How We Met
In the summer of 2011, I was walking up Castlebar Road in Ealing, London returning to my flat when I noticed a girl walking across the street. She was beautiful. I actually stopped walking in my tracks and just stared at her for a few seconds. Since I was studying abroad, I just assumed she was a Londoner on her way home from work or school. Eventually she was up the hill and out of sight and I carried on thinking of what could have been. Later that week I saw her again! She was walking up the road on the opposite side, but this time we were parallel in step with each other and I noticed she was headed in the direction of my building. Strange, I thought, because only students from my program lived there. Before I knew it we were through the front door and walking up the same staircase, so I just had to ask her name. “I’m Maeve,” she responded.
Needless to say, I was a little nervous and completely captivated by her presence. I certainly hope I said my name, but honestly couldn’t recount for you the rest of our introduction. During that summer we found ourselves walking home on opposite sides of the road many times, but all I could muster was a quick “hello” as we passed each other by. I didn’t have the courage to strike up more of a conversation and ask her to hang out.
A few months later I was back at school in Pittsburgh walking through campus when I saw Maeve on the opposite side of the street, again! What were the chances? It was just us. I ran across to her side and said something along the lines of “Hey! Do you remember me? My name is Zach. We used to walk home on opposite sides of the street in London!” As awkward as that sounds, she smiled back at me and we exchanged numbers. From there we became friends for a couple of years before I gathered the courage to tell her how I felt and kiss her. Amazingly, she felt the same way about me! We knew from the very beginning that we wanted to go back to where we first met for something special.
how they asked
Maeve and I always knew we wanted to revisit London and experience the city together like we should have when we first met that summer. We’d been together for three years when we finally booked our tickets and I knew this trip would be the perfect time to ask her to marry me. I love her with all my heart and what better place to do it than in the city where we first met? I had the ring in my backpack the whole way across the sea and I was so excited to just ask her!
It was a Saturday in July and we spent the day exploring the city and showing each other our favorite spots. We got a nice breakfast and coffee in Bloomsbury followed by visiting some of our favorite book shops. Later in the afternoon we revisited Castlebar Road and walked around the neighborhood together. It was so magical to be there with her again. At the end of the day we returned to the flat where we were staying and made dinner to eat on the rooftop terrace.
It was higher up than any of the surrounding buildings and the atmosphere was incredibly peaceful as the sun set lower in the sky. I took the ring out of my pocket, got down on one knee, and asked her the most important question of my life. She smiled at me, held me close, and said yes. It was the happiest day yet of our lives.
A few days later we made our way to Edinburgh, Scotland where we met up with Serena Genovese, an amazing photographer whose work Maeve and I had been admiring before we planned our trip. Serena took us through the city and perfectly captured the mood and feel of our engagement and love for each other. The photo shoot with Serena was so fun and natural and honestly felt like we were spending time with a good friend. That evening was pure magic as the sun set across Edinburgh and we will never forget it.