Britt and Jeff

How We Met: Jeff and I met on New Years Eve at the Passion Conference in Atlanta, Georgia. We had some mutual friends but didn’t actually meet each other until he sat next to me on the bus ride down. I remember him being very loud, energetic, and outgoing…but this shy girl was not looking for anything. Throughout the weekend Jeff was always by my side…prompting some teasing from our friends ;) When we got home, he proceeded to carry my bags for me to my car and even helped me clear off the snow and ice that had accumulated over the long weekend. He asked me on our first date, but instead of saying yes I told him I had to babysit. (I didn’t have to babysit). Me being shy and not really looking for a relationship, I freaked out a little and said the first thing that came to my mind. We did exchange numbers, though, and we ended up going on our first date a week later.

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How He Asked: After Jeff and I had a very on and off relationship for about a year and a half, we decided to call it quits and were apart for about 5 months. On May 11th, Mother’s Day, we ran into each other at Church, and he called me later that afternoon. One of our first dates after getting back together was at this local landmark called “The Bowl,” which is a giant crater-like sand dune right by Lake Michigan. We had a bonfire and decided to burn some old journals of ours, a symbol of letting go of the past and starting fresh. After one incredible year of dating, we went back to this same spot to celebrate our “re-versary”…(the anniversary of the day we got back together). After a fun-filled afternoon of miniature golf and carnival food, Jeff brought me back to The Bowl on a beautiful sunny day in West Michigan. I did not dress the part, assuming it would be cooler by the lake, and was soon a very frustrated and sweaty hot-mess.

Not having any idea of what he was about to do, I very grumpily followed him all the way to the other side of this giant dune, as he insisted we set up at this one particular spot…only to find out some people were already there. After we re-located to the very center of the bowl, we built up a small fire and were soon back to our silly selves, eating s’mores and listening to music. Jeff then pulled out a wrapped gift from his backpack. Thinking it was just an anniversary gift, I opened it to find a brand new journal filled with pictures of us from throughout our relationship with little notes next to each one. I then reached a page with no pictures, but simply a note saying “Now a new chapter begins…”.

Jeff then pulled me up to my feet and I knew immediately what was about to happen. Instantly I began to cry as he got down on one knee, not hearing any of the sweet things he was saying. Jeff pulled out a blue box with the most beautiful ring inside and asked me to marry him in the middle of the bowl-shaped dune. Through the tears, I emphatically said yes and threw my arms around his neck. After some more tears, apologizing for my grumpiness, and examining the gorgeous ring, two of our friends with cameras came out from their hiding places. We hiked back to the car, and on the ride to his parents house I got to see the rest of the journal, which was filled with sweet notes from both of our parents and siblings. As we pulled onto his street I found out that he had another surprise in store for me…all of our closest friends and family were waiting in his driveway to celebrate with us! It was truly a magical day.

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Photos by Tailored Productions