Liz and Dustin

How We Met

Dustin and I met in early 2008. I was 16 and working at Ben & Jerry’s, when this adorable blonde boy in a white hoodie walked in. He was turning in a job application and without hesitation, I made sure to place his on the very top of the pile. Eventually, he was hired and I was ecstatic. That Thursday night was our first shift together and I was so nervous; I even made sure to spray on some extra “Love Spell” from Victoria’s Secret. But then, no show. He did this for a few of his first shifts that we were scheduled to work together and eventually, I gave up. “This kid is so lame,” I thought. “Why do I care so much, anyway?” A few months went by and one fateful night on Free Cone Day, we started talking. He offered me a stick of gum, we laughed about how ridiculous this job was and eventually he asked me to have lunch with him the next day. Obviously, I said yes. After a few weeks of really hitting it off and falling too much for this guy, he officially asked me to be his girlfriend on May 25, 2008. Every moment since then has been blissful, quirky, and exciting. We’ve done long distance on 4 separate occasions, graduated from the same design program in college and have pretty much done all of our adult lives together. I honestly can’t imagine going through everything these last few years without him right by my side. He’s truly one of the good guys.

Liz and Dustin's Engagement in New Orleans

How He Asked

Dustin and all of our friends had been in on this since January 2017 and I had no idea. I’m still in shock as to how they were able to pull this off, because there were apparently so many close calls and honestly, most things don’t get by me. But, this definitely did. For months, Dustin and my 11 closest friends had been talking about taking a “Friend Trip” to New Orleans. I was so excited and obviously on board, but unfortunately unable to help with a bulk of the planning since I had been so busy with work. Plans would roll in and reservations had been made and all the while it never occurred to me how strange it was that he was doing SO much of the work since I’m usually in that position. Fast forward to Memorial Weekend 2017. Dustin and I just celebrated our 9 year anniversary the night before the drive to NOLA and I am loving life. Things could not be better at this moment. 7hrs and 5 cups of coffee later, we arrive at our AirBnb, anxiously awaiting the rest of our group to arrive. We immediately celebrate with a shrimp boil and a few bottles of wine for this wonderful “homecoming” of our scattered group. The next morning, we set out for a picnic at Audubon Park. It was blisteringly hot and the humidity was at an all time high. I was trying desperately to keep my hair from getting too frizzy and completely unaware of how nervous Dustin had supposedly been. We set up an area right by the “Tree of Life” and everyone started suggesting that we take a group photo. Dripping in sweat, I was hesitant, but ready as always. After a few snaps, someone said we should do individual couple portraits. Happy to be going first, so that I couldn’t possibly get any sweatier, I smiled. After I hear the first click, Dustin lets go of my shoulder and immediately is on one knee with a ring in his hand. I was and still am in utter shock. This was a moment I had been waiting for for 9 years and what is the first thing that comes out of my mouth, but “ARE YOU SERIOUS?!” People were instantly handing us champagne and I couldn’t do anything but cry and stare at all of my amazing friends who came down there just to help pull this off. Being surrounded by the most important people in my life for this incredible moment really exceeded any expectation I could have had for a proposal. We spent the next two days dancing, drinking champagne and enjoying all that New Orleans has to offer. This was by far the best weekend of my life and I can’t wait for what this next year has in store.

Liz's Proposal in New Orleans

Special Thanks

Baylee Sowter
Photographer
Zach Snead | 
Photographer