Erin and Jason

424088_10200405518564222_460444129_nHow we met: If you ask my sister, she will tell anyone and everyone that it would be her dream in life to set her sister (me) up with my future husband. Well my sister got her way.

Jason and I grew up a few towns (and years) apart, but our paths eventually got to cross. My sister and Jason were in the same year of law school together. I decided to join her one night at a party at one of her classmate’s houses. Jason walked in at the same time as us, but we never spoke. He later did say he noticed me and thought I was hot, but I was much more focused on his dog, a bullmastiff. Throughout the night, I saw him here and there, but really gave my attention to his dog. Nothing happened, life moved on.

A few years later, I had graduated college and moved back home. I was just coming off a bad breakup, starting my career and adjusting to this whole adulthood thing. My sister immediately wants me to start dating, and suggests I give that guy, Jason, a shot. I’m not ready yet, and just continue on.

Then a few months later, in an oh-so-Carrie Bradshaw moment, I send my sister an “I got to thinking” email in which I tell her I am ready to hand her the reigns in my dating life and tell her to set me up on a date with Jason.

After a few Facebook messages and legitimate stalking, she sets us up on a blind date. Over some beers and a sampler platter, I knew that I was hooked. This was it, this was the guy I was going to marry.

Four years later, we’ve moved away from our hometowns, bought a house together, spoil our bullmastiff, and can’t wait to become husband and wife.

How he asked: On Labor Day Weekend 2013, Jason and I planned to go to Lavallette to spend the last weekend of the summer at the my grandparents’ house … a staple of summers at the Jersey Shore. I came from our house in Princeton along with our bullmastiff, Jabo, and Jason caught a ride with a friend from work. I, of course, got there first and enjoyed a drink on the deck with my grandfather as we slowly watched the street fill in with more and more weekenders. Meanwhile, my grandmother (who is in on the surprise) is so nervous that she is barely speaking to me… avoiding conversation all week, staying inside so she doesn’t have to talk to me. Jason arrives a few hours later and we go up to tour favorite (and only) bar in Lavallette, the Crab’s Claw, to meet friends. Go figure, I don’t eat much at dinner because I am too busy talking and I proceed to get very drunk.

The next morning (the day of the proposal), I’m not feeling too well (obviously) and eventually drag my butt out of bed to shake off the hangover at the beach. By this time, my grandmother is about to lose her mind, force feeding me a bagel while my aunt makes me chug ginger ale. Jason, the one who usually hates the beach is insistent on getting up there before the Labor Day crowds. Hesitantly, I pull myself together and just the two of us head up to the beach where my sister, brother-in-law and mother as supposed to meet us in an hour or so.

While we wait for the remaining group to come up to the beach (of course they text and say they are running late), Jason asks me if she wants to take a walk down to the jetty. The walk is short, but Jason lays it on thick right away. I am, of course, oblivious, and next thing I know Jason is down on one knee fighting off waves that are crashing on shore. I am in absolute shock, but muster up a “yes” as I am compulsively shaking. Then Jason points up towards the beach to the photographer laying on the beach blanket. Jason had the whole thing photographed, from the moment we walked onto the beach to the hugs and kisses afterwards.

After taking some posed pictures with the photographer, we walk back up to our beach chairs and I try to compose myself. My hangover is completely gone, but I am in disbelief of what just happened. Eventually Jason and I decide to walk back to the house to surprise my family, but I get surprised… again. Both of our families are at the house with a full spread of champagne, bloody marys and my favorite assortment of brunch snacks. Erin and Jason turn the corner and Jabo comes running up with a sign that says “My Mommy and Daddy are Getting Married.” From there, we just partied the day away thanks to the wonderful planning of the Phillips women.

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