Brandi and Nate

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How We Met

Nate and I attended rival high schools, but we worked at the same grocery store, in different departments, for years. Each of us thought the other was cute for years but I was always too shy to talk to him. After about three years of working at the same place we finally connected when my manager asked me to run the register in his department. We instantly hit it off, and I was smitten.

We started spending time together in July, the summer after my high school graduation, and made things “official” in August, but I was set to leave for college in Vermont at the end of the month. We were both uncertain what would happen when the other wasn’t around and we were seven hours apart, but after a year of long phone calls and video chats, I transferred to a much closer university where I’m finishing my degree.

How He Asked

Nate and I made plans to have a Christmas date, as we try to do every year, and decided we wanted to go somewhere we could walk through the lights. I was adamant on seeing reindeer wherever we went, so we planned out a special trip to Hersheypark’s Christmas Candylane.  I think I counted down every day for over a week, I was really excited to see some reindeer and spend some quality time together!

Finally the day had arrived, and it was, of course, the coldest day of the year. We bundled up and set out on our road trip. We had been discussing marriage a lot lately, and since I love the holiday season I thought it might be happening soon. Nate assured me on the trip that this was just a normal date and that “I shouldn’t get my hopes up because he hadn’t even purchased a ring yet” (little did I know he’d bought it 2 months ago in October). When we got to Hershey we went to the zoo, then the chocolate factory, and finally it was dark enough to go to the Christmas lights!

Everything was so beautiful and enchanting as soon as we entered the park – the dancing lights, the Christmas music, and the happy faces of everyone in the park. We set off towards the reindeer and passed a gorgeous archway of lights, Nate said we should come back to it on our way out to take some pictures and I was more than happy with that. We popped into some souvenir shops throughout the night to warm ourselves up, and strolled around drinking hot chocolate. Finally we returned to the archway and Nate asked someone to take a few pictures for us.

After a few photos I took a step forward to get my camera back, but Nate insisted we take one more picture. He started to unzip his jacket and I froze – was this really it?! He pulled out a small box, got down on his knee, and asked me to be his wife! I couldn’t get my glove off fast enough!!!

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Special Thanks

Chris Parypa
photography