Gabrielle and Jeremy
How We Met
I had signed up for an intensive gym class in college (course is compacted into a few weeks instead of having gym all semester) with a friend. The only course that fit both of our schedules was the Rowing intensive. We had never rowed or knew what we were doing but we figured we’d be together and it would be a fun time. Jeremy, my now fiancé had been on the rowing team back when he was attending college and had come to a few classes to assist the teacher. Fast forward to March 2007. I had fallen in love with the sport and joined the team that fall. For the spring session, Jeremy had been asked to join the team as an assistant coach. At this point he had gotten a hair cut and now had my attention. When you’re a rower, the sport pretty much becomes your life so Jeremy and I, along with the rest of the rowing team, spent a lot of time together and became good friends. Over the summer, I continued to see Jeremy as a friend. At one point, I could tell that he wanted us to be more than friends but I was hesitant because of how this might affect our rowing student/coach dynamic. Although, I was no longer a student at the college and I couldn’t deny my feelings after a 3 week trip out of the country and away from Jeremy. One day, we decided to go for a hike. In reality, this was our first date and we both kind of knew it. On the hour-drive up to where we were going to hike, Jeremy’s car over-heated. Oh boy was he not pleased about that! We stopped to get some coolant for the engine, and he called his mom who agreed to come pick us up after she was done work and after our hike. Thankfully we were able to drive the little way that was left to get to the hike.
It was such a beautiful day and we were pretty much the only people on the trail. When we got to the top, enjoying the view and soaking in the sun, I turned my head away from the view to look at Jeremy and we shared the most magical first kiss ever. After that, I just remember feeling the happiest I have ever felt and just so happy that we took our friendship to the next level!
How He Asked
Jeremy and I had been boyfriend and girlfriend since 2007. We were both in our early 20’s and hadn’t really ever dated anyone seriously before each other. Everything about our relationship had always been easy. We were friends first and when it grew into more than that it just felt so natural and effortless.
Jeremy’s parents are divorced, although still good friends, and my parents never married (they are still together). After a few years into our relationship we got talking about marriage. Given our parents’ situations, we didn’t feel like marriage was something we really needed. I would like to add that we were both young but always spoke about our relationship like it was forever. However, fast-forward a few years where all our friends start getting married, I changed my tune a bit and felt like I did want to marry my best friend. Make it official. Have a day where our love is celebrated in front of all the people we love most. Jeremy, on the other hand felt like we were totally committed to each other and didn’t need to spend a bunch of money on a single day/event. We aren’t religious people and common-law couples are very common where we live (in Quebec, Canada) so he just didn’t feel like it was something our relationship needed. I definitely didn’t want to give him an ultimatum because I would rather be with him and never be married than be married to someone else. And marriage is a two-way street to me; we both had to want it. However, I kept making comments about this and how it would be one of the best days of our lives. I thought Jeremy was just putting up with my comments hoping I would eventually get over it. Whenever people would ask us about it, I would say that Jeremy knew where I stood about marriage and I knew where he stood so we were kind of in limbo.
This past august 26, 2017 was our 10-year anniversary (!). We usually do something pretty low-key for our anniversary, just a hike or a nice dinner out or at home. So since this was a big one, I thought we should do something big to celebrate. I had always wanted to go for a ride in a hot-air balloon so I looked into it. We found a great place not far from where we live and looked into the rates. It wasn’t exactly cheap but since it was for a very special celebration we could excuse the splurge. I even kept going back and forth about booking a private ride (just the two of us and the pilot) or with a group where tickets were about half the price. I finally figured since it was pretty much a once in a lifetime thing, why not do it right?! After we paid and booked, Jeremy turned to me and said “no gifts though, right?” He sometimes says this when we’ve spent a lot of money on something so I didn’t think much of it. So at 4:30 am on August 26 we left to go for our hot air balloon ride. I was so excited! I didn’t even notice how weird it was that Jeremy checked the basket while the balloons were being inflated and expressed his relief that the bottom was covered in a rubber mat so that there were no holes. We got into the air, such a smooth, quiet thrill! It was such a calm, beautiful morning. Our pilot said it was almost too calm for how slow we were going. After crossing a river, Jeremy turned to me and said “You know how I said no gifts? Well, I kinda lied” He then uttered those 4 words I had been dreaming of hearing for years and thought I would never hear “Will you marry me?” and pulled out the most beautiful (Canadian) diamond ring! I was completely shocked and managed to say “of course!” with the biggest smile on my face. I also kept asking him if he was serious because I just could not believe what had just happened. Apparently he’d been planning to pop the question on our 10th anniversary for the better part of the last two years! He did a great job at throwing me off that whole time because I had absolutely no idea. That day was probably the happiest I have ever felt.
Only thing is that had I known what was in store for me that morning, I might have grabbed my contact lenses and thrown on a bit of makeup!
This picture was taken moments before he asked ❤️