Madison and James

Madison and James's Engagement in Paris, France

How We Met

I first laid eyes on the sweet man I have the honor to call my fiancé in the spring of our freshman year. He was participating in a well known campus event with his fraternity brothers that involved a LOT of singing and dancing. I was intrigued, but figured I’d probably never meet him, so I just kept going about my business. A few weeks later, my two closest friends had officially decided to transfer to a university 8 hours away, so I knew I need to find a way to make friends before the fall came around. So I decided to join a Homegroup through our university, which is a bible study hosted by professors and members of the administration. To my surprise, the cute boy I had seen a few weeks earlier was one of the few boys in our small group! We hit it off immediately, and flirted endlessly at nearly every gathering. A few weeks later, he took me on our first date, and before the end of the semester, he was calling me his girlfriend!

Our relationship stayed steady throughout that summer, and by the beginning of sophomore year, we were excited to be back in each other’s arms! But in the October of 2015, James was offered an opportunity that he couldn’t pass up. He and 3 of his colleagues were encouraged to spend 3 months in Lesvos, Greece to help with the Syrian refugee crisis. He immediately began researching and watching the news to learn more about what the next few months of his life would look like. During the time that he was abroad, we only got to talk every few days, and when we did, he carried a weight that I didn’t understand how to counsel him on. His heart broke for the refugees that came to the coast, in need of dry clothes, food, shelter, basic necessities that most of us have unlimited access to. During these three months, I saw him grow in his faith and as a person, and I knew he was the man I would one day marry.

Our relationship continued to grow over the next 3 years. We went to formals, visited each other’s families, supported each other through leadership roles, and studied A LOT and…. continue to see how he asked (;

How He Asked

A few weeks ago, James had told me that he wanted to take me on a surprise trip. I was SO in. He gave me the dates of the trip and the weather forecast for our final destination, and that was it. So we drove to the closest airport, and flew to the Philadelphia international airport. I left assuming that this was our final destination. After about 3 hours of walking around the city, James informed me that we need to head back to the airport to make it in time for our next flight….. WHAT? I was shocked, but thrilled about another surprise! We made it back to the airport, went through security, and make our way to the terminal. As I’m looking around, all the flights are international… as he took me closer to the gate, he revealed that we were going to PARIS! The City of Love– sometimes I still think I was just dreaming!

We slowly but surely made our way to Paris. James had mentioned he had a few things already arranged, specifically an 8 am breakfast the following morning. That night, we could NOT fall asleep, and ended up sleeping through all of our alarms and waking up 5 MINUTES before we were supposed to leave our hotel. I threw on a dress and barely brushed my hair, while he frantically ironed *the front* of his shirt. We ran out the door, and ran across a bridge leading to the “breakfast”. All of a sudden he slows down and tells me that we should take a leisurely break to look at the Eiffel Tower before we continue rushing to breakfast. As we are enjoying the magnificent view of the Eiffel Tower, he turned to me and got down on one need and asked me to be his wife! I can remember every word, and I still get giddy thinking about it! He hired a wonderful photographer to capture the moment, and the man actually took our pictures for the next 2 and a half hours. If you think his proposal is dreamy, you should get to know my future husband! I cannot wait for the many adventures we will encounter together and looking forward to the day where I surprise HIM with an incredible trip!

Where to Propose in Paris, France

Special Thanks

Jonathan Aomar Weiss
Photographer