McKenna and Justin

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How We Met

It was sophomore year of college and I had just gotten off my shift at work. My friend and I had decided we were going to go to one of our high school friends parties that night. As I was getting ready she texted me saying she wouldn’t be able to make it because she got caught up at work. I was super bummed and almost backed out going myself but decided I should just go since I was already ready. I drove myself there and met up with a few of my old high friends. As we were hanging out inside I saw a really tall, very attractive guy walk past the sliding class doors outside. I thought to myself, “Wow that guy is hot!” (Lol). Maybe less than 10 minutes later I was in the middle of a conversation with my friend when I was interrupted by that same really tall, very attractive guy. He said, “Do you wanna dance?” And stuck out his hand. I was so taken back. Mind you, I had zero liquid courage in me since I had driven myself to the party. I was about to say “No, sorry!” (cause like that’s super awkward) but my friend literally pushed me into him like we were back in middle school again. (But now I owe her big time) It was extremely uncomfortable for maybe 10 seconds until everyone yelled, “Cops!” I secretly thought, “Thank God!” We stopped dancing and actually began a conversation. A really good one at that. He was so easy to talk to and we found out we had a mutual friend in common. We talked for awhile and he ended up asking me for my number.
The best part is that the next morning I was having breakfast with my dad and he asked me how my night was. I jokingly said to him, “I think I met my future husband last night.”

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McKenna and Justin's Engagement in The Marriott Marquis Houston

How They Asked

Our families came to visit for Christmas since we just moved to Texas from California back in June. It was Christmas Eve and my sister had said she wanted to go eat dinner somewhere downtown since we had a lot of cooking ahead of us. She said she had made a few reservations and we would just sort of play it by ear once we got down there. This is so my sister’s style so this was nothing out of the ordinary for her to make plans and figure it out as we went, even if she wasn’t familiar with the area. So we got ready and drove down to the Marriott Marquis. We took two separate cars so when we arrived some of our family had already been waiting. They said it would be about 20 minutes before they could seat us at the restaurant so we headed to the bar in the meantime. As we were ordering drinks Justin turned to me and said he was going to go see if we could sit up at the rooftop bar by the pool. I was kind of like uhhh okay? We were content down here in the lobby bar but sure haha. About 5-10 minutes go by and I thought, why has he been gone this long? Then my sister announced “Oh, Justin just texted me and said we could all go sit up there.” So we get into the elevator and head up to the rooftop. When we get out we go to open the doors to the pool but realize they were locked. At this point I thought this was strange and we were in a place we shouldn’t have been. But then someone came running over and opened the door (later to find out this was one of the photographers and the door was suppose to be left unlocked for us, oops.) I still had no idea what was happening. As we were walking across the pool bridges my sister nudged me to go in front of the group, I turned to her and said “I have no idea where I’m going, why are you pushing me? Where is Justin?” She just said “Just keep walking.” At that point I was just confused…especially when I noticed the drone flying up ahead. But I just thought they were filming something for the hotel. I continued walking until I stopped dead in my tracks. I had now noticed the two photographers snapping pictures of me and a pathway lit with candles. Right then I knew what was happening and I felt sick to my stomach with nerves. I did not want to keep walking, mostly because I was trying to talk myself out of balling like a baby. I was unsuccessful. I eventually made it down the steps and onto the pathway lit with candles. As I rounded the corner I saw the man of my dreams standing there in front of “MARRY ME” balloons. At this point I’m 100% ugly crying/sobbing. Once I reached Justin, which felt like an eternity, he gave me a huge bear hug. He was actually so taken back by how hard I was crying he asked me if I was okay haha. And then he asked the one question I’ve always dreamt about him asking. I think I nodded and mumbled “Yes,” but like everyone says, you really do black out at that point. So thank goodness for pictures and videos or else I would not have recalled a thing. Afterwards, all our family came over and congratulated us and we took thousands of pictures to last a lifetime! It was truly such a special night!

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Special Thanks

Tim Gbunblee
 | Photographer