Jesse and Jeannie

How We Met

I met Jeannie randomly, through a friend, via text. I was not looking for a relationship at the time, I wasn’t looking for anything at the time! Little did I know she would become a huge part of my life. I knew, from the start, there was something special about her. She intrigued me and I had to meet her. After texting her for a bit, and figuring out a few of her favorite things, I planned on meeting her in person. One day, I headed up to her area. Stopped by Krispy Kreme and got a dozen donuts. Stopped by Starbucks and got her current (ever changing) favorite drink. Parked in her work parking lot, and sent her a screenshot of my current location captioned “I took a wrong turn, help?”. In hindsight, super creepy! But she didn’t call the cops (thankfully)! It didn’t take long to figure out Jeannie wasn’t just some fling, or someone who was just going to be a friend. I loved getting to know her. I loved spending time with her. She was amazing. She was perfect. I wanted to get to know her more! Unfortunately, life had other plans for us.

Jesse's Proposal in Petoskey Michigan

Engagement Proposal Ideas in Petoskey Michigan

Within months of us meeting for the first time, she moved 1093 miles south of me. Then a few weeks later she moved a mere 767 miles west away from me. I obviously took this as a sign to go visit her – She was so close! Driving through the night to surprise her was one of the happiest memories of my life. As was, a few days later, telling her I loved her for the first time. When she moved away, we started writing in journals, one for me and one for her. I would write in one, she would write in the other, and then when we met, we would swap. They contained all manner of silly notes, random quotes, paragraphs about our days, and special drawings that would make us smile. One day, I couldn’t stand it any longer. I wrote: “Hey… I just wanted to let you know…I Love You!! We’ve been dancing around those words for quite awhile now, I’m not sure how to define love, but I know I love you…….By the time you’re reading this, I’ve already told you this in person.

Jesse and Jeannie's Engagement in Petoskey Michigan

Wedding Proposal Ideas in Petoskey Michigan

I didn’t want to tell you that first over text or a phone call..” I couldn’t stand it any longer and I knew the next time I saw her I would tell her! And I did, in Petoskey Michigan, during the sunset. We were sitting on the pier, our feet dangling over the water, when I finally worked up the courage to tell Jeannie how I felt! Thankfully, she felt the same way and told me as such! Minutes later, a random person taking pictures on the pier came up to us and told us he had taken a photo of a bench that had our shadows perfectly embraced, as if we were sitting on it. It was a perfect picture, capturing a magical moment in our relationship. We cherish that photograph and it is such a special moment for us. To this day, 2 years later, when you crack those journals open, they still smell of her perfume, and my cologne.

Marriage Proposal Ideas in Petoskey Michigan

Where to Propose in Petoskey Michigan

How He Asked

The engagement is a lot of pressure on a guy in American society. I wanted it to be perfect. Not just because “expectations.” But because Jeannie was everything to me, and she deserved the absolute perfect proposal. To this day, I don’t even know when I had decided to propose, but one day I caught myself, after numerous thoughts exactly like “I can’t wait to marry this girl.” There was no “Man, it’s time I should propose,” or, “hmm, we’ve been together for a year now, she’s probably expecting ‘the question’ soon.” There was a moment in time when I realized I had been planning proposing to her for quite awhile and hadn’t even realized it! I had been telling myself “you should marry this girl” for weeks. But the proposal had to be as perfect as she is! I couldn’t settle for a mediocre proposal, it needed to be perfect. Unfortunately, I figured this out in the winter of 2016, and the place I wanted to propose was, you guessed it, at the pier in Petoskey where we first told each other we loved one another.

Michigan is basically one thousand feet of snow deep from October to May, so I had to wait! Jeannie had made it clear to me that she had no interest (despite me “suggesting”) in visiting Michigan anytime before it became nice and sunny. Also, she had many plans to travel “new places” we hadn’t seen before. While I was very interested in visiting new places, I wanted to get her back to Michigan so I could ask her that a very important question! Finally I figured out a great way to get her to travel with me to Michigan, under the guise of a “business trip”, “all expenses already paid” to Michigan. She agreed, excitedly, as we were due for a vacation. So I started plotting. As Jeannie is a photographer, and places a lot of worth in capturing special moments with pictures, I knew I had to get a photographer to capture our special moment!

But no ordinary person with a cell phone camera would do. It needed to be someone Jeannie would approve of! So I went through all of her photography Instagram followers, to see if anyone was close to Petoskey. Turns out there was one, just a few hours south! And she was available for the weekend our trip was scheduled! Thankfully, the photographer was more than willing to plant roses, as well as capture our special moment. I had, at the origin of our relationship, given Jeannie yellow roses. At the time, I thought it was perfect! I was very much interested in this girl, but I didn’t want to give her any ideas. Obviously, if I gave her yellow roses (signifying friendship) she wouldn’t read into that gift! Yes, I know, it was obtuse for me to think that way. Unfortunately, Jeannie still laughs hysterically remembering the time I bought her yellow roses and “explained than we were just friends.”

She knew I was obsessed with her! I was so naive. So, with that story in mind, I asked the photographer to place yellow roses on the Petoskey pier, signifying our friendship stage. I then wanted her to place pink roses, to signify the transition to an admiration, and romance in our relationship. And finally I wanted red roses, to signify that I was romantically interested in this girl. Head over heels, completely and utterly in love with her. Finally, with weeks of planning, the day came, we walked the pier, and there they were! A trail of yellow roses leading to pink, and then to red roses. As Jeannie and I walked hand and hand towards the spot where I first told her I loved her she said “I think we’re stepping on someone’s moment!”

And me, being the extremely smooth person I am, gulped, and said absolutely nothing because I was already tearing up, thinking about how much I loved the girl who’s hand was in mine. It was then I knew that she knew, what was about to happen! And so much relief and stress faded away. I was holding the hand of the one person in existence I cared the world about, and she knew that the next few moments were planned specifically for us, and us only. I asked a question. She answered. And you know how that goes! I can’t wait to marry the girl of my dreams!

Special Thanks

Laurenda Bennett
Photographer