Sarah and Shaun

Image 1 of Sarah Jane and Shaun La

How We Met

… is not quite the definition of ‘Love at First Sight’. Friends-of-friends from Freshman Year of College at Johnson & Wales University in 2008, acquaintances may not even be the best word. Shaun thought I was his friend’s ‘weird roommate’, and I secretly pined after Shaun. Fast forward to Sophomore Year, a secret ‘romance’ blossomed (again, loose definition of that term). Finally during Junior Year, Shaun realized he couldn’t fight his feelings any longer, and on a cold, snowy evening, walking down Benefit Street in Providence, he asked me to ‘make it official’ and be his girlfriend (his words, so romantic). I agreed and the rest is history!

From long distance RI to Switzerland, NH to RI and then finally NH to NJ, we made the first two-and-a-half years work (who was counting…). In 2013, I followed my dreams and finally landed a job in NYC, while finagling a way to move in with Shaun in NJ! Shortly after, we adopted the sweetest Schweenie whom we named Blizzard, and we’re THOSE obsessive dog parents.

After 6 (lonnnnnnggggggg) years, on a gorgeous fall day overlooking our favorite city, Shaun once again asked me to ‘make it official’, this time with a beautiful marquise diamond and sapphire engagement ring (and that little monogramed velvet ring box I had always wanted).

Image 2 of Sarah Jane and Shaun La

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how they asked

Shaun tricked me and told me he was heading to Providence for work. He spoke with my boss, and convinced her to give me two days off of work, so that I could meet up with him in Providence and enjoy a long weekend in our favorite city! He was already there (finalizing all of the proposal details, little did I know!) so I had to make the drive on my own. I was so nervous the entire way, as I had a small feeling this might be THAT moment.

We met up at the hotel and I changed (into something blue) and we headed to lunch. (He said he knew in that moment that I knew what was about to happen – I always love to match, and if he had followed my wishes, the ring would have sapphires and I wanted to make sure my outfit matched the ring!) After a delicious lunch at our favorite restaurant, we walked back to the hotel. He was taking crazy detours and I was so confused because we had lived here so many years, and I knew he knew the way (later on, I would find out that he was stalling, because the hotel intern he paid to take our photos couldn’t work the camera!).

We got to our favorite park which overlooks Providence, and he kept pulling me in a certain direction, towards the center of the park. I knew then it was happening, and I then saw a photographer in the distance. I tried to keep my cool so that I didn’t ruin the moment! Shaun turned me around, grabbed my hand and said the sweetest things. He then got down on on knee, and asked me to marry him! He held out the ‘Mrs.’ box before showing me the ring, because he knew how important that was to me. Through my happy tears I told him how excited I was for the box, but wanted to ‘see my ring!’. He opened the box and there was a beautiful marquise diamond flanked by sapphire half-moons on either side. It was exactly what I had always pictured in my head! I don’t think I ever actually said yes, because I was crying too much and in awe of the gorgeous ring!

After we hugged and cried, I exclaimed to Shaun how happy I was that he got us a photographer! He said ‘I don’t know who that person is!’. The man snapped a few more photos and walked away. We were so confused! Shaun explained that he had paid an intern to snap photos, but the intern told him the camera died, and left! The next day, we found out that the intern was quick on his feet, and saw someone taking photos in the park. The intern offered him $50 to take photos of us, and he agreed! We thought we’d never get the photos from this random guy, but two days later he sent us some beautiful pictures to remember that amazing moment!

It was a special moment in our favorite city and has such a crazy ending that’s so fitting for us. Our relationship has never been perfect but we have always found a way to make it work, and as long as we have each other, we know we’ll have a long and happy life!

Image 5 of Sarah Jane and Shaun La

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Special Thanks

Caroline Winn Photography
 | Photographer