Dania and Corey

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How We Met

Corey and I met in July 2008 during summer break. I was 16 getting ready to go into my junior year of high school , and Corey was 14 preparing for his sophomore year of high school.

Corey’s brother went on a mission trip to Mexico that was coordinated through their family’s church. Corey didn’t go because he was recovering from surgery. My friend went on the same mission trip and became really close friends with Corey’s brother. A few weeks later, everyone from the mission trip got together for an informal reunion at a local ice cream shop in North Tampa, called Tanya and Matts. Corey’s brother brough him, and my friend brought me!

Despite being two years apart in age, we had an instant connection. The four of us planned to meet at an amusement park the very next day, and Corey and I got to know each other a little better. That night, Corey messaged me on Myspace (yes, it was that long ago!) and got my phone number. We then quickly realized our families would both be spending the next week at the beach. We spent that week (and the rest of the summer) together, and made it official on September 9, 2008.

Corey and I spent high school going to each other’s school dances, spending time together on weekends, and getting to know each other’s family and friends. Five years of long distance dating began when I left for college in the Fall of 2010 to attend the University of Florida in Gainesville. A year later, Corey moved to Tallahassee to attend college at Florida State University. (House divided forever!)

College years were filled with many two-hour drives between cities and cheering on rival teams. The long distance wasn’t ideal, but we learned to really appreciate the time we did get to spend together. With a couple degrees behind us, we are both home in Tampa working toward our future careers. Now, after almost eight years of milestones and memories, we are engaged to be married and so excited to start this new chapter of our story!

How He Asked

Corey and I planned a last-minute trip with a few friends to New York City for the once-in-a-lifetime experience of New Year’s Eve in Times Square.

The next day, my sister and brother-in-law arrived in NYC to join the fun. The day went as planned with holiday sightseeing and dinner,  followed by drinks at a rooftop bar with a view of The Empire State Building. It was a fairly short walk, and The Empire State Building is open until 2 a.m. everyday, so we all decided to visit the iconic building. At about 1 a.m., we took one of the last elevators up to Observation Deck on the 86th floor.

At this point, only a few people were in on the secret (parents, a couple friends, and everyone on the trip). My brother-in-law had been holding the ring box in his pea coat the entire day!

Together we went out on the deck for pictures of the amazing views in the freezing cold. It was Corey and I’s turn for a picture – we took some smiling, and then Corey suggested we take a kissing picture. when I opened my eyes, Corey was dropping down on one knee and asked, “Will you marry me?” After a few moments of complete surprise, I soaked it all in with an emphatic “YES!” And then the celebrating and FaceTime calls began!

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