Andra and Brent | Proposal in Florence, Italy
How we met: Believe it or not…it was a wedding (of course!). A friend of mine from High School was marrying Brent’s roommate from college, and we got paired to walk down the aisle together. Little did we know, that would not be our last time walking down the aisle together!
When we met, I had just gotten out of a not-so-awesome relationship, and he was under the impression that I was still seeing someone. We clearly had no intention of ‘meeting someone’ at the wedding, so our walking down the aisle together was the start of what we thought was a platonic relationship! We laughed, made fun of each other, and formed inside jokes. I even briefly mentioned that I should set him up with my sister! In our talking together, we bonded a bit over our shared interest in social justice issues. I told him about a conference I thought he should attend regarding social justice, since it was going to be on the East Coast the following year (I live in Wisconsin, and he is a born and raised New Jersey boy).
After the wedding, I got a message on Facebook from Brent, asking about the conference, and if I could tell him a little bit more about it. Well…3 hours later we decided that it might be time to call it quits for the evening ;) We ended up talking for several days afterwards, and through an awkward discovery that I indeed was no longer in a relationship, we decided that it was awesome to keep talking to one another…and several weeks later, after bonding over our love of God, donuts, good grammar, and trying new things, we decided that life without talking to each other would just be weird…
Because Brent lives in New Jersey, it took us another year after we met (and continued to develop our friendship!), to find a time and place to meet up again (in real life, not skype!). We were pretty smitten and sold on one another after that, and have been able to travel between New Jersey and Wisconsin ever since! We even coined the hashtag #newjerseyboymeetswisconsingirl on instagram in the process!
How he asked: Brent’s dad is a high school teacher, and we were traveling to Italy with a few of his students (along with Brent’s mom, aunt, and uncle!). Leading up to Italy, a lot of my friends/family were asking if I thought Brent would propose, but since we had talked about waiting to get engaged until he was moved to the Midwest, I knew it wouldn’t happen in Italy. So much so, I said to Brent the day before we left,
“It’s not like I don’t think you’re proposing, I know you aren’t. I know you don’t have a ring, and I know you didn’t talk to my dad yet. I mean, I would say ‘yes,’ but still, I know it’s not happening. We will be in Italy, and that’s beautiful enough, so don’t stress about people asking about proposing and such!”
Clearly, it must have killed Brent to not say a word, and act like everything was normal!
When we got to Italy, we spent a few days traveling through Verona and Venice, and our next stop was Florence. When we got to Florence, we had a few walking tours, and had spent most of the day on our feet! I was exhausted by the time we got back to the hotel, but Brent was persistent about going on a walk that night! I was so tired, it took a lot of convincing! Even after he told me about the beautiful sunset, I was still not interested! ;) After changing my shoes, Brent finally convinced me to go on an evening walk, and explore the city a bit. I said to him as we were leaving, “I must love you a bunch to go on this walk with you right now…” Clearly, I was being a little (okay, a lot) sassy!
We went for a walk and ended up in this park that was absolutely stunning. I said to Brent, “I feel like we are in the movies!” and started to take some pictures. Clearly, my tired mood had shifted a bit. After ending up under this beautiful arch monument, Brent asked me if I would be surprised if he had something for me. I was in total shock, and apparently just kept saying, “wait…what? Is this really happening right now? Tell me…is this happening right now?” I was totally surprised! Of course, the happy tears started flowing right away….
Brent pulled out two letters from his pocket that he wanted me to read. I was in a total blur, I hardly read them! Ha! They were filled with such romantic words, and it was perfect for the two of us. Since we are long distance, we had exchanged several love letters before, but these were the ultimate love letters! The last letter had included a penny that I had given him, when we first started talking, for his birthday. It was a penny he was supposed to put in the bank, so we could save the interest to visit one another ;) He explained that he will no longer need the penny anymore, since he quit his job, and was moving to the Midwest. After that news, he started to laugh and explain that “yes, I did talk to your dad…and yes, your family does know…and Liz (my best friend) knows….” He was referring to when I told him I knew he didn’t talk to my dad or family, so I knew we wouldn’t be getting engaged in Italy!
And then bam! He was on one knee, and asking if I would marry him! Of course, I said yes right away!
We are currently planning a Valentine’s Day 2015 wedding in my hometown of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and we couldn’t be more excited! I work in the wedding industry as a stationery designer, so we will be having a lot of my industry friends there to help and celebrate with us!