Jenna and Tyler

How We Met

Tyler first walked into my life freshman year of college at the University of Florida. He quite literally walked into my dorm room, and I told a mutual friend how cute I thought he was. However, that was that for the time being. Over the next few years, Tyler popped into my life through various shared classes due to the fact that we were in the same major. We never talked much except for my asking him for information about our physics homework, but I always admired him from afar. Then during spring break of our senior year, I was in Miami Beach with my best friend, sarah, for a mini vacation away from Fort Lauderdale where I’m from, when I saw Tyler post a photo in Miami Beach. Without thinking, I messaged him, a guy I barely knew. We met up that night, he with his best friend and me with mine. We stayed up all night talking, until the sun rose over Miami Beach.

The rest is history. I knew immediately that he was made for me. Every date and time spent together was wonderful. Whether it was laying on the Florida track looking at the stars and talking or adventuring around to the natural Springs in Gainesville, I was grateful for every second with him. After graduation, Tyler moved to Arkansas to do an MBA, and I moved to North Carolina for vet school. Even through long distance, our love never wavered, it only grew stronger. I became the best version of myself with Tyler–a better daughter, a better sister, a better friend. He has that effect on people. Everyone who meets him, adores him, and the people I love most are no exception. He was there through everything, even when my mom’s battle with breast cancer was coming to an end, the hardest weeks of my life. He was and is my rock, and my home.

How He Asked

We had driven through the night from North Carolina where we live together while he pursues medicine and I attend veterinary school, to Fort Lauderdale where my family lives. That morning we had brunch plans with another of my best friends but we planned to walk on the beach first. As we walked, I was looking everywhere for my friend but she was nowhere to be found. As Tyler pulled me towards the center of the beach to my confusion, we saw the cutest glass bottle in the sand with a note inside.

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Tyler urged me to open it but I was confused and thought it was for someone else. When I finally did, Tyler took my hands in his and started his sweet speech. He told me he wished my mom could be there (She passed away from breast cancer a few months before), but that she had the best seat in the house.

Both of us teary eyed, He got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. He gave me the ring that he and my dad had designed with our family jeweler. The center stone was the vintage old European diamond from my mom’s wedding ring.

The perfect testament to my mom’s love for Tyler as if he were her own son and her presence with us always.

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The whole time, my best friend was hiding out and taking pictures. Afterwards, another surprise awaited. All of our friends and family had traveled to Fort Lauderdale to celebrate with us and were waiting at my favorite restaurant, The Casablanca Blanca Cafe, where my mom and I used to go.

It was the perfect day. Only a man as thoughtful as Tyler could have thought of everything I love and hold dear for the moment I officially said yes to spending a lifetime with him.

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Special Thanks

Nha-uyen Hua | 
Photographer