Elaina and Chris

How We Met

Chris and I met in college at the University of Valley Forge. I was a sophomore and he was a junior. We came to school a week early Fall semester because we both held leadership positions that required us to return early for training. Most of our friends weren’t back yet, so we were kind of forced to hangout since neither of us had anyone else for a few more days. We still don’t know how it happened, but a random group of us ended up going to Plato’s Closet one day. To this day, Chris and I still laugh about our first conversation. It went something like this: “What did you do this summer?” And I replied very snarly and uninterested, “I worked at an ice cream store.” Apparently I was rude and stand-offish so he knew right from the start to not even try (or maybe it just gave him more motivation to get to know me haha). However, I don’t remember being rude, but there’s always two sides to the story, right? After that day, we slowly became friends and would hangout on campus and of course the typical daily snapchats. Our fondest memory of “the night” we both realized we were interested in each other (though neither of us knew until later that we both felt a connection that night) took place with a group of friends at a nearby park. Nothing really significant happened, but I just knew I was really interested in him and he knew he was going to date me one day. The next morning, I was in the library doing homework and was soon greeted by Chris and a cup of coffee (totally the way to my heart). Later that night, our school held a formal where we instantly clicked and our friends started catching on, and soon the entire campus knew (it’s so wonderful being at a small school *cough sarcasm cough*). Later that night, it had rained almost the whole day and Chris and I decided to go puddle jumping. We just ran around campus and embraced the rain. We barely knew each other but it was easy to hangout with each other and it just felt right. We consider the night we went puddle jumping our first date and though it wasn’t until 4 months later that we “officially” started dating, we both knew from the start that we were going to be together.

How He Asked

Chris proposed on a Wednesday, September 30, 2016. And I can honestly say I had no idea that it was happening. Earlier that week I had asked Chris if he wanted to get dinner Wednesday night after work since our schedules had been so busy lately and it was finally a night we were both free. Wednesday came and our plans were still good to go out and I had no idea that anything was coming, mostly because I had initiated going out that night and it was only planned two days before. Little did I know, Chris had been planning to propose the coming weekend, but because it had been storming all week, his plans had to change and he decided Wednesday afternoon to propose that night! After we finished dinner, I asked Chris if he wanted to walk around the mall, because the restaurant is attached to the King of Prussia Mall. He seemed slightly hesitant, but I assured him it would only be for a bit. Not even 5 minutes into the first store, and his best friend, Matt, called. Chris put him on speaker phone so I could hear him and he starts telling us how he was driving and the hood of his car started smoking and he broke down and needed us to come pick him up. I was a little bummed because I just wanted to hangout with Chris, but I knew we had to go get Matt, so we left (little did I know, this was all part of the plan). On our way back, Chris started telling me how much of an honor it is to call me his girlfriend and he cannot wait to call me his wife one day. I thought it was so sweet of him to say! But still was clueless to what was happening. We finally pulled up to the spot Matt said he had broken down. We got out and looked at the hood and he said he was calling a tow for it. I was ready to leave, but Chris and Matt started walking the other direction. I was confused but followed behind. The place we were at is a wedding venue and is lit up at night with beautiful lights and gazebos. You’d think I would have caught on, but still clueless. I looked under one of the gazebos and saw a few candles and a table with some things on it. I looked at it and said, “Wow that looks pretty! Why would anyone leave that here!?” And then I walked the other way. Chris stayed up by the gazebo so I figured I would go up there and as I walked up I saw our initials carved into the wood and that’s when it FINALLY hit me that he was proposing! I was in COMPLETE shock! I don’t really remember anything he said, but he got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife! I was so shocked and could not believe what had just happened! Our friends came out from behind the bushes to add to the surprise!

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Special Thanks

Danielle Debley
Photography