Olivia and Brad

Image 1 of Olivia and Brad

How We Met

Brad and I met back in 2012 right before Christmas. He was working as a bartender and I was having a girl’s night. Fortunately for us the bar was empty, and we were able to start up a conversation. I gave him my number that night, and to my surprise, he actually texted me the following day. Even though nothing really transpired in terms of a relationship, we remained friends. And from then on, I would find any excuse to go to the bar on weekends to visit him.

Fast forward to the end of August. On my last night before I left to move to Ottawa for University – which happens to be an eight-hour drive from our hometown – I received a text from Brad saying, “he messed up and regretted not asking me on a date” and asked if we could go on one tomorrow. I told him I was leaving in the morning to move up to school. It really felt like we had missed our chance and the timing was all wrong. We kept in contact, occasionally texting throughout the semester and when I came home for Christmas break in December we decided to make that date happen once and for all – exactly one year after we met. I knew right there that this was the person I wanted to spend all my dinners with. It seemed that the timing was finally right, even if we were separated by 800 km. Four years later we somehow made the long-distance work – it wasn’t easy, but it was definitely worth it.

how they asked

On Brad’s first visit to Ottawa, we went skating on the Rideau Canal, and have done so almost every year since. We spent one New Years Eve sipping champagne in the snow, standing next to the Rideau Canal while fireworks went off behind us. And when I first told Brad I loved him, nearly four years ago, I presented him with a lock – a symbol of our unbreakable love – which we decided to put on the Corktown Footbridge (a pedestrian bridge which stretches over the Rideau Canal with hundreds of locks on it). We hadn’t gone back in four years and so we decided that it being my last year of university and my last year in Ottawa we would go back to see if we could find our lock. Now usually I take a plane home for winter break, but Brad insisted on driving eight hours on a Friday to pick me up, only to drive eight hours back on Sunday.

Image 2 of Olivia and Brad

After my last exam of the fall semester, December 16th, 2017, we bundled up and we went to the Corktown Footbridge in search of our lock. Oh, by the way, it was -23C that afternoon as the sun was setting! After I found the lock – almost immediately – Brad came over and presented me with another lock, asking if I wanted to put on a new one that he had engraved. I was so excited, I just read the first side which had our names and the date.

Image 3 of Olivia and Brad

Then he told me to flip it over and on the back, it said, “WILL YOU MARRY ME?”. I just remember a wave of emotions coming over me as he got down on one knee. And of course, I said YES (pretty sure I said it three times)! Having lived in Ottawa for five years and made countless memories, Brad felt it was only right to propose in the city that witnessed our love for one another grow.

Image 4 of Olivia and Brad