Annika and Andrew

How We Met: In winter of 2013, Andrew and I were both students at the University of Michigan. I was in my junior year, living in a house in Ann Arbor with five girls. Andrew was in his senior year and, little did I know, was living next door in a house with five guys. For a semester, there were only polite greetings between porches, and the occasional flirtatious laugh at a bad joke (the jokes are still pretty bad). But eventually, one of my roommates decided that we needed to make friends with our cute neighbors.  She suggested we all go out to the bars one night and, despite my protests having had a rough week, I unwillingly tagged along.

Andrew barely spoke to me at the pre-game that night; though apparently, he had had his eye on me. As soon as we got to the bar, Andrew pulled me on the dance floor with him, twirling me around and dipping me back so my head was almost touching the floor. Soon we wandered to the salsa bar next door (which was near empty) and we spent the next couple hours as the only ones on the dance floor.

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On Valentine’s Day, a few months later, we decided to make it ‘official’.  To commemorate the occasion, we broke into the Michigan Big House Stadium at midnight and danced on the block ‘M’ in the freezing cold.

How He Asked: My whole family was in Northwest Michigan, where Andrew is from, visiting his family. The week was filled with hikes, beach days, game nights, and therefore, little alone-time for Andrew and me. On the night before my family was leaving, we were doing a big goodbye dinner. Andrew begged me have a glass of wine with him before meeting everyone at the restaurant because “I really miss just-us time.”  I initially turned down his offer – I didn’t want to miss out on precious time with my family who was leaving the next day. Plus, we would be having “just-us” time for two weeks straight once everyone left. However, he would not let the idea go, so I eventually agreed.

Andrew drove us to a beautiful beach, laid out a blanket and pulled out some wine and cheese; it all felt so romantic. Acts like these are very typical of Andrew, so I truly did not suspect anything at the time.  In the moment I, jokingly, commented that this would be a perfect time to propose (sunset, wine, parents).  Andrew looked genuinely defeated after my comment. He immediately apologized for having nothing prepared and acted as though he was letting me down.

While I was reassuring him that I was sincerely joking, he interrupted me: “But speaking of, look at all of those people walking onto the beach”. I turn around and see both our families and my best friend, whom Andrew had coordinated with for months, walking toward us in the distance.  I turn back around and Andrew is on one knee….

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I could barely hold it together, the tears just streamed out. I don’t think I actually said the word ‘yes’, but I didn’t need to.

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Turns out the goodbye dinner was really an engagement dinner for Andrew and me, and that my family was staying an extra day to celebrate with us.  This will always remain one of my favorite life memories.

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The Ring