Samantha and James

How We Met: Technically we met in the 6th grade. We grew up in the same town and attended the same schools from 6th grade to senior year of high school. We were both atheletes so we had tons of mutual friends. I played basketball and he played baseball, yet we never actually hung out, we knew OF each other, just weren’t friends!

Fast forward to post college life (and then some) to the Fall/Winter of 2012. We were both at the local watering hole where singles met and mingled. My girlfriend started talking to his friend and James and I got stuck playing “wing man” on multiple occassions. That was the beginning of the end!

After many failed attempts (I even tried to get out of a date by saying I had to go Christmas shopping, but he wanted to join me!!) we finally went on a date, and then another, and another. Soon enough we were talking non-stop! Finally on Christmas Day, James asked me to come to his friend’s annual Christmas party. We had some cocktails and danced the night away and on the way home we “made it offical”. Best Christmas gift EVER!

how they asked: Like any late-twenty-something-year-old woman, I was “hinting” that I wanted to take the next step in the relationship. I would talk about our future wedding after we left our friends’ weddings and I was somewhat relentless. James always answered with “when we have our finances in order.” I expected maybe the end of the year we would finally make things really official.

Then, one random Thursday evening, my heart was filled with even more joy.

James is a police officer and so are all of our friends. It’s always very difficult to get everyone together but finally, we planned to have dinner on a Thursday evening with everyone. I didn’t think anything of it, I just thought it was a fun group dinner!

We went to a great spot right on the boardwalk (we actually had our first official date here, which I mentioned to the group pre-dinner). We all drank and caught up and enjoyed some great seafood.

At the end of dinner some girls decided it was getting hot inside and tried to open these huge sliding window/doors to let air in, which was strange because it was so hot outside! Still, I wasn’t catching on!

Then a friend took a big group picture and asked me and another girlfriend to stand up for a photo. I thought this was weird because why just the two of us?! My heart started racing, I thought “Oh my goodness, this is it, this is happening!!!” I was told to turn around and look out the window during the photo and when I turned back around James was down on his knee.

I lost it. I blacked out and freaked out and started crying hysterically (I’m very emotional, clearly). I couldn’t beleive the moment I have been waiting for was finally happening and I had all of my/our friends there to share the moment with us!

BUT turns out, I was told to look outside because down on the beach, both of our parents were holding a banner that said “Samantha, will you marry me.?!” I was supposed to see this prior to him being on one knee, but I was oblivious!

We cried and laughed and drank some champagne and celebrated one of the happiest moments of our lives with all of the friends and family that are most important to us. It’s a night I will never forget.