Tija and Britton

Image 1 of Tija and Britton

How We Met

Britton and I met the summer of 2011 at the University of Maryland, College Park. We were in a summer program to help acclimate us to the University prior to the start of the fall semester. One afternoon, I went to the restroom and I found him there washing his hands. While there was a sign on the restroom that said “men’s”, it was the girls restrooms for purposes of the summer programs living arrangements. Of course I let him know that he was in the wrong place, and of course he argued me down saying that I was in the wrong place. (The fact of the matter is that he was in the girls restroom, and till this day, he will tell you that he wasn’t). From that moment, I began seeing more and more of him, and eventually we were properly introduced.

how they asked

Britton and I took a 7 day cruise to the Bahamas to celebrate our 5 year anniversary. The cruise was scheduled to have two elegant nights in which everyone would dress up for dinner and pictures. The first elegant night we were running a little late and missed pictures. I saw all of the other people that had their pictures taken that night and I told him that we should really think about taking some. Besides, I thought our outfits were pretty nice and also, it would be something sweet to give our parents when we got back.

Later, we asked around for when the next elegant night would be so that we could be prepared. We found out it was Friday and decided to schedule an appointment for our pictures to be taken. I had saw so many pictures on display of other photo shoots taken on the boat and I had a vision for how I wanted my pictures to be. I wanted to take pictures in the piano bar, in the hallway and I also wanted a picture outside on the deck. I asked so many questions because I wanted it to be perfect. The staff went and got the photographer and I began telling her my vision for how I wanted my pictures to be. She suggested that we moved our appointment from 5 to 4:30pm so that we would still have good lighting outside. She said that she would take care of everything for us and that all we had to do was show up….on time (lol).

On December 7th (our anniversary), he gifted me my favorite perfume (Flowerbomb by Viktor & Rolf) and a spa voucher to schedule any treatment I wanted on the ship.

Fast forward to two days later on December 9th, I still hadn’t scheduled a spa service. He asked when did I plan on using it, and I told him that I had no idea. It was literally something to do on the ship 24/7, so it was kind of hard to set out a time block where nothing was happening. He suggested that I booked an appointment for that day so that I could be photo ready. I insisted that he came with me to the spa and that we got something done together, but he’s not really into that kind of stuff. He told me that while I was at the spa, he would get ready ( It was sort of music to my ears because he takes a long time to get dressed).

Without my knowledge, while I was at the spa, he went and paid the photographer a visit. He told her that he wanted to propose and asked her to hold the ring. He tells me that she said that she knew that those were his intentions based on the way he looked at her when she asked if the photo shoot was for a special occasion.

I return from the spa and he’s still not ready. I shower, do my make up and hair, and we head out. We started taking pictures inside the ship, exactly as I had imagined. She guided us through several poses and facial expressions. Unfortunately, it didn’t look like we would be talking any outdoor pictures because the crew had placed signs on all the windows indicating that it was windy out and that people should stay inside. The photographer looked at me and said you guys have tons of great shots indoors, it wouldn’t hurt to break a few rules to see what we can make of some outside ones.

We step out on the deck, and immediately the wind is not working in my favor. In addition, it began to drizzle a bit so I wasn’t as excited about taking outdoor pictures as I once was. While she set up her equipment, she told us to begin posing and that we can sort of feel it out while she adjusts her lighting to the setting. I am posing for my life and trying to keep the wind from smacking me in the face. He begins pulling me in starts talking to me in my ear. He begins telling me how much he loves me and he assures me that I look beautiful (despite the wind and rain that decided to crash the shoot). He starts saying my name over and over and said that he wants to ask me something.

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He begins to back up and he goes into his back pocket. I immediately begin crying like a baby.

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I had no idea that this would be the way that he would ask for my hand in marriage… besides, had no idea that he had bought a ring. He asks, “Tija, Will you marry me?” , and under the crying, wind and rain, I said “Yes!”,

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And what I thought was the photographer adjusting her lighting and equipment was her capturing the entire moment.

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Words cannot express how much I love this man!

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