Caitlin and Brian

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How We Met

Brian and I met 3 years ago at a Cinco de Mayo party. We spent just about the entire party talking to each other and I kept thinking he was going to ask for my number. He didn’t, so I suggested he friend me on Facebook to kind of nudge him along. A month later I still hadn’t heard from him but the same friends who threw the Cinco de Mayo party were throwing a Memorial Day Party so I made sure he would be invited.

We again spent the entire time with each other and he again failed to ask for my number.

A week later, however, I FINALLY got a Facebook message (good thing I insisted we become friends) from him asking me out. Our relationship hasn’t been easy. We’ve broken up twice and have really struggled to learn how to communicate and love each other in a way that is best for our individual personalities.

Still, in the end I wouldn’t change a thing. I know the good and the bad, I know that I can make myself love him even when I don’t feel like it and I’ve seen him do the same. Brian is not my soulmate, he’s my choice.

How He Asked

I’m not an easy person to surprise. On top of that, I’d been expecting Brian to propose (and had my nails ready) for at least 6 months and we’ve been dating long distance, so every time we saw each other was basically a special occasion.

A few weeks before his upcoming visit, he had some mutual friends ask if we could all go on a double date the next time he was in town. I agreed and we planned to go to a concert at the Norfolk Botanical Gardens. However, I was instantly suspicious because she came up with the idea so quickly after I responded with the dates that he’d be in town. So of course, I immediately went to the Botanical Gardens event page to see if there was actually a concert…there was NOT!

I thought I’d figured it out. He had anticipated this however, so the day of the “concert” he had my friend text me that she had been mistaken and the concert was actually the week before. I was crushed. The Gardens event planner online wouldn’t let me look back a week to double check this and it started to sink in that I had worked myself up over nothing.

We decided to still go to the gardens because none of us had ever been.

I’d say we had walked around, seemingly aimlessly, for about 45 minutes before we ended up in a side garden towards the back. There was a girl setting up an amp and guitar and we wandered over to ask what she was doing (Brian’s idea, not mine.) She said she was setting up for a reception but we were welcome to wander around.

I started to pull Brian away to go find our friends, but he wouldn’t budge. Apparently she was supposed to start playing then, but she didn’t, so he’s attempt at improvisation was to start admiring the trees. Getting frustrated, I kept trying to pull him away. A good 5 minutes of talking about North American Pine trees later, I noticed the guitarist playing the song we’d decided to have as our first dance song at our wedding.

Brian got down on one knee and asked me to marry him very beautifully (and to my surprise emotionally), and I responded with a simple, “duh.”

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He had a photographer who happened to be the fiance of one of my very best friends, hiding and taking photo’s of the entire thing and we got to walk around the gardens and take our engagement pictures, followed by a cookout with friends and family.

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Special Thanks

Ryan Kelly
Photographer