Meredith and Aris: Marriage Proposal in Portland

ProposalHow We Met: Aris and I met back in the fall of 2002 at a house party, while both attending the University of Oregon in Eugene. Our love for music (and likely because we were both wearing band t-shirts) helped break the ice and we chatted for hours…even as police showed up to break up the gathering and make everyone quiet down. We met up for a lunch date and both borrowed copies of our then-favorite books to read. We got together two or three times after that but nothing really materialized. I Meredith was disappointed and embarrassed — especially since Eugene is such a small town and we managed to run into each other everywhere (I also just wanted my beloved paperback copy of 1984 back)!

Fast forward a few years, when we both relocated to Portland: I still saw him around every corner, on the bus, at concerts, and he even filled in on drums for my friend’s band. It was unbelievable! In the fall of 2007, I headed out to a goodbye party for a work friend moving abroad, and was shocked to see him at the event as well. I decided it was high time to be civil with one another, so we chatted for a while. Abruptly, he got up and told me he was going to run home and grab the book he’d borrowed five years before. About 20 minutes later, he raced back into the room, breathless, with my copy of 1984 in hand. We managed to exist in separate planes up until the following summer, when a chance encounter brought us back together.

We made plans to meet and talk about our jobs, as he was looking to break into my industry. Though that seemed harmless enough, the career discussion actually was a date — now considered our “second first date,” and we’ve been together ever since!

how they asked: In the spring of 2009, I decided to spring for a tax return-funded vacation to Maui after I’d just lost my job. It was a crazy idea, but I knew I wouldn’t have the freedom in my calendar or the freebie cash again for a long time. Naturally, I wanted him to come Proposal Storywith me. We’re huge fans of the Portland Trailblazers and wanted to be featured in their “Wear In The World” bigscreen, where during games they feature fans in Blazer gear around the globe. We plotted our photo, and while on a hike down to a red-sand beach in Hana, Maui, made sure folks captured us in our best team gear. I was so engrossed in it that I didn’t realize when he asked for “one more photo on the cliff before we leave” that something was up. I turned around to ask for the camera and he was already on his knee with a ring on his pinkie. I was shocked!

My first thought was ‘NOT NOW!’….mostly because I wanted to make sure he’d asked for my father’s blessing. The only response I could eke out was “Did you ask my dad?” Of course he had, and he’d gotten my mom’s permission as well! I blurted out said yes, basically crumbled to the ground, and was offered his grandmother’s ring. We got a hiker to take a photo of us just after the exciting moment, despite being so frazzled. We were so lucky to win a blog contest for an engagement shoot with Erica Ann so we could have real photos. We chose the Oregon coast for our session so we could recreate a similar rugged beach feel without being in our sweaty hiking clothes. Now have an amazing keepsake and are hard at work planning our fall 2012 wedding!

Engagement Shoot


Credits: Photos by Portland Photographer Erica Ann. Styling by Billede Design. Succulents and hair crown by Petalos. The groom-to-be, Aris, is a music writer – check him out here.