Erika and Brandon

How We Met

Brandon and I met at my first job when I was sixteen years old and he was almost twenty. He was actually a month away from getting married for the first time when we met, so I thought nothing of dating him. Over the course of the next three and a half years, we continued working together and living our own separate lives; however, life happened and he became single again. For the next year or so, we started developing a friendship. On February 10, 2013, he asked me to be his girlfriend, and the rest is history!

How He Asked

On April 23, 2016, Brandon and I went to a specialty shop in the Eastown district of our city called the Local Epicurean to attend a pasta-making class (his Christmas present to me). It was a date different than any other we had been on before, and we had so much fun! After all, we both love to cook and Food Network is on pretty much all the time when we hang out. The plan was to attend the class, then go to lunch and downtown for a walk. Upon finishing the class, he received a phone call and told me there had been a change in plans and that we were just going to go for a walk and then grab lunch later. I became concerned at this point, because earlier in the morning he had told me that his mom had not been feeling very well. However, he didn’t seem too upset so I tried not to think much of it. We hopped in the car and drove to the downtown campus of the local university that I attended at the time, Grand Valley State. We parked and began our walk, going along the river. It was a gorgeously sunny day, with not even a cloud in the sky! After we passed underneath a bridge, Brandon stopped walking and so naturally, I did too. I turned towards him to ask why he had stopped, at which point I noticed our longtime photographer friend standing behind him in some trees. At that moment, I knew something was up, but still I begged him not to bend down and tie his shoe and pretend to ask me to marry him!! Since February when we had started looking at engagement rings, Brandon led me to believe that we would probably be getting engaged a while later in June or July. He told me that contrary to what I had thought, we would in fact be getting engaged right at that very moment. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw people standing on the bridge we had just crossed under. The closer I looked, I realized it was both of our families holding a sign that read, “Erika, will you marry me? Love, Brandon”. Brandon told me to give everyone a wave, asked if I was ready, and then he got down on one knee and popped the question. Of course, I said yes! Little did I know that he had been planning this whole thing with my mom for weeks, down to the very last detail! I could not believe what lengths he had gone to in order to make that moment the perfect one for us. I couldn’t have dreamed up a better way to get engaged, and I can’t wait to say “I do” to the love of my life next June!

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Special Thanks