Melissa and Domenick

How We Met

Domenick and I met nearly 10 years ago during the first week of our freshman year of college. We lived in the same dormitory building that year and ended up being part of the same group of crazy fun friends. Honestly, all of our friends would tell me time and time again that he was interested, but I was super stubborn and needed to hear it from him. It wasn’t until the end of our freshman year that he found the courage to tell me how he felt and I found the courage to actually listen. The following day was move out day for the dorms. With confirmed feelings for each other, we had to go our separate ways for summer vacation.

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That summer break was bitter sweet for me. The alone time to reflect was needed, but I knew things could change after freshman year. Over the summer, some of our friends mentioned they may not return the following fall. I worried at the idea that we could no longer be just a few hallways away. Sophomore year began, and despite the uncertainty that stood between us, we knew we wanted to see each other. We continued to spend time together and slowly started merging our lives. At the end of our sophomore year, we made it official.

Domenick and I were boyfriend and girlfriend for seven years before he proposed. We went to school during most of that time and earned both undergraduate and graduate degrees. We spent seven amazing years of several camping trips, parties, festivals, family vacations, holiday trips, and countless library dates. We have supported each other through our hardest and most stressful times and have stood by each other as we advanced in our interests and began our careers. We’ve managed to merge our families and friends together and I couldn’t imagine spending my life with anyone else.

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how they asked

Domenick told me to pack for a camping road trip. I had no idea what his plans were and I loved the element of surprise. We took Friday and Monday off from our jobs so we had a four-day adventure ahead of us. On Friday we went to San Francisco. He surprised me with a perfect day to walk and explore a city I’ve always wanted to see. He was the driver for the whole weekend. With a roof tent on his car and a map on my lap, we headed out for day two, where we scored the cutest camp site in Yosemite National Park.

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Sunday morning, he shared he wanted to take the Vernal Falls hike. We had taken this hike in the past, so I just figured he was sticking to tradition. When we got to the top of the waterfall, he began to walk over to the same spot where we had a picnic years ago. Initially, with butterflies in my stomach, I didn’t follow him. Once I gathered the courage to walk around the tree to the edge of the river, I realized this was the moment I’ve always imagined but never could have prepared for. I found him on one knee.