Jessica and Stefan

How We Met

In 2004, I was working at a production company in Los Angeles as an assistant. There were several shows in production at the time and I was eager to see who was taking up space in the office next to where I sat. One day, I saw a very handsome man walking down the hall toward me. I leaned over to my coworker and said, “I don’t know who that guy is, but I wanna make him mine.” I introduced myself to Stefan and welcomed him to the company with the biggest smile.

From there, friendly smiles in the hall turned into good mornings, and good mornings turned into small talk. We had a shelf of tapes right outside of Stefan’s office that I was responsible for logging into our system. I may or may not have gone out of my way to log the tapes when I knew he was going to walk past me. What can I say? I was crushing, hard. But, I was 24, fresh out of a longterm relationship, and not looking for anything serious. We developed a flirty friendship and agreed that neither of us was ready for a serious relationship. Friends it is.

From 2004 to 2013, Stefan and I were just that, friends… with benefits. We had very strict rules to help keep things casual. No cuddling, or PDA, no meeting of families. Over the course of that time, we both dated other people, but if we were both single, we were each other’s plus-ones, Friday night movie date, or lazy Sunday hang. It wasn’t always easy, but we made it work. However, on September 13th, 2013 everything changed. I came over to Stefan’s place to hang out and grab dinner, but he had something else in mind. “Let’s try.” We said lots of things that night, but him saying those words, “let’s try,” are what changed the course of our relationship. We talked all night, we cried (okay, I cried), and kissed each other like we had never kissed before – because this time, we “allowed” it to mean something. We have OFFICIALLY been together ever since. Not your traditional love story, but it’s ours.

How He Asked

Last year was like any other New Years Eve. My boyfriend, Stefan, and I got gussied up and headed to the same party we have been attending for the past 4 years. Our friends throw a small get together at their place with a handful of our closest friends where we drink a plethora of adult beverages, play board games, and celebrate the fact that we have made it through another year. It’s great!

At midnight, we counted down along with the TV to ring in 2017, then rushed outside to see the fireworks. When those died down, I realized that it was just myself and Stefan, outside. The next thing I know, Stefan is on one knee…proposing!!! We have always loved celebrating New Years together. Even before we were a couple and just friends (with benefits), we usually rang in the New Year together. So him proposing just minutes into 2017 was extra special to us. Everyone was so excited to be there for the proposal and I was so glad to celebrate a New Year, and new engagement, with them. Our photographer friend, Lisa, even did an impromptu Engagement Photo Session with us. We were all giddy from the engagement… and adult beverages.

Here’s the thing though… I had NO IDEA that he was going to propose because if I had, I wouldn’t have gotten so drunk! That’s right, I was so drunk that I don’t remember a single word that he said! Yup, so drunk that I had to call my mother a SECOND time that night because I couldn’t remember anything we had discussed when I FaceTimed her about the proposal earlier. Whoops!

Later that night, (actually morning, considering it was 4 am), Stefan and I sat alone in our living room, discussing the eventful night. I asked if he could repeat what he said during the proposal and he confessed that due to nerves, he couldn’t remember either. “But I know it was awesome!” he teased. It should be noted that I lovingly call Stefan “dum dum” and he lovingly calls me “stupid face.” Moments later, Stefan took the ring from me, looked into my eyes and said, “I love your stupid face, and I wanna love it forever.” It was the perfect proposal. :)

Here are some bonus photos from an Ice Cream Themed Photo Session Lisa also shot with us. So fun!

Special Thanks

Mister Pretty Pictures
Photographer