How We Met
We first met through mutual friends in college. Mariah attended the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and AJ attended Nebraska Wesleyan University. We came to know one another through one of our mutual friends who AJ played soccer with. We knew one another for a few years as acquaintances, never really knowing much about one another. Years passed, and we ran into each other again while with friends, and the rest is history. Mariah says the first thing she remembers about meeting AJ was his kindness and his ability to make everyone around him laugh.
How They Asked
Mariah and I spent two years apart as she was working to complete her Masters degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. I unfortunately went through some health troubles that put our proposal on hold. Mariah came back to Lincoln, NE after graduation and from there I knew I wanted to propose to her as she stood by my side through the hardest times that most wouldn’t. I asked her mom and dad for their blessing. I went several times to customize the ring for Mariah because I wanted it to be perfect. I planned the proposal with my sister and my mom for about 3 months. I met with my cousin, Andrea, who is a professional photographer and planned the proposal at The Holy Family Shrine. Mariah and I talked about taking a trip to the Shrine together for 2-3 years, little did she know that is where I would propose. Mariah can always tell if something is off. I knew I had to have this proposal planned perfectly. My sister lives out of state and she informed Mariah and I that she was “coming into Omaha for a bridal shower”, or so Mariah thought. She asks us out to eat since we haven’t seen her or my niece, Laila in awhile. As we were getting ready to go my sister texted us last minute saying that she got done early and went to the outlets in Gretna to do some shopping. She wanted to meet us there for lunch. This worked perfectly for throwing off Mariah as she is a planner. The Holy Family Shrine and the Gretna Outlet mall have the same exit. We were running a little late since we had the late notice and we both had stressful weeks. I turned off the exit and took a right and observant Mariah ask where I was going, insisting that we needed to hurry to meet my sister. I told her I thought it would be good to stop to pray at the Holy Family Shrine since we both had tough weeks. She encouraged me to call my sister to tell her we were going to be late and luckily Natalie didn’t answer. She didn’t question anything after that. Andrea and her husband were there waiting for us as they captured our special moment through pictures and video. After I proposed to her, I gave her the letter I asked her dad to write, telling Mariah why he gave me his blessing to marry his daughter. She was so excited to tell our parents and friends that we rushed back home. I asked if we could stop by Hillcrest Country Club to grab a drink with my parents before we went to spend the rest of the night with her family. It was tough keeping her from calling her mom and telling her the news. When we arrived at Hillcrest I had 40 of our closest friends and family waiting for us to celebrate our engagement. It was just what we both wanted. Luckily she said yes.