Chelsea and William

How We Met

William and I have been together for over two-and-a-half years. We were both in our last year of college and met online a week after I had joined my first dating app (after some convincing from friends). I wasn’t taking it seriously and honestly had no intentions of actually meeting anyone, but when William and I started talking something told me I should meet him. He lived almost an hour away, and the first time we had plans to meet I made up some excuse as to why I couldn’t make it. But he was pretty adamant about meeting me, so I just decided to go for it the following week. I drove almost an hour to meet him, I still don’t know why, but I just had an unexplainable feeling that it would go well, and I was right. We did the classic dinner and a movie first date and went to a casual dinner at Chili’s and then saw Pain and Gain, which I honestly don’t remember most of because I was so nervous the whole time. The first date went amazingly, and I think we knew after that date that something was different. I think it’s hard to say we knew right away that we had found the one, but I think we were both pretty confident of that very early on in our relationship. He asked me to be his girlfriend after just two dates, and told me he loved me after three weeks.

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How He Asked

After many conversations about getting married, I just knew he was going to do it sometime this year, and that was solidified after picking out my ring earlier in the summer. I know that’s a bit untraditional, but I didn’t know when he was actually going to get it and when he would propose, so I figured even though I picked it out myself that I could still be surprised in some way. But then for some reason I just had a feeling it was going to happen this past weekend.

We live in Tampa, and on Saturday he told me to get ready but didn’t tell me where we were going. He ended up taking me to one of my favorite little spots in town called Hyde Park to go shopping (and like most men, he hates shopping so I knew something was up). We hopped around the shops for a while and then grabbed coffee at this adorable coffee shop. We sat on a bench outside and just enjoyed each other’s company for a while before he took me on a walk through the surrounding neighborhood. Now, we are from Florida which is mostly suburbia, but the houses in this neighborhood are incredibly unique and unlike any other in our state (at least unlike any I’ve seen). Every time we’ve gone there together, I would tell him how much I would love to live there some day.

So we walk through the neighborhood and come out on the other side to the beautiful Bayshore Boulevard, which is rumored to be the longest sidewalk in the world. It’s right on the water and you can see the Tampa skyline from it. He had everything timed so meticulously that there was the most beautiful sunset waiting for us when we got there, and I knew what was coming next. He paced around for a bit, and I could tell he was nervous. He waited for people walking and riding their bikes to pass by, and then in the most adorable way told me how much he loved me, got down on one knee and asked me to marry him with the beautiful ring I had picked out months before. Of course I said YES! And after a few precious moments together, one of my good friends came running to us. She had been hiding across the street taking photos of the whole thing, and I later found out the two of them had gone there together the day before and scoped out the perfect spot for him to do it. It was just so thoughtful and meant so much to me.

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After he proposed, he took me to dinner at a restaurant in town I’ve always talked about wanting to go to. It was the most special day and I’m so happy he had someone there to capture it.

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Special Thanks

Erin Howell | 
Photographer