Laynee and Spencer

Image 1 of Laynee and Spencer

How We Met

Spencer and I met at Wagner College, a small liberal arts school on Staten Island, New York. We came from opposite ends of the country. I am from the Seattle area and Spencer from Chicago, however, Wagner drew us in for athletics and the close knit community. We met each other through a friend’s suggestion in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes freshman year. I knew Spencer as a mysterious yet goofy kid, always surrounded by his “three amigos”- a pack of his football friends. On our first date, he told me that he loved the green color of my eyes, and the rest is history! Spencer and I continued dating through school transfers, tough athletic schedules, and eventually living and working apart in our hometowns. After almost four years of dating and over a year of long distance, we moved in together into our first apartment in Chicago, where we reside today.

how they asked

I knew Laynee loved skylines, so it was important to be able to have a nice view of the city for the moment. As far as keeping it a secret, that part was a challenge by itself – it’s very hard to sneak anything by Laynee, let alone a major life event that needed careful planning. She arranged a surprise early birthday dinner for me with my family out in the western suburbs that afternoon, and she had a hair appointment the morning of. I thought it’d be perfect to do it right in between the two events when she least expected it (plus, her hair would be freshly done – bonus!!). I recruited a friend of ours to go to a nail salon to make sure her nails were done (as per her wishes) the day before as well. To make sure that our brief stop at the Shedd Aquarium on our drive out to the suburbs was more convincing, I had my sister call ahead to say she was meeting a college friend there and needed a ride home. Once we got there, we’d “meet up” with them on the lakefront by the building where they were taking pictures of the skyline. Everything was going to plan until we got to the aquarium to park. I was so nervous that I pulled into a spot, turned the car off quickly, and got ready to get out… but forgot to put the car in “park” first. The key wouldn’t come out of the ignition. I panicked inside and thought the whole thing was over. Laynee thought I was losing my mind and pointed out that I still had the car in drive before turning the car off… innocent mistake right?? After the brief debacle, we headed over to the lakefront by the aquarium. I located the photographer and started walking us towards her. Once we got in place on the waterfront, I stared into the lake for a moment, took a deep breath and felt the moment was perfect to make a move. I told Laynee that I had a beautiful thought in mind, and asked her what it might be. Seeing her deer in headlights reaction, I knew it was time to say “spending the rest of our lives together, will you marry me?” She said yes!

After the shock wore off, we took some wonderful photos and called our close family and friends to spread the great news!

Image 5 of Laynee and Spencer

Image 2 of Laynee and Spencer

Image 3 of Laynee and Spencer

Image 4 of Laynee and Spencer

Special Thanks

Shelly Shimon
 | Photographer