Samantha and Justin

Image 1 of Samantha and Justin

How We Met

I met my fiance Justin when my best friend and roommate dragged me to alumni swim meet at my now alma mater Oakland University. She was dating someone at the time and did not want to go alone. With reluctance and some bribery, I went and that is when I first saw Justin who was swimming in the meet. Later that evening we met up with some friends at a local bar and Justin happened to be with them.

Image 2 of Samantha and Justin

I was never the type of person to approach someone first but for some reason, I walked right up to him told him I saw him swim early that day and that I was very impressed. We talked, danced, exchanged numbers, two days later went on our first date and from there well that’s, as they say, “is history.” Through our five years together we have been through a lot! We moved to a different city, have two cats and a dog, bought our first house this summer (2017) and now are planning a wedding! It has been a ride but worth every minute.

Image 3 of Samantha and Justin

how they asked

Since this was the first Christmas in our new home I wanted this to also be the first Christmas we went and cut down a real tree. I wanted to go the weekend after Christmas when the whole world goes and gets their trees but Justin made me wait until the following weekend (Dec 2nd.) Justin made a habit of making fun weekend outings and trips filled with fun little surprises and stops along the way so I knew this weekend would be no different. I wanted to take cute photos at the tree farm so Justin made it a point to find a shirt that matched the new scarf I was going to wear. We left early in the morning and arrived at the perfect little family owned tree farm.

Image 4 of Samantha and Justin

Image 5 of Samantha and Justin

For a December weekend it was unusually warm and gorgeous (by Michigan standards) in the 50’s and sunny, so we were able to take our time to find the perfect tree without freezing! With the tree attached to the top of our car, Justin said he was going to take me somewhere but it was a surprise. Before I realized where we were we pulled into my favorite place called Virtue Cider. It’s a cider haus where they make amazing hard cider. We hadn’t had a chance to visit here all year so I was very excited. As we walked up I noticed a sign that said: “Samantha come check out our new trails.”

Image 6 of Samantha and Justin

Image 7 of Samantha and Justin

We proceeded on the trail through the woods with firepits adorning parts of the trail. We finally came to an opening where there were a picnic table and a bourbon barrel with a note, two glasses, and a bottle of our favorite hard cider. I walked up, opened the note, and could see through my peripheral Justin getting down on one knee and that is when I completely lost it.

Image 8 of Samantha and Justin

Image 9 of Samantha and Justin

Once I was able to compose myself a little bit I realized he had someone there photographing the whole moment. We then went with the photographer and took photo’s around the property and went inside the venue to enjoy our cider. It was then Justin informed me of everyone that knew it was happening, how he came the day before to “Virtue” to set everything up, as well as the fact that he was able to trick me into getting my nails done.

Image 10 of Samantha and Justin

To preface, I am one of those girls who never gets her nails done because they always chip off and I can never keep them nice. One day one Facebook I saw in my feed that the owner of my hair salon that I go to (who is also my hairdresser) posted she was in need of a nail model for a new nail tech she hired and that whoever wanted to do it and was the first to comment would get their nails done for free! I was amazed no one had commented yet, so since I was the first to comment I won the chance to be a nail model. Little did I know that Justin had talked to my hairdresser and they came up with this plan. When she made this post she put it so only I would be able to see it (which I didn’t even know you could do.) So though it looked like a normal FB post only I was able to see it. I had been waiting a long time for this day and it was absolutely worth the wait. He had planned out everything so thoughtfully and beautifully that I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect proposal!!

Image 12 of Samantha and Justin

Image 13 of Samantha and Justin

Image 14 of Samantha and Justin

Image 15 of Samantha and Justin

Image 16 of Samantha and Justin

Image 17 of Samantha and Justin

Image 18 of Samantha and Justin

Image 19 of Samantha and Justin

Image 11 of Samantha and Justin

Special Thanks

Elisabeth Bartrom
 | Owner of my hair salon who helped Justin trick me into getting my nails done
 | Photographer
Virtue Cider
 | Where Justin proposed