual amount of time watching a poorly made show, Terra Nova. To be honest, we both had grown up a little bit and enjoyed our sarcastic bantering “relationship”. Though I always thought Jake was attractive, I remembered the personality I first met my Freshman year and couldn’t quite bring myself to thinking of us as more than friends.

After I graduated in 2013, Jake and I hung out a couple of times in groups throughout the summer but didn’t do much more than that. Around February of 2014, Jake texted me via my friend Melissa asking if I wanted to hang out on Valentine’s Day and go to this new restaurant in Kirkland, DERU. Having not heard from Jake in a while, I thought it would be a great time to catch up, and not having a date of my own for Valentine’s Day I was free for the afternoon.

I remember it was a Friday and I had just finished speaking at a school assembly at a local Junior High. I pulled into a parking lot that looked like a warehouse and noticed that Jake was already there, his 300ZX in the parking lot. Odd I thought, he was never on time, then again I was always late. We exchanged hugs, walked in together, ordered coffees and both splurged on our own pieces of DERU cake.

Three hours later…we were still talking. I remember being annoyed with myself for finding Jake not only physically attractive but felt an attraction to who he was as a person. Was he stilly goofy? Yes. Immature? Somewhat. But he was growing, striving to be better and he was honest, which was very refreshing. We talked about cars, relationships, family and dating all while making fun of each other and enjoying each others’ company.

I left that coffee “date” feeling encouraged and unsettled, because I wasn’t sure but I was beginning to think that this wasn’t the person I wanted to avoid four years ago, this was a person I wanted to continue to see more and more of and I hoped he felt the same. :)

how they asked

Lauryn and I had been dating for a little over two and a half years when I knew that I wanted to propose. I drafted various plans with close family and friends before deciding on something that would be perfect for us.

I knew three things about this proposal:

I wanted it to be a surprise.
I wanted it to be captured on a GoPro.
I wasn’t going to be able to pull it off without help.

My first step was to enlist the help of Lauryn’s dear friend, Anna Gallup of the floral design company, Grace and Blooms, to help make this plan a reality.

One and Half Weeks Before the Proposal (Kirkland, WA):

As per our plan, Anna and Lauryn had been hanging out when her photographer friend, Rachel, called in a panic claiming that her “model” for the after-Christmas photo shoot had dropped out. From what Lauryn knew they had already put money down for flowers and rented out the studio, so Anna was in big trouble if she couldn’t complete the shoot. Anna cautiously proceeded to ask Lauryn to cover for the model, ensuring she wouldn’t have to do much except show up, dress up and stand around with some beautiful flowers. It also made sense to ask Lauryn because she was teacher and would not have to return to work until after the New Year. Lauryn agreed, knowing that Anna really needed her help.

Over the next week (Kirkland, WA):

Anna met with Lauryn to pick out outfits, select makeup and hair options and talk through the “vision”. All the while she was conspiring with me for a great studio in Pioneer Square, securing an amazing photographer and selecting my outfits that complimented Lauryn to make for a great spontaneous after-proposal photo shoot.

Night Before (12/25/16, Pioneer Square, Seattle):

As the day approached Lauryn became more and more nervous for the “shoot”, she isn’t one to get in front of the camera so I supported and encouraged her that she would be great. Little did she know I was practicing my proposal, sweating through shirts every hour, pacing around my parent’s house during Christmas as I finished up last minute details to make sure the day was perfect.

I calmed Lauryn’s nerves the best I could and went to sleep (well at least tried) as I knew tomorrow would be one of the most exciting and nerve-wracking days of my life.

Day Of (12/26/16):

I arranged for my dad to drop me off at the shoot location (so that we could leave in one car). My dad and I brought up my clothes, backpack and supplies to the studio to help setup. At 11:10, Anna received a text from Lauryn with the dreaded four letters, “Here!”…she was 20 minutes early and we were completely unprepared.

I rushed my dad into the stairwell and Anna went to the door to meet Lauryn and rushed her up to the studio so that she wouldn’t notice my dad’s car parked directly outside the building. Hiding under the stairwell, we waited for them to pass us; then I snuck my dad out the door so he could make a clean getaway (two shirts down…).

We needed more time. Anna sent Lauryn on a coffee run and when the coast was clear I headed back into the studio to help finish up. Now that the operation appeared be going as planned we finished up details, stored away my bags and I headed to the floor above where I would be waiting until the time came (three shirts down…).

Rachel began posing and shooting Lauryn in front of the walls and windows. I slowly approached the actual studio, meeting Anna in the hallway as she was filming. Rachel posed Lauryn toward the window and I quietly kneeled down ready to propose. Rachel then said “Okay turn around” and Lauryn moved about two inches having no idea I was right behind her. After what seemed like an eternity Lauryn eventually turned to face me, gasped and started yelling “SHUT UP!”

Image 2 of Lauryn and Jake

After some more freaking out and remembering to say “YES” we began our engagement photo shoot, enjoying the pure bliss of a newly engaged couple knowing that a moment that was unforgettable would be ours to have and cherish forever.

Image 3 of Lauryn and Jake

Image 4 of Lauryn and Jake
Image 5 of Lauryn and Jake

Our Video

Special Thanks

Rachel Birkhoffer
 | Photography
Anna Gallup
 | Floral
Blue Nile
 | Ring