Abby and Zach

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How We Met

Zach and I met when we were in college. We had mutual friends and both of our roommates bar tended at the same college bar. Our paths were bound to cross at some point. When Zach asked for my phone number I accidentally typed it into his phone wrong (oops!) and he had to get the correct number from a friend..to this day he still gives me a hard time and says I did it on purpose. I say I was playing hard to get. Fast forward 4 months after constantly hanging out, going on dates and non-stop butterflies in my stomach he asks me to be his girlfriend and we make it official. Now almost 5 years later here we are making plans to spend the rest of our lives together!

How He Asked

It’s the middle of December and I kept telling Zach I couldn’t believe we haven’t done anything to celebrate the Christmas season yet!  I bugged him all week to go to a market or ice skating with me so when he said he had something planned for the upcoming Sunday I didn’t think twice. Zach is really great at planning surprise dates, where I know were going on a date but I don’t know what were doing.  I love him for that!

Sunday came and I begin to get ready, he says dress nice for a restaurant but also warm since we would be spending some time outside. About the same time I began to get ready it began to snow…hard. I mentioned to him we could reschedule but he insisted that the roads were wet not slippery and that we would be fine. We headed to our favorite go-to steak house about 40 minutes away and we had a lovely dinner. Zach was a little quieter than usual and didn’t eat much but I didn’t think anything of it.

After dinner he takes me to the Morton Arboretum for their Illumination Tree Lights. I was so excited when we pulled into the parking lot to see these gorgeously lit trees with thousands of lights. Plus, all of the snow that had fallen on the trees made everything even more pretty. We head inside and begin the lighted walk.

Zach and I have a date night rule where we try to be present and keep our phones away during the date. So we begin the walk and Zach is texting, I politely ask him to stop texting so we can enjoy the lights together. We walk a little further and he’s back on it, he say’s its his mom and although I’m slightly annoyed I say okay. We continue the walk, stop for a few pictures and I’m loving it so far.

Then we get to these trees where you sing to them and their lights dance to your voice. It was cool but I definitely am not one to sing in public but around this time Zach starts walking sooo slow and is still texting and I’m just like what is going on?? So then Zach says “hey lets go back for a second” and although I really didn’t want to I turn around a follow him.

He then begins to walk off the path and I’m like “Zach we can’t go back here” and that’s when he grabs my hand and says “it’s okay…follow me”. We walk through the snow towards this lit up tree and Zach stops, grabs my hands, says the sweetest words and then gets down on one knee and proposes. I was shocked, the mix of emotions I had was unreal, so in love, excited, happy, shocked, the list goes on.

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Zach hired a photographer who captured the proposal in the dreamiest way. That’s who he was texting and the reason he was walking so slow, to make sure she was set up and could capture the moment perfectly. After the proposal, Amy (the photographer) followed us the rest of the lighted walk and took pictures.

At one point of the walk after the proposal ‘walking in a winter wonderland’ started to play and it was literally like we were in a movie It was like we were walking in a snow globe, completely magical. I didn’t cry during the proposal but when we were alone after it all I lost it. Happy happy tears. I didn’t think it was possible, to be even more in love with Zach. But at this moment in time I fell in love with him all over again and I can’t wait to fall in love with him over and over throughout my lifetime with him.

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When we got home we popped some of my favorite champagne and I replayed the moments over and over until I fell asleep.

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Special Thanks

Amy Aiello
Photographer