How We Met: Joe and I met volunteering with a ministry called YoungLife College at West Virginia University. Joe said he first saw me at a YL College Bible Study and immediately wondered who I was. Joe didn’t start asking questions about me though until myself, along with four of my friends, danced to a mash up for a talent show put on at WVU. In the Spring of 2012 on April 27th we “officially” met at a bonfire. We became friends that night and never would have expected a romance to happen that next semester. But a weekend getaway with six friends at Deep Creek Lake changed it all. And our love story began to take shape.
The weekend of September 15th, 2012 Joe and I realized we were beginning to have feelings for one another, but didn’t know if the feeling was mutual. So, we spent our days just getting to know each other. Joe would bring me soup when I was sick, and I would hang out with him and his friends, Joe would spend movie nights with my roommates and me, and I would meet him for lunch between classes, he would drive me to classes, I was wondering what was going on, he would dress up and escort me to and from football games, and I was still wondering what was going on, he would come visit me before and after work, and I was still wondering what was going on.
After a month of this going on I had no idea if Joe even liked me at this point and Joe simply didn’t think he had a chance. Until one night, Joe asked if we could make cookies after hearing about my decision to stay in Morgantown post-graduation to continue volunteering with YoungLife. That night we realized our feelings for each other were not only real but mutual!
One week later Joe asked me on their first date which ended in us watching Denis the Menace, laughing and Joe finally asking me to be his girlfriend. Joe soon began carrying my books to class, while I left notes on his windshield, he would take me to the lake and play the song he wrote for me, I would hold his hand on walks, He decorated my room for Christmas with posted notes that said “I like you”, I planned a scavenger hunt that took him all around town, He would slow dance with me in the kitchen, I would make him big cookies, and he would pick me up at the bus stop with flowers in hand.
His Pre Story: As the topic of marriage became more and more of a reality, I sought council from 5 wise married men that I knew. They were my “Fab Five”, and I learned a lot of cool things about being a man and what marriage is like. While meeting up with these men I had yet to even tell Meggie that I loved her. We were still saying “I like you” at this point. As I sought council and really opened up to these men I knew more and more that indeed, I was in love with Meggie. I found a ring that seemed perfect and kept it hidden in my desk. When Meggie and I were finally able to travel to Portland, Oregon in the middle of December to visit her parents, her father gave me permission to marry her. After devising a good plan with my friend Ron and figuring out the perfect plan, it was just down to the execution.
how they asked – by Meggie: My photographer friend, Callie and I began corresponding through email about a themed couple photo-shoot she wanted to do a themed photo-shoot called “A Winter Picnic”. Hot Chocolate, Blankets, and Flannel were involved and she wanted Joe and me to be her models. Lots of borrowed flannel, searching for props, and many time changes later to avoid the rain – February 1st finally came! Little did I know, Joe & Callie had their own plans! Joe acted no different that morning and even agreed to me taking off my nail polish. When we arrived to Dorsey’s Knob that morning, nothing seemed out of the ordinary. After posing, laughing and drinking hot chocolate Callie eventually asked Joe to get his guitar out as a “prop”.
Joe then began playing the song he wrote for me when we first started dating and “accidentaly” dropped his guitar pick in his guitar. While he was retrieving his pick (which was actually the ring he had fastened in his guitar) I was looking away; and when I looked back he was down in the snow on one knee with the most beautiful ring in his hand. While smiling as big as I’d ever seen him smile, Joe asked if I would marry him and the only words I could seem to get out were “are you serious!?” He just smiled and asked again “Jaclyn Marguerite Burke will you marry me?” and I finally answered “of course!”
Photography by Callie Lindsey