Maria and Drew

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How We Met

I was a brace-faced 14-year-old girl and he was a lanky teenaged boy 2 years older than I. He started hanging around my family in middle school to hangout with my brother, help my mom with things around the house, etc. He was like a big brother to my younger brother, and then he became the same to me. My family soon became his own with him calling my mom “mom” as she taught him how to drive and helped him prepare for college. We were best friends, spent everyday together, and loved and cared about each other so much. All of our friends and family would say “you both are going to grow up, fall in love and get married one day, you’ll see”. We both would respond grossed out and saying no way! Then one day, he asked me to take a road trip with him to his cousin’s high school graduation.

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To pass the time we played a game we played often, 20 questions. After questions like “what’s my favorite color, TV show etc.?” and him always guessing it right, I asked, “You know how everyone says that one day we will fall in love and get married? What do you think about that?” The minute the question left my mouth I immediately regretted it and tightly gripped the side of the seat with my nerves shaking. He said “honestly…” and after a long pause he said, “I have no doubt in my mind that I will marry you one day.” As a young girl who has never had a best friend like him, or someone that got me as well as he did, my gears changed. I immediately fell in love that second. He didn’t know, I kept it in for about a year and crying myself to sleep that I was in love with my “big brother”.

With a year passing, I started to think he felt the same through subtle hints. Or was it just my teenage excitement taking things out of context? I never knew. He would ditch his friends to spend time with me, get jealous of other boys and always want to be near me in some way. Keep in mind, he was basically apart of my family and my mother told him not to have a crush on me, because she loved him too much. My whole family did. So they didn’t want us fooling around, breaking up along the road and it being awkward after that. What were the chances that we would fall in love and be together forever? Slim to none. Oh the irony.

Here we are, dating through all of high school, college, and law school for him. He went from being my “big bro” and best friend to being the love of my life and my fiancé.

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how they asked

Drew and I were planning on going home from college for the weekend to visit my parents. We had just celebrated my 22nd birthday 2 days prior and my mom’s was coming up so we had dinner plans at a fancy restaurant to celebrate both of our birthdays. After the 2 hour car ride we arrive at my house to supposedly just drop our dog off and grab my parents so we could ride together. When I walk inside my dad greets me and says that mom is finishing up getting ready and to go check out what mom did with the dock while we wait. (This is common- my mom’s empty nest syndrome has led her to slowly re-do the house). Drew and I lifted the blind and open the patio door to find paper lanterns lining the pathway to the dock. The bay is smooth and the night sky is purple. I look at Drew confused and then look back down towards the dock.

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I see giant lit up canvases mounted to each side of the dock with a picture of us throughout the 8 years of us being best friends and soul mates. The end of the dock had a newly made white pavilion covering it with stringing lights and chandeliers hanging. Once capturing all of these details from afar I started to hyperventilate and repeatedly asked Drew “Oh my gosh!!! Is this what I think it is?” He laughs and grabs me, leading me down the dock and I can slightly feel him shaking from the nerves, then is when my first tear came.

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We stop at the first canvas, the first picture ever taken of us in 2006, where you can see the innocence yet the admiration we had for each other even then. The next was our halloween party where we had dressed in a couples costume even though we weren’t a couple at that point, only best friends, so we thought. The next was our prom picture after a few years of dating, and the last was us now. He stopped me at each to reflect on them and what he was thinking in those times. We get to the end of the dock where there is a white Persian rug covering the dock, a gorgeous tuft couch and a golden champagne stand with a bottle and 2 glasses in it.

Still, in his arms and freaking out inside that this moment is finally here, I embrace every little detail trying not to cry hysterically. He grabs me by the arms and sits me down on the couch getting down on one knee. That was it, I couldn’t hold in the happy tears any longer. He tells me how he’s loved me for years yet his love has grown and grown for me each day. He tells me that he wanted to ask me to be his wife right here in this spot on the dock because it was exactly where he had asked me to be his girlfriend 7 years prior. He tells me how he had been waiting for this moment because to him I was so much more than his “girlfriend”, I was his soul mate, his world, his future wife. He pulls out the ring box from his blazer and pops open the box following it with “Will you marry me?”.

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I bring my hands to my mouth and squeal from the moment, from him, from the RING! Immediately saying yes (I’m pretty sure over and over and over again) as he lifts me into his arms and twirls me around. After a minute of freaking out that we’re engaged and drooling over the ring I ask, “who all knows about this?!

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My parents obviously, but who else?” He responds “Oh, I don’t know, only everyone who could make it here tonight.” I look at him bewildered, he beckons me to turn around and I see my ENTIRE family, best friends, future bridesmaids and groomsmen, aunts, uncles, cousins, all walking down the dock. I thought I had lost it when he got down on one knee, nope. I can’t even talk as I run up and hug my dad, mom, grandma’s, my best friend etc. Turns out they were all hiding in the house the ENTIRE time!

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Little did I know, not only did Drew secretly plan out every detail of the proposal from the stringing lights to the champagne, but he also planned the engagement party! We celebrated all night with everyone we love, all the while I fought back tears and never wanted to leave his side or this night. Getting engaged is an exciting time, but with our history and love story all captured into one proposal, I thank God for experiencing the most perfect night of my entire life.

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