Nicole and Joe

How We Met

Joe and I met almost 5 years ago at my apartment in Denver. I had just become friends with his brother Robert, and he wanted to bring him over so we could all get to know him. I instantly felt a connection with him but pushed it aside because he resided in New Orleans (my hometown) at the time.

A few years go by, and Robert invites me to spend Mardi Gras with him and our friends. I had just finished getting my masters in education and felt like I needed a fun break and a trip back home. Little did I know, Joe was his roommate at the time. We spent the next year and a half becoming best friends before I ended up deciding to move back to New Orleans after I accepted a teaching job.

I wasn’t in New Orleans three days before I told Joe how I felt about him. We were at a karaoke bar singing, when (in the middle of the song) he says into the microphone, “Just let me sing the chorus, okay?” While he’s a fabulous singer and I was definitely botching the lyrics, I couldn’t help but look at him shocked as the audience burst into laughter. It was then and there that I realized I needed to tell him how I felt. I could barely get out the words before he swept me into his arms. I’ve been his ever since.

How They Asked

In 2018 while I was still single, my cousin gave me a yellow umbrella for Christmas. We are big How I Met Your Mother fans, and her card read: “When it rains it pours my love. This year I got you a yellow umbrella to represent the unknown in your life. Somewhere out there, is your person.” In late July of 2018, I started dating Joe.

Fast forward to July of 2020. My cousin and her husband braved COVID and flew to come see our new house. On Saturday, July 25th, we had reservations to eat at my boyfriend’s restaurant. I was thrilled just to get dressed up and go into public for the first time in 4 months. Right before we were supposed to leave, Joe’s coworker texts me and says, “Hey babe, it’s me. I think I dropped my phone on my run this morning. I tracked it, and somehow it’s still there. Would you please go get it before you come?”

Well, this running spot isn’t accessible by cars, and it meant a 15-minute walk in the New Orleans heat in July. Needless to say, I was incredibly frustrated. Joe tends to be a forgetful person and he had just purchased a new phone, so he knew I wasn’t just going to leave it. Begrudgingly, my cousin agreed to walk with me. Our faces were melting off in the heat, and our shoes were getting covered in mud. By the time we arrived at the spot right on the edge of the Mississippi river, I was so mad and cussing up a storm. I asked my cousin where she thought the phone could possibly be, and at that point in my rage, I had failed to notice the rose petals all over the ground. She finally had to tell me, “Maybe we need to follow the rose petals…” When I rounded the corner, Joe was standing under sparkling lights holding the yellow umbrella.

What he said is still a blur. But all I know is that when he got down on one knee, I felt my legs collapse beneath me as well. I had finally found my person.

When we arrived home, all of our closest (local) friends and family were waiting for us. I don’t do well with surprises, so I was completely overwhelmed. Little did I know, my sister was hiding in our house. She had been planning the party for months, and when she surprised me I didn’t even register that she was standing in front of me. After several moments, the tears formed and I knew it was all really happening. It was the best celebration and night of my life.

Image 2 of Nicole and Joe

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Special Thanks

 | Photographer
Taylour Ann Rasmussen
 | Videographer