how we met – Preston
I knew who Erin was almost seven years prior to the first time we even spoke to each other. My freshman year at the University of Arizona, Erin’s face and name was plastered on virtually every door and bulletin board across campus as she campaigned for Student Body President of the university. Between the swarm of Alpha Phi sorority sisters campaigning for her each day on the campus mall and the omnipresent posters with her smiling face in every classroom, Ishe easily won the election. After that, I would occasionally run across her name in the newspaper or hear about her in some capacity, Erin and I never crossed paths at any point. That is until a many years later in 2013….
That year, I had just graduated from grad school and started my career as a licensed pharmacist for a retail pharmacy in Phoenix, Arizona. On a random day a few months into the position, a cute and familiar-looking blonde pulls up in my pharmacy drive-thru to pick up her prescription. I couldn’t figure out how I knew her until she gave me her full name to verify the prescription and it immediately hit me that she was the face on all those yellow campaign posters I saw every day my freshman year. I don’t know if it was just the nostalgia of our shared alma mater or the fact that, up until that point, Erin had been a bit of a mystery woman whom I recognized but didn’t know, but I was excited in that moment. I immediately introduced myself and told her in as non-creepy of a way possible that I knew who she was because I went to UofA. After chatting a bit at the pharmacy window, I found out that Erin had also just graduated from grad school as a law student and was in the process of studying for the bar. I was immediately interested and wanted to get to know her more.
Erin came through the drive-thru of my pharmacy once a month for her prescription. Since the pharmacy profession tends to frown on pharmacists asking out their patients, I went out of my way to talk to her each month so she knew I was interested. I would find any creative excuse I could to handle her prescription order or pick up so I wouldn’t miss her when she came by each month. I thought I had been so smooth and strategic up until the point that Erin began going to the furthest drive-thru lane to pick up prescription. Ha. Eventually, I moved pharmacies and didn’t see Erin again.
Almost two years later in May 2015, however, fate stepped in when I received a notification on my iPhone that Erin and I had matched up on a new dating app called Hinge. I immediately had a good feeling and knew I needed to initiate a conversation on the app. Since my not-so-subtle flirting with Erin in 2013 backfired last time, I decided to change my approach and play it cool in my first message to her with a vague and mysterious single line text: “Hey, I think I know you from somewhere.” Her response: complete radio silence. Literally nothing for a full three days. Ha. I wasn’t going to give up though. Since playing it cool didn’t work, naturally, I decided to go with the complete opposite approach and admit that I know exactly who she is and describe in detail how I know her. Needless to say, I must have worded the message well enough to remove any of concerns of being a stalker because I got a response from Erin a few minutes later. After a few back and forth messages, I didn’t waste any more time before I asked her out on a date.
Our first date was one of the best dates either of us have ever had. It may be a little hopeless romantic, but I knew she was the woman I would marry three-quarters of the way into that very first date. We had an instant connection and by our third-date, we were both completely committed to each other. It has been unlike any relationship I’ve ever had and I know it feels the same for Erin. We were made for each other. It’s crazy to think back to how, nearly a decade ago, I was seeing Erin’s face everywhere, not knowing at the time that I would one day be waking up to that face every morning for the rest of my life.
how they asked – erin
Preston is the most thoughtful person I’ve ever met so it shouldn’t have surprised me that his proposal would involve so many jaw-dropping, tear-inducing, heart-overflowing surprises that would leave me utterly speechless. To say the day was magical is a massive understatement.
