Jessica and Zach

McLeroy_087_editZach crashed my Christmas party. A mutual friend brought Zach to a Christmas party at my house 5 years ago. I knew that night Zach was a special guy. He was shy but friendly and very respectful. I think I fell in love with his kind, beautiful, blue eyes and big, genuine smile that first night. After that night, we both went home for Christmas break and didn’t speak again until we came back and started our second semester of law school.

As our second semester began, so did our budding romance. That semester we spent almost all of our time getting to know each other, we studied sometimes too. As the semester came to an end and our separate summer plans began to take shape, it hit me like a ton of bricks, I loved Zach. The prospect of being away from Zach for an entire summer made me crazy, but I knew our relationship would only grow stronger. Even though we hadn’t told each other how we really felt, I knew how Zach felt, maybe because of the way he made sure I felt like the most important person in the world or maybe because he had accidentally “slipped” and said he loved me a bit too soon, for whatever reason, I knew he loved me.

That summer we spent most nights on Skype, Zach in Tampa while I studied in Argentina. In the days before I returned to Florida the anticipation of seeing Zach’s loving smile at the airport made me giddy. During the next few weeks things progressed quickly, like I hoped they would, I met his family and we said those three little words. We spent the next four and a half years creating a love that will last a lifetime.

How he asked: Zach has never been particularly romantic, but he managed to plan a proposal that was more special than anything I could have ever imagined. One Saturday while we were spending the weekend in the mountains Zach told me we had dinner reservations at 3:45. Knowing I would question dinner at 3:45, he said we were going on a sleigh ride that involved dinner, which was why we had to be there at 3:45. When we got to the stables, I was excited to learn that we were going on a private sleigh ride. We were introduced to our guide and a beautiful percheron named Moose. Our guide told us we would be heading to the lodge for hot chocolate but that Moose would need a quick break along the way. About 10 minutes into our adventure, we stopped and the guide told us we could get out to walk around and take photos while Moose rested.

Zach helped me down from the sleigh and nervously and a bit awkwardly walked me away from the sleigh. About 10 feet from the sleigh Zach turned toward me, immediately pulled out a ring, and got down on one knee. It all happened so fast. I was excited but in shock because I had been dreaming of this moment for years and never in my wildest dreams did I think I would get the fairytale proposal. I’m not sure the word “yes” even came out of my mouth initially because within seconds the ring was on my finger and Zach had jumped up to embrace me.

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I asked Zach why he seemed so nervous since he knew I would say yes. Zach looked around and pointed out a photographer hiding in the snow in the distance. After the proposal of my dreams, we spent the afternoon admiring my ring and calling our families to tell them the good news. To end the best day of our lives we had a 4-course dinner with a bottle of champagne to celebrate the beginning of our new life together.

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Photos by Dramatic Focal Point | Sleigh Ride by Two Below Zero