Jonathan and Hayley

How We Met

Hayley and I went to college together at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. We shared a close friend for four years but somehow had only met once or twice. The last semester of our senior year of college, we went on a date and we were attached at the hip from there on out. Neither one of us was looking for something serious because we knew we were graduating. But we later found out we had both been planning to move to Los Angeles after college, so we decided to give things a go! We did the cross-country drive to L.A. together, and since then we’ve lived in Redondo Beach, back to Iowa briefly, and now New York where we live currently. We’ve been through so much together, having begun our relationship as broke, fresh-of- college kids navigating new cities and new jobs, to where we are now. We’ve gotten a chance to grow up together and to travel together. I can’t wait to continue to do both forever!

How He Asked

While I had the idea brewing for about a year or so, I started legitimately planning the proposal about six months before it actually happened. The result: She got up to get ready for work one Friday morning and found the note I had left her. It said, “Guess what?? You don’t have to go to work today! We’re going on a vacation and you have two hours to pack.” I left the destination a surprise and just gave her a weather forecast for the week. She kept trying to tell me, “No, no, I have to go to work,” and I finally told her I had already asked her boss for time off. (I found her boss on Instagram and reached out to her before I ever bought the flights.)

Hayley and I packed up, and then I took her to the mall and gave her some spending money. (I knew she wouldn’t want to go away without being able to pick up a few essentials & new outfits.) We then took a cab to the airport, but we were running super late for our flight and I was starting to get very worried that we would miss it. I hadn’t even told the cab driver which airline we were flying in case Hayley figured it out, but by the time we got there the airport was packed and the security, lines were crazy. So I finally broke down and told her we were going to Positano because I needed her help to look for the check-in line.

Luckily, we did make our flight at the very last second! As we were boarding at the gate I quickly stepped away and called her dad to ask for his blessing, because I’d been having a hard time getting ahold of him. He gave me some kind words, told me just to speak from my heart, and officially welcomed me into the family! Hayley was also so excited on the flight, she was practically bouncing in her seat the entire eight-hours it took to get there. She said a proposal was in the back of her mind, but really she just thought the vacation was the surprise since I knew how badly she wanted one.

Our first night in Positano, I told Hayley we had dinner reservations set for 5 p.m. (She kept telling me this was far too early to eat in Italy, but really Rochelle (our photographer) and I had planned to capture the proposal right at sundown for the best light. Our hotel was right on the beach, so I kept peeking out the window and waiting to see Rochelle. Finally, once the light was right, we started walking “to dinner” along the beach. I told Hayley I wanted to take a photo down by the water, so we walked down to the shore where I told her I wanted to ask the question I had waited so long to ask. I asked Hayley to spend the rest of her life with me as the waves washed up on our feet. She was crying and shivering in the wind, but said the answer I’d wanted to hear—YES!

Rochelle then came out with flowers and champagne. We celebrated with an engagement photo session on the beach, followed by dinner nearby at La Sponda (@ Le Sirenuse). I had called in advance and arranged for the musicians to play ‘The Way You Look Tonight’ while we drank champagne and enjoyed the night. After a few days in our own blissful bubble soaking up Positano, we announced the news to our friends back home. We ended our trip with a few more days in Florence, so Hayley could show me all around her old haunts, and finally Naples.

Special Thanks

Rochelle
Photographer