Jennifer and Josh
How We Met: Josh and I met during my junior year and his senior year of high school. It started in a very typical high school manner- I thought Josh was cute, so I came up with excuses to talk to him. After consistently spending late nights talking and dropping a lot—and I mean a lot—of hints, Josh asked me on a date. I remember being so impressed with how much of a gentleman he was on that first date. Things were just so natural, right from the start. We decided to go ice-skating for our second date, but ended up spending the entire evening just talking in his car. When we were about to walk inside to ice skate, we realized the ice rink had just closed for the night!
Unsure of what to expect, Josh and I decided to continue dating as Josh went off to Grove City College in western Pennsylvania while I was still a senior in high school back in Maryland. We found that long-distance was not as hard as everyone made it out to be. We missed each other, but never had any question that it was worth it and our feelings for each other continued to grow.
The next year, we continued to date long-distance as I went to college at University of South Carolina. After a year at USC, I decided that a big school was not the best fit for me and transferred to Grove City College. While I adamantly defend my decision to transfer as being based upon academics and overall school atmosphere, it was certainly a perk to be able to go to college with Josh for a couple years! It was so fun to spend much more time together and go on regular dates. Josh graduated in 2013 and I returned to Grove City the following fall for my senior year. While it was sad to have to readjust to long-distance, we were so excited to have only one more year of distance left… ever!
How He Asked: Josh and I began seriously talking about marriage while Josh was back at home in Maryland working and I was off in Pennsylvania for my senior year of college. Things became very real when Josh visited me in March 2014 and suggested we take a look at some rings so he could get an idea of what I liked. That’s when it really hit me that Josh and I were most likely going to be spending the rest of our lives together- and that just about sent me into a permanent state of anticipation and giddiness. I was so eager for Josh to pop the question so we could turn the “most likely” into a “definitely.”
Josh and I talked a little bit more about when the proposal might happen. His older brother was getting married at the end of May, so we discussed waiting until June to get engaged as to not steal any attention away from their wedding. Even though it was April, and therefore still at least two months away from when I thought the proposal would happen, knowing that our engagement was around the corner made me read into everything he did. Just ask my roommate- she heard all of my crazy theories while I was trying to map out Josh’s plan. Throughout April, I tried to figure out when he would make the road trip to ask for my parents’ permission, whether or not he had bought a ring, or if he had made any plans yet.
Near the end of April, I was realizing that time would drag if I let an upcoming proposal consume my thoughts, so I promised myself that I would stop trying to figure out Josh’s plan (easier said than done) and simply enjoy this sweet time of graduating college and being Josh’s girlfriend.
Saturday, May 3, 2014 marked Josh and my five-year dating anniversary. We were celebrating the fact that it would be the last year we had to spend our dating anniversary apart from each other, but had no special plans for that day. In fact, Josh told me he had a softball tournament in Maryland that weekend. He even sent me a picture of himself in his softball uniform that morning.
That day, a group of my girl friends and I had plans to go to lunch together off campus, so a lot of us got together to paint nails and get ready. I remember a friend of mine asking me earlier in the morning what I would be wearing to lunch and told me we were all planning on looking nice. I assumed she was simply picking on me for wearing yoga pants entirely way too often and insisting I put on jeans and a decent top. I really made nothing of the interaction at the time. Little did I know they were in on his plan and making sure I would look nice for the pictures!
When everyone was all set to go, we started walking out of the dorm. The whole way down the stairwell and out the door, I was talking about what food I would want to order from the restaurant- typical. When we walked outside, I noticed a group of people all gathered around with phones and cameras. In the confusion of the moment, I only recognized one face- Josh’s best friend. I turned around to see what was going on. It turns out that in my food frenzy, I had walked right past Josh! When I saw him, I thought he had to be proposing, but was so shocked because this didn’t match the timeline we had set. As Josh walked up to me, I kept asking, “Is this real? Is this really happening?” Josh got down on one knee and asked me to marry him! It all happened so unexpectedly and so quickly. I was so stunned, I’m not sure I was able to speak. I think I just stared at Josh with bright eyes and a huge smile until he stood up and kissed me!
We joked later that afternoon that I might not have even officially said yes in the moment, but I clarified then that I DEFINITELY want to marry him and spend the rest of my life with him!
Later that day, I was able to get the full story from Josh and my best friend/talented photographer, Kimmie. It turns out Josh brought the ring home on May 1st. He was still planning on waiting until June to propose when he picked up the ring, but after staring at it that night, he decided he could not wait any longer! That’s when he set the plan in motion and called Kimmie to ask her to come and take pictures.
I love our proposal story. Josh and I had never been great at surprises, but this was the surprise of a lifetime! I am also so thankful he had the proposal photographed. Everything happened so fast, and it is so great to go back through the pictures (and the iPhone video Kimmie’s fiancé took) to relive the moment. Kimmie is an amazing photographer and we will always cherish the photos she took for us! Josh and I are so happy to be engaged and cannot wait to tie the knot in June 2015!
Photos by: Kimberly Florence