How we met: Erik and I met freshman year of college at Millersville University of Pennsylvania. Four four years we stayed best friends but never pursued anything romantic. Erik graduated in 2012, two years before I would, and moved back home to New Jersey, three hours away. While I finished my last two years of college we stayed in touch and kept our close friendship.
In March of 2014 I went out to visit him. Upon my return I knew I felt different but I couldn’t quite pin it down. I spoke in length to our friend Dan, who Erik and I were both very close to as well, to try and sort out my feelings. That same night I asked Erik if we could Skype. About three hours later we found our 5 and a half year friendship growing into something more. We decided to try dating.
We knew the distance would be tough and we didn’t want to ruin what we had but we also knew there was only way way we could ever find out the “What If?”.
When we started dating all of our friends and family had the same reaction, “FINALLY!”.
how they asked: Erik and I had been ring shopping for a few months but it was very hard to find something we both really liked. We had also talked about getting engaged before 2015.
We decided to visit Finch Jewelers, a local store in Lancaster, Pennsylvania that created customized jewelry. After our initial sit down where we talked about our ideas and preferred styles Marc, the representative who we worked with, created some drawings for us to look at. After Erik and I both looked at the drawings and picked out our top favorites I then said I wanted no more part of the process. I always knew I wanted to be surprised and I did not want to know what the final product would look like.
Erik and Marc kept in touch by email throughout the whole process. Even though I didn’t want to know about the ring I was still curious and kept asking Erik about it. As time went on Erik would tell me that the process wasn’t going well and we should consider starting to look at other options. I was disappointed but I understood.
I turned my attention to a few other stores but had it set in my mind that our initial plan of being engaged before 2015 was not happening.
Erik had been asking me for weeks if we could get pictures with Santa. While I thought we were a little old for pictures with Santa I knew it would be fun. Erik was also a big fan of Christmas so I attributed this to his love of the holiday. We decided to visit the National Christmas Center in Paradise, Pennsylvania. I almost didn’t want to go and wanted to wait until the following day but Erik coaxed me into going.
Shortly thereafter we found ourselves waiting in line for our turn to visit with Santa. When it was our turn with Santa we posed for our photos and then Santa turned to me asking the age-old question, “What do you want for Christmas?”
I thought about what I wanted and finally answered, “To spend the holiday with family.” Santa thought that was very admirable but asked me if I was sure there wasn’t something else that I wanted, like a home for Erik and I to share. While I thought it was rather bold of Santa to ask such a question to two people he’d never met before I did say that would be nice.
Now Santa is traditional and so of course he proceeded to ask me what comes before a house. I thought about it and I said, “A ring? Is it too much to ask for a ring for Christmas?” Erik then chimed in and asked me “You want a ring from Santa?” and I said, “No silly! I want a ring from you!”
At that point Erik turned to Santa and asked if he could give me an early Christmas present. Santa said he did not mind. I still had no clue what was happening but it soon dawned on me when I looked at Erik next and he had a ring box in his hand.
Erik had planned the entire proposal with the help of the employees at the National Christmas Center so they were ready to capture my reaction as Erik asked me the most important question I will ever be asked in my lifetime.
“Will you marry me?”, he asked. With tears in my eyes I responded, “Yes!”. Still crying and shaking I looked at Santa and said, “Do you mind if I lean over you to give him a kiss?” Santa laughed and said of course not and so Erik and I shared our first kiss as future Mr. & Mrs!
Photos by National Christmas Center