Vincenza and Tyler

Image 1 of Vincenza and Tyler

How We Met

Tyler and I grew up together in a very small town in Upstate New York. He was one grade above me and we had different friend groups, so we never got to know each other. After high school, I went to college in Florida, while Tyler joined the Marine Corps and he was stationed in North Carolina. After college, I stayed in Florida and became a scuba Dive-master. Tyler learned this through social media and had contacted me about learning to scuba dive. We ended up building a casual friendship, then found ourselves talking all the time. He went on a deployment and gave me his email in case I wanted to keep in touch. I remember at the time I was very busy with becoming a rescue diver, he wished me luck and told me to let him know how it went. Once I completed the course, I emailed him and we stayed in touch through his deployment and continued to build our friendship. I was in the process of moving from Florida to Hawaii (I lived there briefly for school and loved it). When you’re a Dive-master, your certification is essentially a ticket to travel the world. You can go to any tropical island and get a job in the scuba industry quite easily. That was my plan. I was packing my things and going to Hawaii to work as a Dive-master. I had an apartment lined up and everything.

He knew of my plans and told me he couldn’t wait to visit me and explore Hawaii sometime. After college I did however consider moving to San Diego for more job opportunities in the field of my degree, environmental science. I even applied to jobs online, but I had no luck. By this point in time, my mind was made up; I wanted to go dive on an island all day long. Tyler had been re-stationed to San Diego, California. He returned safely from deployment and we continued to talk as normal. One day he told me he had something to ask me. He asked if I would be his date to the Marine Corps Ball. I was smiling ear to ear, and of course I said I would love to. It just so happened to be one week before I was planning to be in Hawaii. So I was getting ready to book a couple of flights that would bring me to San Diego, then to Hawaii a week later. Right before I purchased my flights, I received a message telling me that the property I was going to be occupying in Hawaii had been given to someone else at an earlier date. It was something I didn’t expect. I put all my plans on hold and frantically searched for another apartment in the right location that wouldn’t require me to need a vehicle there. I didn’t have any luck with that and the Marine Ball got cancelled. I took some time to think things over.

All I knew was I wanted to move to somewhere new. Something was telling me to give California a try. Yes, I loved Hawaii, but I had lived their before. It felt right to move to somewhere new instead. When I moved here to San Diego, I had no expectations that my friendship with Tyler turning into anything more. However, that was not the case. We immediately hit it off and spent almost everyday together, aside from the times his job took him out of town. It was truly so different than any other connection. He was always such a gentlemen and very respectful to me, which is hard to find these days. The months went by and I was living in La Jolla and he was living on the Marine base. Tyler works from 6am to 6pm, sometimes even later. His long days made it tough to see each other, with traffic I was a 30 minute drive from him. So after four months of dating, we decided to move in together! It didn’t feel out of the ordinary to us because we just knew that we had something special together and we would be happier getting to see each other more often.

To our surprise, our friends and family were thrilled for us and didn’t think it was too soon at all. Even though we live together, we probably don’t see each other as much as the average couple, due to both of our jobs. However, moving in together was a great decision and it obviously brought us a lot closer and took our relationship to the next level. We’ve had a lot of adventures since then! Especially camping, we love to camp! There’s plenty of national parks on the west coast like Yosemite and Joshua Tree. We still have quite a lot of places to check off our list! We clearly love the outdoors. Tyler actually asked me to be his girlfriend while we were in a hammock strung between two palm trees, with a sunset view over the ocean near Scripps Pier.

Image 2 of Vincenza and Tyler

how they asked

Our one year anniversary was coming up in late February. The weekend prior, we went out for a lovely Valentine’s dinner. So for our anniversary, we decided to book an afternoon sailboat cruise that served wine and appetizers. The cruise was taking place on Saturday and that was the one thing we planned for our anniversary. Even though the actual date of our anniversary was Friday, we both had to work, so we decided to just celebrate on Saturday. Well, little did I know what Tyler had been planning for months. On the day of our one year anniversary, Tyler called me while I was at work and asked me if I could meet him at Scripps Pier at 5:30pm. He told me he wanted to see me in the same spot that he asked me to be his girlfriend, one year ago. Of course I said yes. I figured he was just trying to be sweet and show that he cared about our anniversary day. When we met there after work, it felt just like old times. We hardly ever drive separate to the same location, so it felt like the days we spent prior to living together. Instantly we were both flooded with great memories.

The sun was setting over the water and we walked down to our spot. Of course, I was complaining about how chilly I was because I didn’t bring a jacket. All I was thinking about was being cold, until suddenly, Tyler started telling me how much he loves me. I remember him saying so many wonderful things and being very nervous. Then he told me that I am the person he wants to spend the rest of his life with and he’s known it from the beginning. With that, he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him!!! I was overwhelmed with happiness and I said YES!!! Then I grabbed his shoulders to stand him up to hug him, forgetting all about the beautiful ring in that moment, I just wanted to hug my best friend! Before hugging me, he put the ring on my finger and it was perfect. We sat on a nearby bench for awhile and Tyler was telling me things he wanted to say before he proposed, but was too nervous to remember at the time.

Image 3 of Vincenza and Tyler

Image 4 of Vincenza and Tyler

Both of us were just so happy, giddy, and smiling ear to ear. We were alone and had a beautiful view. I had completely forgotten all about how cold I was! It was the best day, best moment, best everything. When we left, we got in my car and called each of our parents, who all knew of Tyler’s plan, they were extremely happy for us. Later, when I got home, Tyler surprised me again with a cake that said ‘Happy Engagement’ and a bottle of champagne.

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Life couldn’t get any better!

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Image 10 of Vincenza and Tyler

Special Thanks

Callie Gill
 | Photographer