Donna and James

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How We Met

James’ version: Well, it was around Memorial Day weekend (4 years ago); me and a group of people from our local church decided to go to the beach. I drove there with my cousins and friends, while unknowingly, the girl that I would soon fall in love with, was in another car driving there. When we were at the beach, there was a volleyball and I remember asking Donna, “ Do you want to go play volleyball in the back? “ – with my heart racing, she said “ Yeah”. So as we were passing the ball around, I asked her what grade she was in (we were both in high school). I thought she was a senior… but she said she was a sophomore. At that time I was a freshman with wild dreams. She was funny and so beautiful. I didn’t stop thinking about her once since that day. I knew that when we left that beach, that that would not be the last time I would see her. A few years went by and our roads began to cross. We developed the same group of friends and ended up hanging out and seeing each other more often. I always joked that one day we would get married and I think just about everyone knew I loved her.

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After that day on the beach, I knew that Donna was the girl that I wanted to marry. I knew that I wanted to give her this love that’s like no other. I knew that I was going to try to do whatever I could to show her, that I was committed to her and wanted to spend the rest of my life with her. It was the summer of 2013; we went to our church camp, and not only did the logs for the bonfire light up to keep the night going for everyone, but my love for Donna lit up too. She was so funny, had such a beautiful smile, so interactive with everyone, very athletic in the games we took part in, and loved Jesus. It was inevitable that I was crazy about her.

A few days after camp, I ended up texting Donna and asking her to go to the park to play some tennis. We ended up talking and laughing more than actually playing. It was really hot out so we went to the ice cream shop to have some ice cream; and thats where it happened. I shared my heart with her (for the first time ever) as she ate her vanilla and chocolate twist ice cream in front of me. I told her how I felt about her and how I haven’t stopped thinking about her once since the day I saw her on the beach. I told her that even if she didn’t up choosing me that I wanted to try and show her what kind of love I could give her. She shook her head and said I’m crazy. We left off with her saying: “we will probably never get married and your wasting your time” I responded: “thats fine, at least Ill know I gave it my all”.
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And from that day on, I have been giving Donna my all. I want her to know every day that she is a princess, and that she is a Daughter of a King. She had a lot of fear for marriage that we had to battle through together. I didn’t know at the time, that on that ice-cream date I was talking to a girl filled with so much fear and a distorted image of love. The lies that Donna believed for so many years were exposed and began to break off of her. Donna is a strong women in the Lord but didn’t allow this part of her life to God for so many years.

Donna’s version: When James sat me down that day over ice cream and told me how much he loved I thought he was lying. I didn’t believe in “love” or “marriage”. I was so hurt from the past that created a monster of fear inside of me. I held onto “singleness” as a way to keep myself safe from any pain. But my heart for James began to change. The way that he showed me his love and care changed me. I would drive home crying and thinking “God you are so good”. I was so overwhelmed with love. It was the love, mercy and goodness of God that I saw through his love. I knew that God loved me but never knew he designed a man that would compliment that love so well. The verse “Perfect love casts out all fear” is verse that comes to mind when I think of what really happened.  I never imagined that the love James showed me was real. He fought for me, through all my fears and insecurities and showed me a life that I couldn’t even dream of. I love you JAMES!!!!!!!!!!!!
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How He Asked

I was originally scheduled to work the Saturday that James proposed to me. I was swamped with exams for a good two months straight and that was the first weekend where I didn’t have to study for an exam. I was trying to get that day off from work so I could actually have a full weekend to myself but I couldn’t find anyone to cover it. James and I had already planned to hangout that day when I got out of work and grab some dinner. That Thursday, my boss had texted me and told me that they wouldn’t need me Saturday because they had trainees there and were fully staffed. I was also scheduled for a position they had temporarily taken away so it made sense that they took me off. That entire week James had kept telling me he was really busy with work. I was getting a little frustrated and wanted to see him. When I told him I got that Saturday off, he had asked me to go to Boston to visit my sister and hangout. But I had always wanted to go to newport in the fall to see the scenery and plus it is one of our favorite places. So I asked him if we could go to newport instead but he kept pushing for Boston. He ended up agreeing to go to newport and we went the next day (Saturday).

Side note: James always plans out our dates to the tee; from where we are going to eat to what we will be doing that day. This time around, he was in no rush as to what time we had to leave by and seemed like he had nothing planned. He was in no rush to leave a certain time like he usually is. We came there at noon grabbed some lunch, coffee, toured the International House of Tennis, drove the coast of Newport, and then went to the cliff walk. It felt like a spontaneous yet relaxed date. He was not nervous, acting any different or rushing on time. I was completely clueless. After the cliff walk, he said he had something cool he wanted to do. As we were driving to the helicopter place, I had gotten something stuck in my eye and was trying to get it out. I was not paying attention to where we were going but next thing I know we pull up to a helicopter.

James had took me to the same place for our anniversary and said they had a “fall scenery special” since I wanted to do “fall activities”. I didn’t think much of it. When we were coming towards the end of the tour the helicopter driver says “and this is the third beach were all the locals go to”.  I was looking out to the ocean and admiring how blue the ocean water was. The driver then says, “Donna, do you see what it says?”. For the first 30 seconds I didn’t see anything. Then I looked over and saw “Marry me Donna” on beach!!!!!

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I was laughing, crying, shaking, and in complete shock. James says that I kept saying “yes” but I don’t remember.They flew us down and got us off. I thought he was going to get down on his knee right there and then. The lady had rushed us off and said “go go you guys have to go”. We drove to the beach which was a few minutes down the road. James was telling me about his whole week. From him asking my dads permission and the rest of my family. I was crying, he was crying. We got to the beach and he walked me down to where it said will you marry me. A drone came flying over us that had my ring attached to it (YES MY RING WAS HANGING OVER THE OCEAN). He took it off, got down on his knee and asked the question.

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Without any hesitation I said absolutely YES! I turned around to see the videographer and photographer filming the whole thing!! That took me by complete surprise! We enjoyed the most beautiful sunset in such a beautiful moment of life. I felt like it was a dream. The day could not have been more perfect.

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We had dinner at one of the most beautiful restaurants in Newport called the Chanler (A MUST VISIT) and that is how we spent our first moments as an engaged couple. It was so beautiful and so surreal. Then we arrived home to all of our friends and family and celebrated with them. It was such a memorable and beautiful day.

Our Video

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Special Thanks

Embark Films
Proposal FIlm
Aleksandr Verbetsky
Photography
Rotor House Media
Drone Footage