Karen and John

How We Met

John and I met between our freshman and sophomore year at the United States Naval Academy during a summer training in Norfolk, Virginia. Time flew by together and through all the stresses of college, summer trainings, and learning how to become Marine Officers, we found a love that could be characterized by trust, humor, cooperation, understanding and a deep affection for each other.

We both graduated as Marine Corps officers in May 2015, and continued to The Basic School in Quantico, Virginia where we graduated together last December. We unwillingly parted ways in January when I headed off to Twenty nine Palms, California to continue my military occupational specialty training and John stayed in Quantico to prepare for Infantry Officer training.

How He Asked

Longing to see each other if only for a few days, Valentine’s weekend became the date John planned to fly across the country to meet up with me for a romantic weekend in Las Vegas. We spent Saturday exploring the city’s sights, with Sunday set to be relaxing. Valentine’s Day included touring the Titanic Exhibit at The Luxor and riding the High Roller at The Linq. Valentine’s night we dined at the fabulous French restaurant, Pamplemousse, savoring the food and our last few hours together before John’s flight early the next morning. We finished dining and John insisted that I couldn’t leave Las Vegas without seeing the Bellagio Water Show (he’s been to Las Vegas before so he was fantastic at knowing what to do/see).

After our first two attempts to watch the show offered a poor view and lack of being able to hear the music, we walked down in front of the Bellagio’s fountain and picked our spot front and center on the street. The fountain started misting and I told John, I had a feeling this show would be epic, not knowing what was going to happen next. The song “My Heart Will Go On” by Celine Dion began to play and we both began to sing along. I was shocked because John had just mentioned a minute before about how amazing the show was when he watched it years ago with that song playing. John, all smiles, suggested we get a photo in front of the fountain while it was going so he said to wait where I was and he’d hand over his phone to someone for a photo.

Where to Propose in Las Vegas

I turned around and before I knew what was happening, he was down on one knee asking me to marry him! I eeked out a shocked “YES!!!!” and barely let him stand up before kissing him. I will never forget the glimmer in his eye as he asked me to be his wife or Celine Dion belting the most romantic song of the 20th century in the background or the feeling of my heart pounding when he took my hand and put a GORGEOUS ring on my finger! I was speechless for 10 minutes after (which doesn’t happen often) but John’s proposal was more perfect than I could have ever dreamed. After being on opposite sides of the country again, not knowing if we’d be stationed together, we finally got the word that John would be stationed at Camp Lejeune, NC. Time became a blur as I moved back across the country, made plans to rent a house that sat in between MCAS Cherry Point and Camp Lejeune, and checked into my new unit becoming “the new” and youngest Lieutenant in my unit. John joined me at the house a month later and we finally became settled into our home. Throughout our time in North Carolina, we’ve experienced a Hurricane, many days of duty, many enjoyable adventures and best of all, we’ve experienced peace and rest after years of what seemed like constant and often stressful motion. I feel like the luckiest girl in the world and I know we are both extremely excited for the next leg of our journey together. We cannot wait to celebrate our BIG DAY and head to Greece for our honeymoon after!!

Special Thanks

Marissa Hanna | 
She got my ring size from me for John by saying she was planning to get us friendship rings
Kleinfeld Bridal- Consultant Debbie
Helping me pick out my wedding dress
Molly Sittner
Photographer for one of the photos included