Shannon and Justin
How We Met
We met in the fall of 2012, my sophomore year of college, Justin’s junior year, at a mixer his fraternity was having with my sorority. I was sitting on the front porch of his fraternity house with a group of my friends when we made eye contact. He walked right up to me and said: “Are you that Shannon girl?” And I said with the utmost confidence, “Yes I am!” His response: “Cool!” and he walked away. We went to a very small liberal arts college, so I just assumed he had heard who I was through the grapevine. We started texting here and there after that, and then I asked him to go to sorority’s formal with me a month later. We were “together” for 16 months before he ever asked me to be his girlfriend …
I know what you’re thinking “why in the world would you wait that long?” He became my best friend and support system. The week we met, my mom had just been diagnosed with breast cancer. He helped me through the lowest and hardest point of my life in those 16 months of not being my boyfriend.
When he did finally ask me to officially be his girlfriend, it took him about an hour of explaining why it took him so long to make things official. In that hour, he had to take breaks because he was so nervous and worked up. By the end of the conversation, I just sat there and was like “so are we official or something?” He nodded his head as he took deep breaths. I remember laughing at him and saying “I hope I’m the one you propose to someday because you’re going to be a wreck!”
How They Asked
Fast forward six years: we have been “dating” for almost five years, we have lived together for almost two years in two different states, have a dog, careers, the whole nine yards of a great life together. I’m 25, Justin is about to turn 27, and I’m ready to get married. We have had the marriage talk more than one in our relationship. We truthfully had it so many times that we basically had it all planned out, but there was just one small thing missing: the actual proposal.
We both have crazy hectic careers. I’m an event coordinator at West Virginia University and he is a regional manager for Dixon Golf. Our lives revolve around work and each other when we have a spare moment. At the beginning of October 2018, the height of one of my busier seasons at work, Justin asked if I had any events on October 20th. I checked all three of my calendars and had zero plans for that day, so he suggested we have “surprise day”* and wanted to take me to Canaan Valley, West Virginia. I was very excited because surprise day is always a good time and Canaan is one of my favorite places in the world.
*Surprise Day is a day Justin made up when we first started dating. He planned a mini road trip to Cedar Point and I had no clue until I showed up at his house for the weekend. From then on, we attempt to have one surprise day a year.
October 20th finally arrived and he told me he had another surprise for me that day: a scavenger hunt. This wasn’t just any scavenger hunt. This was an over due birthday gift he had been meaning to give me since June! The clues were on a **fraternity paddle and I had to figure out where we were to go for each of the clues. We also had to take pictures at each spot to commemorate the day.
**He started making me fraternity paddles since we graduated college as a election back on the year since my last birthday.
The clues were as followed:
The worst “My Pleasure” in West Virginia
If the water is black, it must be yucky
“So you’re that Shannon girl, huh?”
Our favorite J.W.
Here are the answers to the clues:
The worst “My Pleasure” in West Virginia – A certain Chick-Fil-A never says “my pleasure” and it just bothers me! We stopped there for our first stop and we also grabbed lunch!
2. If the water is black, it must be yucky – Black Water Falls, West Virginia. Black Water Falls holds a special place in my heart. My family would come here every summer just to look at the beauty of our state. I brought Justin here as a surprise day and he was amazed at the beauty himself.
3. Red violin – The Purple Fiddle in Thomas, WV. The Purple Fiddle is home to some of the best food, live music and ice cream. Another place I grew up going to, but Justin and I like to go for the ice cream and music.
4. “So you’re that Shannon girl, huh?” – Theta Xi house, Buckhannon, WV. The spot where Justin and I first met and I was hooked for life. And a disclaimer, I was sitting on the side of the porch (above my head) when he first approached me. When we were leaving the house to go to the next clue, he called my sister, Emily (a current student at Wesleyan), and our friend Josh to see if they wanted to get dinner with us after the last clue. They both said yes and we all decided to meet at the last stop.
5. Our favorite J.W. – John Wesley statue at the Wesley Chapel, West Virginia Wesleyan College. The Wesley Chapel is where I have dreamed of getting married since my parents took me there when I was 5 years old. Justin knew that and knew just how to make this last stop special…
By proposing at the very spot I have dreamed of getting married at since I was a little girl!
My sister and Josh were in on the whole thing! Josh brought a nice camera while my sister recoded it on her phone. I was so happy but in complete shock. The ring is his grandmother’s. I was very close to Justin’s grandfather and juts before he passed away in March 2017, he told me that I would make an amazing daughter-in-law someday. It truly meant the world to me when I saw Justin holding the ring that brought his grandparents 50 years of a wonderful marriage.