Gerry Summer and Derek
How We Met
I met Derek at a mutual friend’s Labor Day barbecue in 2010. I was newly sixteen, and he was eighteen and lived an hour away from me, so I didn’t really think too much of it at the time. However, when a friend request on Facebook appeared a few days later from Derek with a message that read “Hey! When are we going to the beach?:)”, I was instantly smitten.
For the next year Derek exclusively (since I only had my permit at the time) made the hour long drive once or twice a week to see me. After I graduated high school, I moved to Santa Barbara for college, which put us even further apart. Still, when you know you know.
We took turns either driving or taking the train to see each other. I transferred to a college in Orange County after one year, which moved us from three hours to two hours apart. It was about a year later when Derek landed his first career job, which allowed him to relocate to Orange County! So, finally after four years, we were no longer hours apart! Currently, we are both college graduates with career jobs. We’ve grown from kids to adults together, and Derek truly is my best friend.
How He Asked
One of my best friends started her own photography business a few years ago. I always nag her to take photos of Derek and me, and in return she will either use as models for her company or have us take family photos for her. It’s a win-win! And as a side note, Derek does not necessarily like taking photos (but what guy does?)! So when my friend asked if she could come down and take our photos again, I immediately told her yes. Now although Derek had been getting the “heat” about proposing from me and all of our friends and family for a while (we celebrate seven years in September), I resigned to knowing it was not happening until 2018.
So I planned the day with my friend, all the while not knowing what Derek was planning. When the day finally arrived, nothing seemed out of the ordinary. Derek, myself, my best friend, her husband and daughter all headed down to one of my favorite beaches and proceeded to take photos. Towards the end of the evening, my friend insisted on getting portrait shots of us individually, an idea I was not thrilled about.
I felt awkward posing by myself, but secretly Derek was behind me. I barely remember anything he said, and was only able to breathe out a faint, “yes” before immediately losing it! And little did I know, the surprises were not over yet! We headed to one of our favorite restaurants to celebrate and Derek had planned for all of our closest friends and family to be there. The best surprise was that my parents, who I thought were at their hour in Washington at the time, were there with open arms waiting to congratulate us!