Sara and Nick

Image 3 of Sara and Nick

How We Met

We met in 2012 on the beach during his fraternity formal. He was there as a last-minute addition to the trip without a date. I was there with another brother just as a friend. We were instantly drawn to each other and I explicitly remember calling my mom after the trip and saying, “MOM! I met this guy on the beach! He’s so awesome and we hit it off immediately. We talked for hours and threw the football around just goofing off for so long.”

This first time around, it didn’t work out. I had a lot of healing to do and he had quite a bit of growing. Through some really rocky times in college, we ultimately went our separate ways. We didn’t speak for all of senior year, and then I moved out to LA in June of 2015 for a job in advertising while he staying in Orlando for an engineering job.

Just a few months later, in August, my best friend from college came to visit. As we were catching up, I asked, “What do you think Nick is up to post-grad,” but she didn’t know. Not thinking about the fact that people can see when you look at their profile on LinkedIn, I went to check out where he ended up.

He texted me a few days later. We started talking and really it felt like no time had passed. The spark was still there as it always was. He came out to visit in February of 2016.

Unfortunately, I didn’t want him to relocate to LA on my behalf. If he went on his own accord, I’d be open to a real effort, but it felt like too much pressure for him to move across the country just for me. It also boiled down to a real fear of commitment.

We didn’t speak again for another year.

I moved to Seattle to pursue another relationship, but couldn’t really afford to stay there. I found a company that moved me back to Orlando in June of 2017 and that relationship ended. We picked back up AGAIN, but I admitted I needed a little time and space to heal and settle back into Orlando, but once I was more ready, I wanted to be with Nick.

My ex from Seattle ended up following me to Florida, and because of this, I felt like I couldn’t just ignore him. Again, Nick and I parted. While 2020 was rough on everyone in more ways than one, I’ll always look at the year and remember it a little more fondly than most.

In April of 2020, Nick and I finally gave our spark a real chance to see if it would turn into the passionate relationship that seemed to always draw us back to each other… and burn. it. did.

Since April 17, 2020, we’ve never looked back, and just like every relationship, we have our ups and downs. However, the downs are few, far between, and not so bad when we face them together, and boy are those highs magical!

How They Asked

I. WAS. FLOORED!

Funny enough, we already had basically the whole wedding planned – a ceremony with family in Orlando before jetting off to Switzerland for the dream elopement we’d been talking about for so long.

Then, it just came down to actually getting the ring. We seemed to be hit with one financial hardship after another – a few dog surgeries, appliance replacements, a roof replacement. Finally, things calmed down and I was just… WAITING! The waiting felt like it was taking *forever.*

On September 30, 2021, we left the Orlando airport bound for D.C. We were going to be spending the weekend with my friends from all over the country (and my best friend from Dublin) to go enjoy the UCF vs. Navy game.

Tailgating and UCF, in general, have always been such a big part of our relationship so I should’ve seen it coming, but he really shocked me.

We got to the tailgate and bounced around to a few unofficial spots where our friends were before heading to the official alumni tailgate with our main group.

About 5 minutes before he proposed I went on a small rant about how I really thought it would’ve happened this weekend because we’re on this trip, it’s UCF Football, we’re with MY friends… little did I know…

An hour into the event they do the typical speeches. The cheerleaders perform and then comes the AD, the Chair for the Board of Trustees, the President, and then the Director of the Alumni Association to wrap it all up. Of course, I’m listening but playing on my phone or something, when the Director goes, “and now, I would like to welcome my friend Nick to the stage.” I still swear she said, Mick…

Well, Nick taps me on the butt and starts walking away and I just look at him like “Qhere the heck are you going?!”

Caitlin pushed me toward the middle and I am like “…noooo…. noooo… this isn’t it…”

Image 4 of Sara and Nick

Nick goes on to give his own speech as Caitlin pushes me again to the stage.

Image 5 of Sara and Nick

Finally, Nick gets down on one knee and asks, “Will you be my forever tailgate partner?” Of course, I said yes!

Image 6 of Sara and Nick

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Image 8 of Sara and Nick

And we got to wrap it up with the honor of meeting UCF President, Dr. Cartwright, and his lovely wife!

Our Video

Special Thanks

Ashley Marley
 | Planning
Tim Holmes
 | Photographer