Tori and Matt

Image 1 of Tori and Matt

How We Met

It all started with a swipe and a “hey Matt,” as all true love stories begin. Next came their first date at a Manhattan sports bar (Stout) and Matt’s terribly awkward hug hello.

With expectations low at this point, Tori was shocked when the next five hours was a seamless conversation of Big Ten sports and politics.

The date ended with another awkward hug and Matt not asking for Tori’s phone number. Still, something must have gone right because they’ve been debating about Michigan and Wisconsin sports ever since.

How They Asked

Lake George has always been a special place for Tori, filled with loving memories with her friends and family.

On Memorial Day weekend 2018, it became the place Matt got to know her family. The weekend was full of chores – building a dock in 40-degree water, installing air conditioners, manually filling toilet tanks, etc. – but for some reason, Matt kept coming back.

It later became the place he and Tori said “I love you” for the first time.

In the summer of 2020, Matt’s brother and his girlfriend were visiting the lake when Tori’s parents suggested everyone go to Tori’s favorite restaurant on the water. The plan was unusual: Tori’s dad would boat there but her mom would drive the car. And they insisted Tori ride with her mom to keep her company. Tori was suspicious something was up but went along with the plan.

After dinner and drinks, Tori’s parents had another idea: they would take the car home and Tori would boat back with the others. As they were heading home, racing to get back before it got dark, Matt insisted they stop at one of the islands on the lake because it has “the best outhouse on the lake.”

(Side note for those who haven’t spent time with Tori’s dad at the lake – each time we pass a particular island, Joe stops the boat and says “this is where it all began,” telling the story of his first time at the lake 50 years ago camping with his friends).

Back to the story: Tori was anxious to get home at this point and not thrilled with the idea of stopping to see an outhouse. Matt, however, insisted she would “kick herself if she missed this outhouse” and needed to come, look. Tori gave in. But as she walked up the island’s dock, there wasn’t an outhouse waiting. Instead, there was a candlelit path (with the help of Tori’s dad, his brother, and his brother’s girlfriend, Matt had decorated the island on the way to the restaurant).

Image 2 of Tori and Matt

With the song, “Diamond in my Pocket,” playing in the background, Tori and Matt continued down the candlelit path before they reached a clearing with a picnic blanket, twinkly lights in the trees, more candles, and champagne. On the speaker came their favorite song, “Forever to Go,” and Matt got down on one knee as the sunset in the background.

Now, Tori and Matt have their own island story to go along with Joe’s.