Jessica and Ben

How We Met: When I first met Ben it was Day 3 of my new job at the San Francisco 49ers. Our office had an open suite at the Jay-Z/ JT concert at Candlestick Park and despite being the new girl, I somehow scored a ticket. At some point in the night I stole Ben’s hat off his head, put it on backwards, and used it as a dancing prop until he insisted I give it back, thus completing the first step of Flirting 101.

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A friendship soon followed, but I quickly learned that Ben had a strong policy against dating coworkers. I decided not to let this discourage me. Over the next several months, whenever I wasn’t typing emails or sending calendar invites I was coming up with excuses to visit the marketing department. Ben’s desk was about 10 feet from the office snack stash; I don’t think I’ve ever eaten so many peanut butter pretzels as I did during those months I was trying to get his attention.

Lucky for me, it turned out his no dating coworkers policy wasn’t quite as strong as was his weakness for girls who hummed country songs in the hallway and talked football in the cafeteria. Pretty soon, all that peanut butter pretzel eating paid off and we were on our first date at a David Nail concert.

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He wore the same backwards hat I stole off his head months before but this time I let him keep it on while I kissed him for the first time. I’m pretty sure the next 14,866 plays of David Nail songs on Spotify were made from my account in the few days that followed that night.

How He Asked: 1 year later, Ben told me to meet him over at Levi’s Stadium because his meeting ran late and we were headed to an early Valentine’s Day dinner. I got up to the Owner’s level and saw Ben’s computer and notes scattered across a table, but he was standing near the railing overlooking the field and empty stadium. As he pulled me close to him we started reminiscing about all the special memories we had in this giant space.

Suddenly, this enormous stadium felt small and intimate.  The scoreboard lit up and there were our names, displayed across the JumboTron. I froze and continued to stare at the screen as it began to scroll through pictures of us, the whole time Ben continued to insist he had orchestrated all of this for “just a small Valentine’s day surprise.” At some point the whole stadium started playing our song “What you Mean to Me” by Brett Eldredge, the scoreboard lit up with the words “Jessica, Marry me?” and I turned around to find Ben on one knee with the most stunning diamond ring I’ve ever seen.

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After a few moments of celebration between the two of us, an honorary shot of fireball, and a few pictures we proceeded to our “Valentine’s Day Dinner.” As soon as we walked into the restaurant I found both our families waiting for us and cried for the 2nd time that night as we officially announced our engagement and celebrated with our favorite people.

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Photos by: Kate Mayberry