Jennifer and Alexander

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How We Met

Alex and Jen met at Sturgis Charter Public School in Hyannis, MA (Cape Cod). They are both high school teachers and photograph weddings together during the summer time. Alex was visiting Sturgis in May of 2014 shortly after he accepted his first teaching job where Jen had already been teaching for three years. At a school assembly, Jen noticed Alex with a bowtie, three writing utensils in his shirt pocket, a notepad at his side as he was smiling in observation at all the assembly joy.

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Jen noticed Alex immediately. The students sitting by her side at the assembly even mentioned that they thought he looked like ‘Ms. Walts’s dream man’. Jen went over to Alex to introduce herself and welcome him to the Sturgis community. With butterflies in her stomach and a smile she couldn’t wipe off her face, she walked back to the assembly knowing that she would think about him all summer until they met again at the start of the school year. Little did she know that he was summer daydreaming about seeing her again in September. As Alex’s birthday rolled around, on September 3rd, Jen took the opportunity to invite him to a fire pit to celebrate with some friends. Alex came over two hours earlier than the rest of the guests to help Jen start the fire with dryer lint and egg cartons (a foreign concept to Jen, but Alex had his Boy Scout hints to help him start the perfect fire).

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From that fire pit forward, they learned so much about each other in the following weeks: through beach walks, private-beach stairway talks, late night ice cream trips, and bike rides back and forth to their rented houses that were .5 mile away from each other (not kidding). They moved into an old Farmhouse on Cape Cod and still work together at Sturgis today.

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How He Asked

During an annual, crazy-busy and fun visit with Jen’s whole Walts family in Lake George, Jen did not anticipate the proposal of her dreams. Jen’s sister, niece and nephew were visiting from their home in Vietnam, so their visit was already special enough! Alex bought the ring on April 9th, but he was waiting for the perfect moment when all of Jen’s family would be in one place to celebrate.

On Wednesday, July 6th, Jen’s dad asked to tinker with the schedule for the day. He asked Alyssa Walts (Jen’s sister-in-law) and Jen if he could take Joe Walts (Jen’s brother) and Alex Houpert (Groom) with him to “help fix a friend’s boat on the other side of the lake.” Three hours later, Alyssa and Jen were lounging around, Heather Carreiro (Jen’s sister) was making sure the kiddos got some rest after a fun boat day, and Jen’s mom, Holly Walts was begging her to take a shower before dinner plans were settled.

Joe & Alyssa then said they made dinner reservations as an early birthday present to Jen, who was really excited and obviously took a shower after much prodding from her mom! Jen still had NO CLUE that everyone was scheming in the background.  Dinner was incredible, and Jen mentioned she was so ready to head back to their campsite for s’mores and relaxing. At Jen’s suggestion, she, Alex, Joe and Alyssa went for a quick after-dinner walk down by water. On this walk, all of the sudden, Alex mentioned he “forgot to lock the car doors”.

A while later, Alex came walking down the hill with all of their camping items from the car. Jen was still incredibly confused at this point. Alyssa and Joe vanished with her car keys, and Alex grinned wildly at Jen as he said “Come on! I’ve got a little surprise for you!” So, they turned around the corner of the dock, and Jen’s dad, Joe Walts, is there with his boat, motor running. Jen asked where they were going (she was crying and laughing out of sheer confusion), and her dad turned to Alex and said “Where to Mr. Alex, sir?” Alex responded, “Take us up lake, driver!” Jen’s dad was very quiet and serious the whole ride (which for those people who know him is not normal!)

No one was telling Jen where they are going. She was still confused even though her dad was playing some song about being in love forever on the boat speakers…they cruised up to a peaceful little island in the middle of the Lake (Gravely Island in Lake George, NY). Jen noticed their Christmas lights strung on the dock posts…and then it hit her.

Jen’s dad drove the boat away with a big wave, as Alex and Jen hiked up the little hill to their new private island campsite for the evening. She thought this was enough of a surprise! To her extended surprise, her dad, her brother and Alex were NOT fixing a boat earlier that day. They were setting up the island campsite for the proposal!

After dropping their bags at the top of the island, Alex walked Jen down to the dock, where they hugged for what felt like forever and admired the gorgeous view.

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Alex couldn’t seem to get something out of his pocket…he finally did…they were both sweating, and crying, and Jen was shaking. Alex got down on one knee and asked Jen to marry him. After about 100 “oh my gods”, and “Is this real life?!”, and “OMG am I dreaming?!”…

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SHE SAID YES!!!!!!!!!!!! (Obviously). They had celebratory champagne on the dock, sat by the fire, watched the sunset, and fell asleep on what they now call Proposal Island.

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P.s. Alex brought our wedding photography camera equipment to capture some of the after-proposal moments of pure bliss.

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Special Thanks

Jen Walts & Alex Houpert
Jen Walts Photography