Kelsey and Greg

How We Met

I met Greg in 2004 (!) when we were in 6th grade and he started playing basketball for the school I had attended since pre-school. It was clear pretty early on that he fit right in with all of the friends that I had grown up with. When we were “the new kid’ in 7th grade the following year, we quickly became best friends. I’ll never forget our 8th-grade dance, where we danced to “Amazed” by Lonestar (pictured below), and I knew then that I had the biggest crush on him.

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Fast forward to our freshman year of high school when Greg and I began spending more and more time together. Despite our youth, it didn’t take long for us both to realize that what we had was something special. A few months later, on June 14, 2007, Greg asked me to be his girlfriend – and the rest is history!

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Greg and I have been fortunate to write many chapters of our lives together. It all started with school dances and our senior trip in Disney World, where our hardest life task was applying to colleges. After we graduated, we started more of a long-distance relationship throughout college, mostly seeing each other every 2-3 weeks. It was a very difficult road, but Greg supported me through pharmacy school and residency, and I was by his side as he completed dental school a couple of weeks ago. No matter what life has thrown at us, we have been able to face it together.

Kelsey and Greg's Engagement in Red Bank Battlefield Park

How He Asked

With the end of Greg’s schooling on the horizon, we knew that we could finally start planning the next chapter of our lives together. We talked about getting married, but I was confident that a proposal would not happen until after Greg graduated in May of 2018. Little did I know, Greg had actually purchased the ring back in January, with plans to propose in March when my sister was home from school on break. With a couple of months to go before the big day, Greg started planning along with our closest family and friends.

Kelsey's Proposal in Red Bank Battlefield Park

At some point leading up to the big day, Greg’s mom had texted me telling me about a special mass they were going to have on March 10th in honor of her late mother’s birthday and I made sure to mark the date on my calendar. Closer to the date, Greg told me that we were going to stop at a local park with his family before the mass to see a bench that had been dedicated to his grandmother’s memory. Later, I would find out that all of this was a ploy to get me to the park that day. Side note – we owe her a bench!

The day of the proposal, I was home studying all day for an upcoming certification exam. Since it was my sister’s first time home in months, my family was busy cleaning our basement for a party for her former basketball team. My parents love to entertain in our basement, so none of this was out of the ordinary. At some point, I decided to take a break from studying to hurry to do my hair and get dressed before mass.

Greg and his sister picked me up, and off to the park we went. When we got there, we started walking towards where the benches were located. I was really confused because I didn’t see any of Greg’s family there like I had expected, but thought that maybe they were running a little late. As we got closer, I laid eyes on the first tree lining a path – it had the picture of us from the 8th-grade dance on it. At that moment, I knew. I immediately broke down in tears – I was full of shock, happiness, excitement, and awe. Greg then took my hand and led me down the path, where each tree was displayed with pictures from every year of our relationship.

When we got to the end of the path, I couldn’t believe my eyes. It led to the most beautiful dock lined with rose petals and even more pictures of us. As soon as we approached it, “Amazed” by Lonestar started playing – as if I hadn’t shed enough tears already! When we got to the end of the dock, Greg read me the most beautiful letter and got down on one knee asking me to marry him. To say it was the best moment ever is an understatement. To top it all off, his cousins and sister had been there all along and were able to celebrate with us.

After we took some pictures, we went back to my parents’ house to share the good news with them. When we walked down into the basement, we walked into a surprise engagement party! The tears started flowing all over again; I couldn’t believe that the entire room was there for us (we later counted that 85 people were there). I soon found out that Greg had contacted our closest friends and family to make sure they were there to celebrate our big day, and with the help of our parents, we had the best engagement party ever. I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect ending to the perfect day.

Special Thanks

Madison Underwood
Photographer