Elizabeth and Christopher
How We Met
Chris and I both attended a small liberal arts school in upstate New York. Somehow, we never crossed paths during the first two years we were both studying there. But then, our senior year of college, the stars lined up. Chris joined men’s rugby after some persuasion from friends on the team. I had been playing for the women’s rugby team for three years and our two teams were very close. The first time I saw him, I got these incredible butterflies in my stomach. They were like nothing I had ever had for someone before. I would get so nervous when he walked in a room! I had a huge crush on him and was not afraid to show it. In fact, I asked for HIS number!
He got a concussion in a rugby match I went to watch – he got injured in almost every match that season – and I asked for his number “to check on him later” (I’m smooth, I know). He offered to buy me dinner as a “thank you” for showing I cared. On our first date, we were talking about how we had each gotten out of a long-term relationship in the past few months. He said to me that night, “I’ve promised myself that the next woman I say ‘I love you’ to, will be the woman I marry”. I choked on my pasta when he said that. I was apparently only half listening as all I heard was, “I love you,” and proceeded to panic (it was our first date, after all). Not two months later, Chris told me he loved me. Turns out, he followed through on his promise.
The is our first picture together and is in the weeks before we started dating in fall 2012. Both rugby teams went out bowling together regularly and I persuaded him to join us. Flirting harder than I think I ever did in my life, I told him that, “we were so cute together, we should take an ‘engagement picture’ of the two of us.” Little did I know…
This is us heading out on our first date!
How He Asked
Chris and I started our summer on a very sad note: me crying in an airport at 4am as we said goodbye to each other for three months – Chris was off to Los Angeles for an internship. After living together for a year, we were not looking forward to being so far apart. In June, though, Chris bought tickets to come visit me in Germany. He drove across the US and then boarded a plane to cross the Atlantic. I couldn’t have been happier! Having never been to Italy before, we decided to take a trip to Florence while he visited.
My best friend thought he may propose on the trip, actually, so we talked about it beforehand. Turns out, she wasn’t alone in thinking it was going to happen. Many of my friends have said they thought he would ask on the trip too. I, on the other hand, didn’t want to get myself excited in the event that it wasn’t going to happen. But I did look for signs.
The signs pointed nowhere for the first two days of our trip. I kept waiting for him to be nervous, to have a box in his pocket, or to seem intent on going somewhere specific at a certain time. When he was calm-as-ever Friday, I texted me best friend saying, “it’s not going to happen. You are going to have to help me eat a lot of cheesecake to get over this.” Saturday passed in the same fashion, until 7:00pm. Suddenly, Chris became very stressed that we were going to be late to watch the sunset. We were headed to San Miniato al Monte, a spot where you can see the whole city as the sun goes down. Being notoriously late to everything in my life, I did not feel hurried and consequently made us 10 minutes late to our own engagement.
When we arrived, Chris took a selfie of us in front of the sunset. This apparently being a “cue”, a professional photographer came over and offered to take our picture. He arranged us in better light, and suddenly Chris was down on one knee in front of a few dozen spectators. I was so flabbergasted, I am laughing in all of the photos! I couldn’t believe this was really happening and that he had planned all of this! When he finally uttered the words I had been hoping for years to hear – “will you marry me” – I leaned in and asked, “are you sure?!”.
I was so in the clouds that I could not believe he was really asking, so I *apparently* wanted to be sure. Naturally, that was followed by a swift “yes” and applause from everyone around.
The photo shoot that followed is full of pictures of me laughing as I tried to grasp that we were really engaged. I was so overwhelmed, I kept apologizing to the photographer that I might throw up on him. Luckily, I didn’t. It probably would have killed the mood…
I had not-so-subtly hinted over the years, being a huge fan of How He Asked, that there should be a photographer there when he asked. Apparently he had booked someone in Venice as well when we were contemplating there!
Our photographer was amazing and these pictures mean the absolute world to me, for now the best moment of my life is frozen in time. Laughter and all!