Jay and Jennifer

How We Met: Jay and I met when we were just 14 years old. We were both hanging out at a festival in our neighborhood, him with his friends and me with my friends, during the summer of 2004. I didn’t even see him that night, but apparently he saw me, and I sparked his interest. My best friend at the time had her boyfriend with us, and he had been a friend of Jay’s.

A few days later, he told me that he had a friend who saw me at the festival, contacted him, and wanted to meet me. I agreed, and my friend, her boyfriend, and I met up with Jay at a local spot. From my first impression, Jay was a nice guy and someone who I could be friends with, but probably nothing more. However, Jay had different plans in mind!

Fast forward a year and a half later (after developing a great friendship, flirting a lot, but having turned down being his girlfriend twice), I finally agreed to date him! I still remember saying, “we will give it a month and see how this goes.” Well, little did I know that I would fall deeply for him and that saying “yes” that day was the best decision I could have made.

How He Asked: Jay and I were vacationing in Cape May, NJ, a spot that has a special place in my heart because it’s one that I frequented almost every year with my family as a young child. We planned on visiting Willow Creek Winery, a cute spot surrounded by a beautiful vineyard. Jay and I both love visiting wineries and vineyards because sharing conversations over a good glass of wine has always been a favorite pastime of ours. Also, the romantic and serene ambiance of a vineyard has always appealed to me.

Jay planned a private tour throughout the vineyard followed by a private wine tasting. Our tour guide was wonderful and taught us a lot about how the vines are cared for and all that goes into the making of a good wine. At one point, he brought us to a row of vines and began discussing the vineyard’s “Adopt a Vine” program. People can adopt a vine, help care for it, and enjoy certain privileges and events at the vineyard throughout the year. We walked through the row of vines, seeing plaques with the last names of several people who adopted them.

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That was when Jay directed my attention to a special plaque. My heart began accelerating as soon as I noticed what he was pointing at. The plaque read, “Will you spend forever with me?” The next thing I knew, my now fiance was down on one knee, tears in his eyes and a loving smile on his face, asking me to marry him.

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Needless to say, I said, “of course!” Shortly after the proposal, we were told that our vine contains the Pinot Noir grape, a finicky grape that is difficult to grow, requires a lot of love and care, takes time to perfect, but when done correctly produces some of the most profound and inspiring wine.

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I don’t think it’s a coincidence that similar to our relationship, this is the way true, everlasting love develops!

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