Jasmine and Justin
How We Met
Jasmine’s perspective: It all started 2 years ago when we were both cast as a married couple in the University of Alaska Anchorage’s West Coast Premiere production of “Stalking the Bogeyman”.
Justin’s perspective: I often like to say that when I met Jasmine, she was my wife. People’s first reactions to that are usually, “Awwwww,” then “it’s meant to be.” I feel the same way. Getting to know her on the set of “Stalking the Bogeyman” really started with an improvised scene we did together, wherein we were asked to come up with how our characters related to each other on a daily basis on the spot. What might have been a difficult exercise came naturally to us, and we had the entire cast laughing at our antics. I immediately felt a connection between us, and as the show went on, that connection grew stronger.
I was astounded by her beauty and intelligence, and one thing was certain, I wanted to get to know her better. I started waving goodbye to her every day when she left because although I was a part of the theatre department and knew everybody there, she was from the psychology department and only knew a few people, and I wanted to make certain that she felt welcome and noticed, at least by me. The difficult subject material of the play, combined with the intimate performances caused us to rely emotionally on one another and drew us inexorably together. As soon as the first run of the show was over, we started dating.
Jasmine: After one of our performances we decided to grab dinner at a local restaurant, and that turned into our first date together. We talked late into the night and discovered our mutual love of all things Disney, and the owner even ended up letting us stay at the restaurant past closing until he was ready to lock up.
Justin: I remember feeling so blessed that someone like her would want to spend an evening with me, and as our dinner and conversation went late into the night, I began to realize that the feeling was mutual. She seemed effortless in every social interaction, was extremely quick-witted and smart as a whip, and even at that early stage, I was starting to realize that I was falling in love with her. We watched movies, such as “The Last of the Mohicans” and shared our life experiences with each other all night.
Jasmine: After that night we started dating, our university’s production went on tour for a month to cities all around Alaska. We had a great time on the road with our fellow cast members, and the opportunity to perform at The Twenty-Fourth Annual Last Frontier Theatre Conference in beautiful Valdez, AK. Throughout the conference, Justin and I spent our downtime together getting to know one another better offstage during late night strolls on the harbor boardwalk or curled up with books in the local thrift shop. It was a wonderful week which culminated in a gala that was Speakeasy themed, so we both got spruced up in our best prohibition era getup and shimmied the night away to a hot band playing cool jazz. It was a night to remember!
Justin: During the amazing month-long tour of the show, we really got close. We enjoyed performing in such exotic Alaskan locales as Homer, Fairbanks, and Valdez, each tied to memories we cherish to this day. I remember a night relaxing with the whole cast in a hot tub in Homer, swapping all our most embarrassing stories. I learned a lot about Jasmine that night and she about me. The distance from home allowed me to be free and open with her, almost like I was living in a dream – but almost as soon as the tour was over, a tragedy brought the dream to an abrupt end.
Jasmine: Shortly after we got off tour, Justin’s father was in a terrible accident and hospitalized in Seattle where his family travelled down to be with him. I joined Justin in Washington to try and support him in any way I could and making it through this trying time in our lives ended up bringing us closer together.
Justin: On a fateful July evening, after returning home early from a weekend at my family cabin, I got a call from my brother saying that my dad had been in an explosion. It took some time before I could shake the notion that he wasn’t joking, and that very night my father was flown to the best burn ward in the tri-state area. This was a trying time for my family when I had to pick up and go suddenly to Seattle to see him, but in the midst of the chaos, Jasmine was there for me. She came down for a time, and stayed with me, patiently encouraging me and my family, and when things were so uncertain, I became certain of one thing: Jasmine was the most caring, wonderful human being I’d ever known. And I would do anything for her.
She helped me take care of the family home in my parents’ absence for months on end, dealing directly with the emotional fallout. She saw me at my best, and my worst, and she loved me through all of it unconditionally.
Jasmine: Since then we’ve shared many memories together, there are so many to choose from but my favorite memory is probably dressing up as mismatched Disney couple Flynn Rider and Princess Jasmine and winning our first Halloween couples’ costume contest together. It was great to embody each of our favorite characters, especially since when we are together it already feels like we’re living in a fairytale <3
How He Asked
Justin: I began to take on more hours and jobs to save up for the life we would share together, but it would still be a year before I felt confident enough to ask her to marry me. Even then, before I asked her, I went to her parents to ask for their daughter’s hand in marriage. Her father asked me to move out on my own for six months first, so, I did. And through every step of the process, she was there.
Until at last, I went to buy the ring.
I had originally been thinking that the ring I would give her would be one my family had passed down. I was uncertain, however, of whether it would be a ring that she truly liked. Then, one day, I walked into Zales and saw they had a Disney inspired collection of jewelry. I just wanted to see what they had at first, but didn’t see anything related to Princess Jasmine, and nothing less would do for MY princess Jasmine. However, as I was about to leave I noticed that set apart from the rest of the jewlery was an official Princess Jasmine engagement ring which really caught my eye. I asked to look at the ring and as I held it in my hand, I wondered if I was making the right decision by going with the family heirloom.
A month later, I was trying to find the best time to ask, when I got a text from Jasmine’s mother. She was telling me that she had found the perfect ring for her daughter. I was skeptical, but I took a look at the link she had sent me. It was the same ring. That was it, I said, I’ve got to get her this ring!
So, I bought her the ring not even a week later, but it needed to be resized. Sadly, it would be done a few days AFTER Valentine’s Day, blowing my ideas for a romantic proposal on that day out the window. But apparently, Valentine’s Day wasn’t done with me yet. February 14th came, and as I was at work, I got a call. The resizing was done three days early! I went into panic mode. Should I ask her tonight? It’s so soon! I’ll have no time to plan the perfect proposal! However, I remembered that we were invited to perform at a certain Valentine’s Day banquet in two days’ time. The skit, which Jasmine had chosen, was about a guy trying to propose to his love humorously. It was the perfect setup.
Jasmine: Our church’s 2nd Annual Valentine’s Banquet had an exciting turn of events! Justin and I performed at the very first one just the year before, and this year we decided to perform a cute skit about a guy who just couldn’t pop the question to his friend’s sister because she doesn’t realize he loves her. After our performance, however, my boyfriend pulled me back to center stage, dropped to one knee, and asked me to marry him in real life!
Justin: And it became the perfect proposal. I even managed to sneak the ring into the very ring box we were using as a prop for our skit, and at the end, we bowed together, as we had done so many times before, and then I knelt before her and asked her to be my wife. Again.
Jasmine: It was a beautiful moment that perfectly paralleled how our relationship began, as we met each other onstage playing a married couple. Of course, I said yes!!!