Serina and Brendan

How We Met

Brendan and I first met back in high school—almost ten years ago from today. We had mutual best friends, so our friend groups were always making plans together. However, it wasn’t until years later, in July of 2011 that he first captured my heart. I remember it like it was yesterday! We were at a local beach bar at the Jersey Shore (Donovan’s, to be exact!). I can remember the exact place I was standing when I realized that whoever he was going to marry would be one lucky girl—I just never thought that lucky girl was going to be me. As we drove back to our friend’s house, I was sitting on his lap and had butterflies the whole way home. However, we didn’t act on that feeling for a few more years, but as they say—timing is everything.

Fast forward years later to the summer of 2015. We began spending a lot of one-on-one time together, but time that we still believed was just as great friends. We spent the entire summer attached at the hip, from going as each other’s plus ones to weddings to spending time with each other’s families. We had become inseparable and our connection was clear. Then, one late August night, we went out with all our friends and Brendan and I broke away from the group to go home early. We ended up sitting in my kitchen talking about life and then, it happened: Brendan told me that he loved me. I could not believe that my best friend was saying this after all of these years. I brushed it off and the next morning I asked him if he wanted to talk about it. He told me that he meant everything he had said; “I love you, always have, and always will. It was always you.”

A few weeks after that special night, on August 30, 2015, I looked at Brendan and everything had changed – it was fate. We were in Cape Cod with our closest friends, when suddenly it clicked. The man of my dreams, who I’d been looking for all along was right in front of me. I walked right up to him and kissed him. From that moment on our lives changed forever, and the rest is history.

How They Asked

Serina and I first met back in high school. Over the years she became one of my best friends in the whole world. Little did I know it wouldn’t end there and not in my wildest dreams did I ever think that ten years later I would be the lucky guy who would be getting down on one knee under the arch of Washington Square Park and asking for her hand in marriage.

As our lives continued as close friends, it was in the blink of an eye that we were both graduating college and going to be living in New York City. Before we knew it, we were spending a lot of time together—more than your average set of best friends—and we knew we had an undeniable connection.

Fast forward to Saturday, March 30, 2019—what will forever be known as the best day of my life and the day that my best friend became my fiancé. We woke up that morning and went to Central Park to walk the reservoir. I was calm but the nerves began to set in once our walk was over and we were heading back to our apartment. I told Serina we would be attending a wine tasting at a beautiful restaurant that neighbors Washington Square Park later that night with my parents who just so happened to be in NYC celebrating their 32nd wedding anniversary. I told her that the plan was to meet at 4 pm sharp and that we had to dress our best. By some miracle, I was able to convince my fashion-obsessed girlfriend to wear a specific dress that I knew she would be thrilled to be wearing for all of the surprises that were to come.

We headed west on Bleecker Street holding hands with the ring safely tucked in my back pocket and my heart racing at a million miles an hour. We walked down West 4th Street and entered the park through the south-east entrance. We strolled through the park appreciating the live music and all the action going on. Then as we walked underneath the arch I spotted the photographer hiding across the street and I gave her a nod.

We arrived at the top of the park and I swung Serina around almost as if we were about to start dancing. I told her, “I’m sorry, I lied! We are not going to a wine tasting.” I took the ring out and got down on one knee. As I looked into her eyes and thought back on the countless memories we have shared, I knew our journey was just getting started. Then after numerous hugs, kisses, and tears, we continued on to a restaurant nearby not for a wine tasting, but to a surprise celebration with our families and closest friends. It was the perfect end to the most perfect day with the love of my life, my fiancé.

Special Thanks

Meg Niemann
 | Photographer