Andy and Jenna | Beating the Long Distance Odds

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How we met: It started with an idea: a girl introduced her best friend to her husband’s brother. Say that five times fast!

My best friend Callie had this idea of setting me up with Andy, her husband’s brother. I thought it was ridiculous, simply because Andy lived in Orlando, FL, and I was 840 miles away in Alexandria, VA. Our love story started by playing and talking through “Words With Friends” and Facebook in April of 2012. Andy made a bet; if he won a game in “Words With Friends” I would give him my number. Well, Andy never won a game (though he never seems to mention that), so I simply just gave him my phone number.

We would talk occasionally on the phone; I was still in the mindset of, “this is just crazy and too good to be true.” In July 2012, Andy came to Newport News, VA, to play in an amateur golf tournament and stayed with his brother and Callie. I decided to visit Callie and finally meet Andy in person. The rest, as they say, is history.
We had instant chemistry and decided to give this very long distance relationship a chance. For a year and a half we traveled back and forth from Florida to Virginia by planes, trains and automobiles. Every time Andy and I had to say “good-bye,” he would write me a note and hide it somewhere for me to find later.

We made long distance work by committing to communication. We texted, called, FaceTimed and Skyped on a daily basis. In April 2014, Andy accepted a job offer from a company based in Vienna, VA, so we moved him up here to Northern Virginia! My Spring Break vacation was spent packing Andy up, renting a U-Haul and driving him and everything he owned up to Washington DC, a place Andy could finally call HOME! We beat the long distance odds and are so happy to finally be living in the same STATE!

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How he asked: I never thought this day would come. Andy asked me weeks before where I wanted to go for a birthday dinner, just he and I. I love this restaurant in Old Town Alexandria called La Tasca. About a week before, Andy said he made reservations at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 28th. A couple days beforehand, I was curious as to why he was taking me to lunch instead of dinner. Andy always has a good response to everything and explained that he thought it would be nice to have the rest of the day to walk around in Old Town, (or, most likely, my thought was he wanted to play golf in the afternoon).

Saturday morning we departed for Old Town Alexandria. He mentioned his parents, who were heading back to Wisconsin after visiting for a couple days, were stopping at the Greenbrier for lunch. I was thinking, “Wow, that is a fancy lunch!” We got to Old Town early and had some time to kill. While walking down Kings Street, he mentioned taking me to a shop to buy a dress that I had really liked for my birthday. However, there was a detour. He looked at a map and wanted to “stop” by the Historical Carlyle House to see if it would be worth taking his parents to the next time they were in town.

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The whole while I thought it was strange his hands NEVER came out of his pants pockets …

But I didn’t think much of it. We walked to the back of the Carlyle House where there is this beautiful garden. We looked at the flowers, and then he walked me into this beautiful gazebo. I could tell he was really nervous, but I still had no idea what was going on, other than a lot of our “plans” weren’t really happening. He grabbed my hands and said, “Well, we beat the distance babe.” The rest is a blur. He got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I said, “YES!”

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Then, out of the corner of my eye, I see a camera just sitting on the brick fence. All of the sudden, a head popped up. I screamed, “Callie is here!” Callie and Matt (Andy’s brother) were there taking photos of the entire proposal! Apparently Andy never heard me say yes, so he looked back at me and said, “Well … will you marry me?” And in true Jenna fashion I said, “I already said yes!”

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Andy confessed, there were no lunch reservations, which was a problem, because I was starving! Andy had made other plans. We headed to my mom’s house for lunch, where his parents were there waiting for us, they never left! After we celebrated at my mom’s house we went to my dad’s house for dessert. I couldn’t stop laughing and giggling over the fact that Andy had this huge plan and that his family and my family kept it a secret the entire time! You’d be happy to know, Andy did make reservations at La Tasca after all. It was just for seven hours later, for a celebration dinner with our families.

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Photography by Callie Hardman Photography