Preston proposed on Saturday, January 30, 2016. I was under the impression that the weekend would be extra low-key because Preston made me think he had to work all day Saturday and Sunday. Plus, I had just finished an extra stressful week at work so my weekend plans consisted of only sleep and mundane errands. Needless to say, Preston had me right where he needed to pull off his master plan. Early Saturday morning, before the sun had even risen, Preston managed to sneak out of the apartment while I was still dead asleep to get everything in place for his first surprise. The next thing I knew I was being woken up by Amy, my best friend of 20 years, who currently lives Los Angeles. Amy was holding her son in one arm and a card attached to three-long stem red roses in the other. After giving me a few minutes to process everything and squeal with excitement at her surprise visit, she had me read the card out loud, which said “I bet you wonder what’s going and why Amy is waking you up. Today is a day I’ve been planning for quite a while and I’ve set up some places for you to go and people to see. So I just want you to sit back, relax, and enjoy your day and know how much I love you. I’ll see you later when you are eventually led down a path to me.” I knew right way what was happening and the tears immediately started to flow.
I was given an hour to get ready and pack up, then Amy called an Uber for the first stop: brunch for her and I at one of my favorite restaurants. The second major surprise of the day came as soon as the waitress walked Amy and I to our table and I discovered that all of my closest girlfriends were there. Preston had champagne and pastries waiting for everyone and another card with three roses attached for me to open at the end of brunch. I was immediately overcome with emotion. Preston knows how much I cherish my friendships so it was a sentimental surprise to include them in the day.
At the end of an amazing brunch, I read the card out loud; it said: “I hope you enjoyed brunch with all of your girlfriends. Now off to the next adventure. Enjoy spending time and getting all done up with some of the ladies that have been with you the longest. Go to the front of the restaurant.” I walked outside to find the third huge surprise: my mom and two sisters, who both live in California, waiting for me. I completely lost it. My family is so important to me and for Preston to arrange for my sisters to be a part of everything was unbelievable.
After saying goodbye to my beautiful friends, my mom and sisters took me to the next stop: the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess Spa, which is hands-down one of the most luxurious spas in all of Arizona. Preston arranged for all four of us to spend the next few hours getting totally pampered and primped before the proposal. As we were all getting our nails done, I could not stop thinking about how Preston really had thought about every single detail imaginable in creating this proposal plan. Shortly after I finished getting dolled up, another card and set of roses arrived from Preston. He also dropped off some dresses for me to wear, in addition to all the options my sisters brought for me. I finished getting ready and read the next card, which told me to get ready to go to where Preston and I had our third date. Our third date was at a restaurant called Greenhouse. The date was particularly special to us because it was when we decided to become an official couple.
As I exited the spa, I was greeted by my dad who told me that he was taking me to Greenhouse to give me some advice on love and marriage. Being a daddy’s girl, there was no better person to give me that kind of advice. Plus, my parents have been married for over 30 years and have the kind of marriage I want with Preston. My dad and I spent the next hour or so sharing a few happy tears and talking about all the exciting things to come. It was a very memorable conversation that I will forever treasure. After we wrapped up, my dad said that he now had to lead me down a path. Instantly remember the words of Preston’s first card that day, I knew that the big moment was around the corner.
My dad walked me across the street to the Westin Kierland Resort and sure enough there was an actual “path” in front of us. As we started walking down it arm-in-arm, my heart began racing and tears began to build up in my eyes. I was overwhelmed with all the emotion and happiness I was feeling.
We turned the corner and I saw a huge group of people, four of which were holding signs “WILL” “YOU” “MARRY” “ME?” As I got closer, I realized that the group of people was all of the important people in Preston and I’s life: my mom, sisters, best friends and their families, his friends, his aunt, uncle and cousins. I didn’t see them until after, but Preston also flew out his parents from Idaho to be there for the proposal. It was unbelievable.
Preston had biggest smile on his face as he grabbed my hands, told me how he has known since the beginning that I was the woman he would marry and got down on one knee. I was crying so hard that my yes was barely audible, but it was the most amazing moment of my life.
The entire proposal was captured by our dear friend and one of the most talented photographers, Aubrey Marie Nelson. We spent the rest of the evening celebrating with our loved ones. Preston truly pulled off the best and most thoughtful proposal I could ever imagine and I genuinely cannot wait to marry him this August.