Laura and Evan

Laura's Proposal in Aitutaki, Cook Islands

How We Met

It all started 25 years ago. Evan and I were in the same preschool class at SAS Institute in Cary, NC. If relationship statuses were a thing back then he would of been considered my preschool boyfriend. The only vivid memory I have of this curly haired wild child is that he broke my Little Mermaid headband. Rest assured– his parents ended up buying me a new one though.

Fast forward 17 years… October 2009, I had recently graduated from college. I had a passion for the French culture and was planning to move to France to teach English and become fluent in French. This led me back to the doors of my preschool 20 years later. I was pleasantly surprised to find that Ana, the same French teacher I had when I was five years old was still teaching! Shortly after, I started volunteer teaching in Ana’s French class a couple times a week. One day during our lunch hour, Ana and I were reminiscing about my preschool memories and she casually asked if I had kept in touch with Evan Greenberg. I told her that I lost touch with him when I went to kindergarten.

How quickly that changed… I was so curious to see what my preschool Evan Greenberg was up to. Thanks to Facebook– I dropped him a quick note on his wall asking him what he was up to these days. Within a couple minutes, he responded that he had just gotten back from Europe and was currently in Raleigh. FATE? I responded that I was volunteering with our old French preschool teacher and proposed that he drop by the preschool to say hi. He took me up on my offer and was such a trooper during the French classes participating in all of the French songs. It was time for lunch. We went back to Building F (the Cafe) we used to go with our parents to eat lunch (this was considered a treat). We really hit it off at lunch and could not stop talking and laughing. It seriously felt like we picked right up from preschool. We continued to hang out after our preschool day was over. We did not run out of topics to talk about. Everything felt so natural and so right.

Fast forward to 7 1/2 years later… My preschool sweetheart becomes my soulmate. <3.

Laura and Evan's Engagement in Aitutaki, Cook Islands

How He Asked

Last July 2016, Evan and I planned a trip to the Cook Islands. There was an amazing deal that we could not pass up so we went for it! We booked our trip for March 4th- March 17th 2017 (Evan’s birthday!) It felt like forever to wait for this adventure of a lifetime.

March 4th approached faster than we imagined. While we were packing our bags, Evan told me he did not want me rummaging around his Patagonia book bag. He knows how I like to organize things before we go on a trip and politely told me his book bag was off limits. Honestly, I did not think much of it at the time. I was just too excited to arrive in paradise.

The first 5 days of our vacation in Rarotonga were absolutely magical and full of adventure. I did not know how our trip could get any better. We took a 2 day trip to Aiutaki,the most beautiful lagoon in the world. The island was super remote. The predominant form of transportation were scooters.

On our last day in Aitutaki, we woke before sunrise to go on an early morning fishing excursion. We caught heaps of fish and brought them back to our hotel to have them prepared for dinner. Before dinner, Evan suggested that we go catch our last sunset in Aitutaki. His original plan was to catch the sunset at the top of the mountain. Once he quickly realized that sunset was approaching and he did not have time to execute Plan A he quickly thought up Plan B: a sunset walk on the beach, which was just as romantic in my opinion. We strolled down the beach hand in hand watching the sun go down. I was expressing to Evan how amazing the trip had been so far and I was so thankful that we were able to create our own memories in such a beautiful place. I could tell Evan was getting a little bit nervous and was at a loss for words. I was a little puzzled by his response and could tell he was stalling a bit. I suggested we go back for dinner and Evan insisted that we stay out on the beach a little longer. We walked in silence a few more moments taking it all in when all of the sudden I noticed Evan dropping down on one knee and reaching into his infamous red book bag to pull out a small black box. He said the sweetest things to me and then asked the easiest question I have ever answered in my life — Will you spend forever with me? I responded “A million times yes!” I was over the moon and tears of joy streamed down my face. It was by far the most special moment of my life and I loved that we were able share this moment together without any distraction or audience. I definitely could not wait to share the happy news with our friends and family. But the evening of March 10, 2017 it was just the two of us popping champagne to celebrate our love story on the most beautiful lagoon in the world.