Tamela and Jacob

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How We Met

Jacob and I met each other in 2009 as freshman in high school in an English class! We became good friends, but nothing really came out of the relationship except a valued friendship. Our friendship remained consistent throughout sophomore year, but it wasn’t until junior year of high school where we would have another English class together where our relationship would progress. During that English class, Jacob became my best friend and someone I could always count on. I was the nerd who played basketball and ran track, while he was the football jock. In 2011, I helped Jacob in that English class because he hated reading, while he helped me countless times by driving over thirty miles just to pick me up from somewhere I didn’t want to me to answering my calls at 4AM just to vent/talk. He was the guy that was always there for me, even prior to any intimate relationship. He became my true best friend, but nothing more than that. I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason, but it wasn’t until our last semester as seniors in high school where our feelings for one another would show. In an Art class, we made it obvious to others that we grew feelings for one another even if we were oblivious to those feelings ourselves. At this point of time, I never had a serious boyfriend so it was a little nerve racking to me. In my head I was like “Oh my, what am I feeling?” or “This can’t be real feelings, can it? We’ve only been friends?!”

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The saying “love comes when you least expect it” is true for our love story because I did not expect my male best friend in high school to become the person I would soon love enough to want to spend the rest of my life with. We began to do senior activities together and I even remember a classmate asking us “are yall dating?!” We smiled at one another and shook our heads no, because we honestly did not know what we were at this point! On May 14th, 2013, we officially decided to change our relationship status from “best friends” to “in a relationship!” After graduation, I decided to go to a college in a different city that was about an hour and a half away.

The summer after high school graduation and before I left to go to college was our first summer as a couple, which was kind of scary because we did not know what to expect once I went off to college. We decided to take on a long distance relationship when I went off to college and see if we could handle it. We handled the distance with ease and that’s when we knew that we were made for one another. Being in a long distance relationship made our love grow stronger and gave us the foundations needed to have a trusting relationship. Now I am a senior at the same university and planning on graduating Spring 2017. Throughout my college years, Jacob supported me, allowed me to cry on his shoulder when I made my first “B” in college, encouraged me to be the best version of myself, motivated me to push through the sleepless nights, and accepted me through the good, the bad, and the ugly. I am forever thankful that our relationship began as a friendship because I can’t imagine a life without my best friend that makes me laugh, giddy, and smile all the time. I love Jacob more than I thought I could love someone and I feel like one of the luckiest girls in the world!

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how they asked

Since I took summer classes, I only had two weeks of summer break. During those two weeks, I had a suspicion that Jacob was thinking about proposing soon because he kept giving me subtle hints. However, he did not propose during this time because my dad was out of town and he wanted the proposal to be viewed by all my close family and friends. I went back to school at the end of those two weeks with no ring on my finger and back to being in a long distance relationship. I started my fourth semester of nursing school the following week which meant that I was too busy to even think about a proposal occurring.

During that week, Jacob and my friends gave subtle hints that I was too gullible to catch up on. To set up the whole proposal, one of my best friends texted me in our friend group message that she got a photography opportunity for her place of worship and needed a portfolio to submit in order to be considered for the position. My college best friends and I agreed to be models for her portfolio in order to help her get the position. My friends encouraged me to wear a pink dress that I wanted to wear for special occasions because they said it “would pop in pictures” (if only I would have known). My twin sister took me to go get my nails done that week, but I thought it was because she was tired of hearing me complain about how bad my nails looked.

September 2nd, 2016 finally arrived which was the day that we all agreed to take pictures for my friend’s portfolio. I had a lab from 8:00AM-11:00AM and was free the rest of the day. One of my friends kept smiling at me during lab, but her being energetic and happy in the morning was normal so I didn’t think too much into it. After lab, I went home and started to get ready for my friend’s photo-shoot! At this point, I did not suspect anything except going to the Birmingham Botanical Gardens and taking some photos with my girlfriends and then going home afterwards. My friend came and picked me up from my apartment because we live near each other and my other friends agreed to meet us at Birmingham Botanical Gardens, which is typically how we carpool. My friend wanted to begin her portfolio right away so she began by taking photos of me getting ready before we arrived at the Gardens to meet our other friends. After she took some photos, we left to go meet our friends!!

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Sammie and I arrive at the botanical gardens where she wanted to take her pictures for her portfolio. My friends were running late, but Sammie insisted that we just go inside and start taking individual shots of me. I agreed because if you know me, I am the most gullible person in the world.

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Finally, I arrive on this wooden bridge where my friend tells me to “act excited.”

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I did, and seconds later I hear Jacob whisper in my ear “can I join this photoshoot?” I instantly cried because 1. I knew the second I saw him what was about to occur and 2. Because I hadn’t seen him in a week and I did not know when I would see him next because of us being in a long distance relationship. He said the most beautiful words to me seconds before he got on one knee and asked me to marry him. Bawling and without hesitation, I nodded my head and said YES!

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As soon as I said yes, Jacob’s family, my family, and my friends came out of their hiding sports and started cheering loudly. It was a perfect day that I will never forget!

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Special Thanks

Sameera Rajpari
 | Photography
Birmingham Botanical Gardens
 | Venue