Mallory and Jono

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How We Met

I was invited to a coworkers birthday party. I was standing in the kitchen when Jono walked in and there was an instant attraction. We greeted each other and he told me he knew our mutual friend (my coworker) from the church. We talked the entire evening and spent the following day together, exploring Nashville and getting to know each other.

We dated for a year while we both lived in Nashville. After a year, I made the decision to leave Nashville – and the relationship. We spent the next year apart and did not talk to each other. I hated the way things ended and a year later I reached out to apologize. I was shocked when he forgave me instantly and we reconnected. We got to know each other all over again and dated long distance for another year.

In the fall of 2019, Jono moved to Albuquerque, NM where I was attending law school. We moved in together, got a puppy, and soon, an engagement.

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How They Asked

The week of my birthday, my mum told me she was coming to visit us in Albuquerque. This raised my suspicions that he was going to propose then. Jono assured me the proposal was coming later and not to get my hopes up.

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I became suspicious again when Jono had the following weekend off from work. He normally works at least one weekend day. When I asked about it, he said he and my friends were planning a surprise birthday getaway for me in the mountains. Our friends have a cabin so this seemed legit.

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On Saturday morning, the day we were going to the “mountains,” Jono left the apartment early in the morning. I was woken up a few hours later by my three girlfriends on my porch with burritos, coffee, and a trunk of makeup. They sat me down at my dining room table and we ate breakfast. Eventually, they handed me a letter Jono wrote to me and a video of him reading it. I realized we weren’t going to the mountains at all – we were getting engaged.

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My girlfriends did my makeup and hair and put me in my favorite dress – a beautiful black gown. They told me Jono was in Denver and I was getting on a flight to meet him. I boarded the plane with my heels in my purse and Uggs under my gown.

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I thought Jono might be at the gate when I landed. But he wasn’t – he told me to exit the airport as normal. Denver International Airport has a beautiful open meeting space for families to reunite with their loved ones when they enter the main terminal. I was positive he would be there.

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But he wasn’t. My grandma was, with a photographer standing beside her. She handed me a sunflower and started walking, so I followed. We started wandering through the airport and ran into Jono’s mum, who flew in from Ohio. Then my aunt and uncle and their daughter. Then my other aunt and uncle and their boys. Then my sister. Then my parents. All with sunflowers, all so excited for what was to come.

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My parents lead me towards a bridge that connects the main terminal with another terminal. Along the bridge is a magic carpet that they put me on. Lover by Taylor Swift was playing over the loudspeakers. And at the end of the moving walkway was Jono, in his best suit.

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I don’t remember what he said but I remember seeing my ring for the first time – a beautiful black diamond on a gold band with diamonds. I remember he was crying and I was crying and our whole family was there cheering us on. I love airports – and I especially love DIA. And now, we will always remember our special day when we fly to Denver.

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Special Thanks

Rachel Hope Photography
 | Photographer