HOW WE MET
It was January 2012 in DeLand, Florida. In the sticky hallway of Frat House A, a mutual friend turned to us and was astonished to realize we hadn’t yet met. “You two will love each other,” he said. We were quickly introduced, and almost immediately upon meeting him, I asked Garrett if he wanted to be best friends. He agreed, probably thinking I was a little crazy, and we exchanged phone numbers and texted throughout the weekend while I was out of town with friends. That Monday, we went on our first date to our all-time favorite restaurant, Odum’s Thai Sushi. While at dinner, Garrett realized that he, a freshman, was incidentally on a date with a senior. “We’ll just enjoy the next few months before you graduate,” he said on the drive back to campus. Much to the surprise of our friends and families, this unlikely fling quickly became the real deal. Over the last four and a half years, we’ve been each other’s best friend through all of the highs and lows of our early 20’s, through undergrad, and applying to graduate school, and first jobs, and everything in between.
how they asked
Garrett secretly planned dinner with my parents to ask for their blessing while I was out of town on business. At that time, my mom gave Garrett my late grandmother’s engagement ring to give to me. A week and a half later, on July 17, 2016, Garrett and I had planned to go on a double-date with our best pals, Lauren and Carson. On our way to meet them in downtown DeLand, Lauren let me know that they were running late, so Garrett suggested we go to our campus in town and walk around for a few minutes to see the new building. As we were getting closer to campus, Garrett started to appear a bit nervous – he was talking nonstop! If you know Garrett, you know that is an unusual thing. We parked and walked to the center of campus, and it was then that I saw a photographer taking photos of the building where I’d taken most of my classes, Elizabeth Hall.
I was starting to feel suspicious… And I was getting nervous, too! “Garrett, why is there a photographer here?” I asked. Garrett feigned surprise. The photographer, Jamie, told us that she was taking test shots for an event on campus the next day, and asked if we’d stand in front of the building to test the shadows.
Garrett quickly agreed, and before I know it, he was down on one knee and asking me to marry him. What we said and did then is a total blur, but how I felt in that moment is something I will remember forever. It was so amazing to realize that after all of this time, there we were, back at the place we met and making this commitment to each other!
Afterward, Garrett arranged for our families and closest friends to surprise me in the quad for a champagne toast, and then we all went out to dinner in town. Later, Lauren and Carson surprised us by having our friends meet us out to continue the celebration. It was a truly perfect day. We are still amazed by the love and encouragement we’ve felt from our family and friends during this exciting time, and we can’t wait to get married in 2017!