Travis and Jessica

Image 1 of Travis and Jessica

How We Met

I first met Jessica when she was completing her doctoral degree at the University of Pittsburgh Medical School. I was working as a computer engineer while preparing to start graduate school myself. Meeting new people in a small city was somewhat difficult as a young professional so when a friend asked me to go to a random house party, I jumped at the chance to meet new people. After being at the party a few minutes, I noticed a pretty woman wearing a black dress dancing across the room with a group of people. She seemed to be having the time of her life which told me she was a fun and happy person. Jessica walked up to me with a flirty (hindsight) smile and complimented my Jersey Shore light up shirt. After a quick thanks from a very shy Travis, she walked off. As the party went on, I did not know how to approach her let alone ask her out on a date. I kept saying to myself, “OK Travis you are going to talk to her in 10 minutes.” Eventually the 10 minutes became 4 hours and the party ended. I had missed my opportunity. As she was get her coat to leave, I noticed she was with a person that I knew. I approached Jessica’s friend on the side to see if I could have Jessica’s number. At this point I thought my chances had dwindled down to 0. Initially, Jessica was reluctant to share her number because she was disappointed that I had not engaged her more at the party. Jessica’s friend convinced Jessica to share her number with me. I immediately sent Jessica a text asking if she wanted to have brunch or dinner with me that same day. Our first date was dinner a local Thai restaurant, where I experienced fried Thai ice cream for the first time.

Image 2 of Travis and Jessica

how they asked

On one of our many dates, Jessica and I went to see Fruitvale station, however it was so far after its theatrical run the only place still showing it was a very small independent theatre. By small I mean the box office attendant was also the concessionist and the projectionist. We were the only ones in the theatre and Jessica jokingly said, “aww Travis you rented out the movie theatre for me.” So when I decided she was “the one”, I thought a fitting way to propose would be to actually rent out a movie theatre and show a collage of pictures and videos of her. A few months after, she shared the Wale music video, “The Matrimony”, with me and said she really liked the song. I gave it a listen and watched the video and I was like, “Wow this is really good.” I decided I should reenact the music video. To do this I rented out a local theatre in Cincinnati and set up a fake website to RSVP tickets where I framed the surprise proposal as a independent movie screening for a fake film called “9AM in Dallas.” I enlisted the help of her parents and friends to get her to go to the movie. During my initial planning stages I recorded a new version of the song and videotaped myself reenacting scenes from the original music video. After the video was complete I sent a copy of the finished produce to the theatre.

The week of the proposal, her parents flew in to Cincinnati separately. If they flew in together Jessica would suspect something. So her mother accompanied her to the theatre with her friends. I was in the projectionist booth with her dad planning the final reveal. While Jessica and her friends watched the movie the initial fake film interrupted and the music video I created started. She then realized what was going on. After the film I proposed and she responded with an enthusiastic “Yes!!.”

Image 3 of Travis and Jessica

Image 4 of Travis and Jessica

Image 5 of Travis and Jessica

Our Video

Special Thanks

Travis Brandner
 | Photographer
 | Theatre rental
Daniel Castro
 | Sound Engineer For Music Video
Blue Nile
 | Ring