Erica and Seth

How We Met

Seth and I met while at Princeton. The first time Seth noticed me was when he was a junior and I was a freshman.Seth was playing guitar on the worship band of a church I began visiting in the Fall. He saw me walk into the back of the sanctuary and, assuming we were the same age, wondered why he hadn’t seen my around campus before. The first time that I noticed Seth is a somewhat similar story. We had a music history course together in the Spring semester. He always sat at the very front of the class, and I (being a timid freshman) sat at a safe middle-to-back row distance. For this reason, I hadn’t taken much notice of Seth until one day he got up in front of the lecture room to preform a song on his guitar (a part of a class project we had). That was the first time I noticed this handsome upperclassman who was not only super cute but ALSO played the guitar. Unreal. Following that class we had together, we would say hi to each other when we saw each other, and we friended each other on Facebook, but that was about it.

Engagement Proposal Ideas in Princeton University Football Stadium

It wasn’t until the middle of my sophomore year that we really started hanging out and becoming friends. It was during a night out at Cannon (one of Princeton’s “eating clubs”) that Seth pulled me aside and basically asked me why he had never seen me around before and where I had been hiding. At that point, he learned that I wasn’t a junior like he had assumed I was. Eventually, we began talking about church (since that was the first place he noticed me) and I told him that I had started going to a different church and if he gave me his number I could put him in contact with the people who drove there each week (I totally wasn’t scheming or like “trying” to get his number.. it really just seemed like the most practical thing to do at the time). He began attending that church shortly after. In addition to church each Sunday, Seth was super involved with a campus ministry we have on campus called Princeton Faith & Action, and as I started to get more involved there were just more natural opportunities for us to see each other and hang out with mutual friends. That’s when we really started to become friends. By April of my sophomore year, Seth had asked me out on our first date (which, I didn’t want to assume was a date.. but it totally was). On our second date, he shared with me that he would really like to keep going on dates and getting to know each other. And that we did! On May 10th of that year, he asked me to be his girlfriend!

Where to Propose in Princeton University Football Stadium

How He Asked

About a year into Seth and I being together, Seth got drafted to the Browns and left Jersey to start training in Cleveland. We began being long distance, seeing each other about once a month — either when he would have a brief break and could come back to Jersey or when I could go out to Ohio to see a game. We had talked about getting engaged sometime in the winter, and getting married that following summer (summer of 2017). Because his schedule was so demanding, however, I expected him to only be able to come back and propose during his bye week (the week when NFL teams get off as a break in their season), which was in December. Seth, however, had other plans. The rest of the story is from his perspective: During our conversations about getting engaged, I learned that Erica wanted the proposal to be videotaped and photographed, as well as what kind of ring she always pictured wearing. Being in Cleveland for most of the year during football season, I knew it was going to be difficult to propose to Erica in her hometown, but with our desired wedding time being summer 2017, I knew I needed to find a way to get to NJ before the season was over. It was in September that I bought the ring. We were in Philadelphia for our season opening game against the Eagles, and I found time once we arrived to get to a local jeweler that I had been in contact with about Erica’s engagement ring.

Once I had the ring, I just had to wait for the opportunity to arrive for me to get back to NJ. That opportunity presented itself after the Brown’s Thursday Night game in Baltimore (Erica interjecting here… he got his first touchdown in that game!!! okay, back to the story), following which we were given two consecutive days off. Leading up to this time, I had convinced Erica that Princeton University was waiting for an opening in my schedule to get me back to campus to film a short documentary to be used for recruiting purposes (which was 100% untrue). Somewhere along the way I also convinced her that the producers wanted to talk to her as well to get her perspective of our time together on campus. The plan was to arrive on campus for the “documentary,” which I had arranged to be filmed in Princeton’s football stadium at night with the stadium lights on, and turn it into a proposal.

This plan allowed for Erica to dress up for a special occasion (because who wouldn’t dress up if they knew they were going to be on camera?) without being suspicious of anything. Everyone was in on it except for Erica, who had no idea what was actually going on. With the photographers hiding in the stands, the producer asked a few questions and then asked how we met.

At that point I told the camera the story of how we met as the photographers snuck onto the field from behind. I told our story up to the present day and then got on one knee and popped the question with the camera rolling. It was a great way to document all the memories of such a special day for the both of us. Erica was speechless and elated, as was I (as well as being quite relieved that she was actually surprised). We had a big party on campus afterwards to celebrate.

Special Thanks

Princeton Athletics Department | 
Planning
Shelby and Brooks Powell | 
Photographer
Megan Soun | 
Planning