Meaghan and Brandon

Image 1 of Meaghan and Brandon

How We Met

Brandon and I have been together ever since the last semester of our senior year in high school. It all started in our physics class when he sat next to me and sneak cute little notes in my glasses case—some of them little drawings and some of them little love notes. This was his subtle way of communicating with me and totally had me falling! At the end of class when it was time to go home, he would walk me to my car every day. In the mornings before classes would start we would meet up and we would hold hands as he walked me to my first class (which wasn’t close to his first class). Our relationship was a lot of this flirting until we finally decided to hang out together outside of school.

Image 2 of Meaghan and Brandon

We went to a local park and walked around the lake, but it was really a very nasty cold and windy day at the end of April, but he still managed to keep me warm by wrapping his arms around me! I thought “this is it! This is the moment that we are going to share our very first kiss!” As my palms got sweaty and I had butterflies bouncing around in my stomach, I prepared myself for the moment. As we were getting ready to leave I hung back a little to see if he would kiss me and in the end, he didn’t. I was shocked, but then as I thought about it, I began to think that it was sweet and cute that he hadn’t taken the first opportunity that he could to kiss me. From that day on, we were pretty much inseparable! We ended up sharing our first as he walked me out to my car one day after school (I was so nervous and anxious and he could tell!).

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I ended up getting accepted into the summer session at Penn State University, meaning that I would have to leave in late June and be gone until the beginning of August. I felt like my life was ruined because I knew I was leaving my friends before they had to leave and I knew I was leaving Brandon after not getting a lot of time to know him. As I entered my first semester of college in the middle of the summer Brandon and I stayed in contact and somehow even though we were 3 hours away, we kept getting closer and closer. I wasn’t able to come home during that semester so Brandon being the great guy he is, came to visit me 3 times during the course of my stay at Penn state that summer!

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After this, I had come home for about a week before the fall semester started and this time we were both going to go off to our respective colleges. He was attending the University of South Carolina, and I was staying in good ol’ Pennsylvania. The last night we were together before he left, I wept as he cradled me in his arms telling me that we were going to make it through and that nothing could tear us apart. I knew at that moment that this was going to be one of my hardest and tearful goodbyes, but I had to have faith in him and in our relationship that we would make it. Life was tough during that first year.

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We were trying to make things work together as well as having the college experience of making friends and knowing we wouldn’t see each other until the holidays. Around April of that first year in college, Brandon called me and asked what my opinion would be of him transferring to a school back in PA. I was silently screaming and jumping up and down with joy once he spoke those words, but I made sure that it wasn’t because of me and the distance we experienced that first year. He assured me that the school wasn’t what he had thought it would be, and put me at ease that I, was not the reason.

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So after that first year he transferred to East Stroudsburg University which was approximately 2 hours away from Penn state—a lot more accessible than South Carolina. The 3 years after his transfer consisted of a lot more visits and getting a lot closer emotionally. 4 years of hour long phone calls, constant texting, millions of snapchats, and visits, culminated in us both graduating from different colleges (and not being able to attend each other’s because they happened to be on the same exact day). By this point we had already celebrated our 4-year anniversary and were going on the trip of a lifetime later that May.

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how they asked

We were treated to a graduation present from our parents in the form of a trip of what we decided. After contemplating all of the places we wanted to go, we finally settled on Montreal, Canada. The first day that everyone was together with us (my mom and dad and his mom), we decided to go hike Mont Royal which is a mountain that the city of Montreal was basically built around! As we were getting ready to and were getting changed, I noticed that Brandon was wearing khaki shorts, seemingly newer white shoes, and a nice shirt. I thought this was weird because we were getting ready to hike a mountain…not necessarily my idea of “hiking clothes.”

I then asked him “why are you wearing such nice clothes? You’re probably going to sweat.” He turned to me and said, “well I don’t know…what if we take pictures?” At this point, I understood why he said that, or at least I thought I did because our moms were together and they loveeeee documenting things. So I shrugged it off while I was wearing my athletic leggings and shirt with a nice pair of Asics and my backpack to carry water and even a sweat towel! I left the room and mumbled, “have fun sweating in that.” Shortly, we were all headed to the mountain which didn’t seem giant, but while climbing it, it was very giant.

After huffing and puffing our entire way up the mountain, we finally reached “Le Chateau” which was one of the lookout points atop the mountain. The view was wonderful, it was a clear day, it wasn’t too hot, and we were surrounded by what seemed to be Montreal’s favorite flower, tulips! We all looked at the city in awe of how beautiful everything was and we were all jazzed to be able to explore the city below. At one point, Brandon said to me, “let’s take pictures in front of the view! We’ll take a normal picture and then we’ll take a kissing one because that’s what people seem to do up here!” So, thinking nothing was off, I agreed and got ready to take some nice pictures!

Brandon’s mom was in charge of the camera and almost immediately after she got Brandon’s phone camera, she said “Okay! It’s on video!” I merely looked at Brandon and whispered out of the corner of my mouth saying, “Brandon, go help your mom, she switched the camera to the video setting…” After that, he immediately jumped into action and went over to her and whispered something to her and handed the phone back to her. He came back to where I was standing and we posed normally and she said “Okay! Ready!”

At that moment, I posed for what I thought would be a normal picture…little did I know that was not the case! Brandon tapped me on the chest and I thought this would be to indicate to me that we were going to take the kissing picture, so as I turn to him I realize that he’s not standing there, but that he’s kneeling on the ground in front of me with a small black box with red velvet lined insides with a twinkling diamond sitting in the middle of it! I was shocked. Literally shocked.

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People ask me, “didn’t you expect him to do that!?” and I said that we had talked about getting engaged but I didn’t want to think he would do it on this trip in order to not get my hopes up if it didn’t happen! So here we are, on a mountain outlook, surrounded by other tourists and out family and the love of my life is kneeling there asking me to be the person to spend the rest of his life with. I had no words, I went blank and I started smiling like crazy and saying “WHAT!?” repeatedly! He quietly whispered to me from the ground, “can you say something?” As he said that I moved my hand towards the ring and he slipped it on my finger and I instantly began sobbing! My mom had no idea at the time and came running up to me and hugging us both and crying saying “OH MY GOD! OH MY GOD NO WAY!”

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My dad was hanging back until he could come up and hug me and he said to me, “he came to me last week before we came here and asked for my permission. I couldn’t have asked for anyone better to take care of my baby girl.” I squeezed my dad for a while and then turned to him and said “I CAN’T BELIEVE YOU KNEW!!!!” This happened the first day out of 8 that we weren’t going to be in the fabulous city of Montreal, so naturally, the rest of the time was spent celebrating this wonderful occasion with each other and people that meant so much to us. This was truly one of the best moments of my life and even though it happened months ago, I remember it so vividly.
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Special Thanks

Sarah Hall
 | Photographer