Meredith and Brad
How We Met
Brad and I met while in college. We were both saxophone players in the University of Tennessee’s Pride of the Southland Marching Band. I came in as a freshman and immediately took notice to this handsome sophomore saxophone player. I knew him and Brad were best friends so I enlisted Brad to try and get this boy to take an interest in me, essentially asking him to set us up on a date. Unfortunately, or fortunately, this boy could not take a hint and never ended up asking me out, but in the mean time, Brad and I grew closer as friends. We remained close friends throughout the rest of college, while we both dated other people, and even while Brad and my original crush lived together. We had an undeniable chemistry from day one, a dynamic that could only be compared to that of Sam and Diane of Cheers. The only thing we didn’t disagree on was how much we had fallen in love with the other over the years.
Photos shown above by T&K Photography
how they asked
Brad and I always used to joke around and suggest that we just elope at any opportune time. My grandparents opened up their jewelry business, Vecere Jewelers, in New Jersey in 1970. This store has been apart of my family’s history, pride, and tradition since then. Growing up, I heard my mom speak fondly of her years spent assisting her parents in the store, and it remained one of my favorite places to go when visiting my grandparents. For years, I admired the engagement rings in the cases and told myself that one day I would find a man to bring into this strong family and we too would build upon values that were exhibited by my grandparents.
In August, we took a trip from Tennessee where we live, through Virginia to visit my parents, and finally up to New Jersey, where we spent the week together vacationing. On August 8th, I took him to the store for the first time and together we looked through the cases of engagement rings. I tried on a few rings as my grandparents, aunt and uncle, and close cousin watch over, sharing with us the stories of their relationships and marriages. I finally put one on that I didn’t want to take off, in between the other rose gold rings that were shown to us, we kept coming back to this one as being something so special and different, and so perfect for me.
And in that moment, it was mine, Brad was buying it, and my finger was being sized. We were both so overwhelmed with emotions (still unsure of whether it was shock or excitement) that we didn’t hug or kiss or even take a moment to process what was happening. We spent the day with my family, eating Italian food, and driving around the historic neighborhoods of Princeton (my grandparents enjoy giving car tours). After the day was done, we headed back towards the shore, and as the night turned into the early morning, we laughed and cried and reflected on the beginning of our own traditions and family, in the one place I always hoped they would begin.
Photos show above by Rebecca Wilcher Photography