Molly and Andy

Image 1 of Molly and Andy

How We Met

Each piece of our beautifully unfinished puzzle has fallen into place perfectly. To clarify, my definition of perfect isn’t necessarily neat corners and copybook symmetry; rather, our individual journeys, filled with imperfections through the highs and lows, were being written by the same hand. It’s funny how the dots always seamlessly connect, and I couldn’t be feeling more thankful.

Aside from her sister marrying my father’s associate and additionally growing up only fifteen miles from one another, we hadn’t met until junior year of undergraduate college. Well, sort-of met – admittedly, through a direct message on social media. If I didn’t know any better, I’d say it was coincidence. I’ve come to learn, however, that there is no such thing as luck.

The scene was already being set beforehand, as the sister mentioned above had become a type of heroine in our lives. As a speech therapist, she took care of my ailing grandfather. He was the cornerstone of our family, and they were two peas in a hilarious pod. If you’re reading this, sister, thank you. Not only for helping our beloved Grandpa, but for also laying the foundation that would change my life, forever.

Enter in: the wedding. I already had my sights set on this once-in-a-lifetime beauty of a youngest sibling, and my friends knew it, too. I’d come to find that if it were her telling this story, it would sound identical, verbatim. Now, I’d finally be seeing her. At the same exact wedding. In the same exact church. And in the same exact small town of three-thousand in southwestern Minnesota. The bottom line ultimately was: I had to meet her.

Now, I’d prefer to call it an introduction instead of the awkward vernacular of “sliding into her DM’s.” But, calling a spade a spade, it was just that; I dove in head-first. From there onward, skipping hundreds to thousands of memory-worthy moments and with two supporting families, it has been a divine and natural love story of our own. In fact, I don’t believe that it can be appropriately summarized by word alone.

We’ve done distance. We’ve travelled the world. We’ve tackled graduate school. We’ve helped raise a handsome blessing of a pup. We are now standing at the starting line of our new chapter, gratefully engaged, close to four years later.

We never believed in simply being each other’s other half. Rather, we’ve longed to unify as two wholes, standing together in the same corner, all the while embodying one promise and mission. I can happily say with the utmost certainty: I always knew it was her.

how they asked

Being that we are located in the Minneapolis area, many have already asked me, “What’s the significance of Sioux Falls, South Dakota?”

I love this question. First reason being, I feel as if it’s our city. If you’d read my definition of perfect above, I’d apply that here, too.

It’s a city of firsts for us. In fact, it’s where I originally reached out to her. She was, at the time, attending school an hour northward. This became our meeting ground as we solved the in’s and out’s of long distancing, and it wasn’t always painless nor easy.

Because the beauty lies in the imperfections. If you were to skip the rest of this piece, I’d like you to take that away as the explanation. More specifically, I’d go as far to say that we grew up at the falls. We spoke dreams. We listened in silence. We laughed; cried. Most importantly and to be a bit abstract: we.

Fast forwarding to the how they asked portion of this bit, it all began with a lot of effort and a little bit of divine intervention. It was a surprise proposal. I knew I wanted it to be set at the falls. I also knew that Molly wanted Venchi, our puppy, to be somehow involved in this soon-to-be memory. As I mentioned, I knew it was her. I had the where, the what, the why, the who, but was missing a key component: the how.

Introducing: Emily Mitton. She’s our Godsend of a photographer whom I stumbled upon on social media. I have her to thank for helping to nail down this ‘how’ part, as it’s not always easy to find a photographer willing to sit outdoors for well over an hour in a blizzard. Also, the stunning garland ring featured in our photos was brought on through her ideas and help.

Now, if you caught it above, I truly meant blizzard. As over four inches of snow fell as peacefully as four inches can, my father and brother were driving Venchi to Sioux Falls to catch Molly by surprise in this proposal plan. To note, this would be a six-hour round trip through hazardous roads for my family. Another moral of this story: I could not have done it by myself.

We were scheduled for a 4:50 PM arrival due to the sun setting at 5:00 PM. I insisted we had a luxurious dinner reservation for this timeframe, and that we couldn’t be late. Our hotel was 20 minutes from Falls Park. *I asked for Molly’s approval to include this next detail, as I feel it adds to the overall divine intervention I touched upon prior.

She forgot her pants. Yes, she was planning to freshen up and change from her sweatsuit at the hotel at 4:00 PM. Without time to enter a state of hysteria, I drove to the nearest mall. After sprinting through department stores, I returned with three pairs in a had-to-be record of 20 minutes. Did I mention four inches of snow?

We arrived on time. Venchi was matching the buffalo blanket with his collar and leash. The table of contents memory board had been set. The playlist was humming in coordination with the rushing water of the falls. The arch was glowing. The snow fell in slow sheets. The time we had been waiting for our entire lives was, well, now.

I’d like to keep the moment itself to just us – Molly and I. Much like we feel as if the city is ours, that moment is, too.

She said yes.

Image 3 of Molly and Andy

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Image 2 of Molly and Andy

Special Thanks

Emily Mitton
 | Photographer