Meghan and John
How We Met: It’s the question that has been asked plenty of times now… “How did you both meet”? I mean, it is not the craziest of questions… I lived on the other side of the state, and even though I do have family in the Pittsburgh area, how in the world did I ever meet this 6’4″ guy from Crafton? I often tell people a short abridged version such as, “he was my roommate in college, boyfriends brother”… but in reality the story is much more perfect!
About a year before I met John, a group of my college friends decided to reunite on a trip to Atlantic City! We planned a long weekend of fun, however I never knew it was then that I would technically “meet” or at least learn about my future husband. The weekend started off with a very long ride to AC and once we finally got there, we all met up at our hotel. We finally got our keys, went upstairs to our fancy room and discovered the huge, elegant bathroom with the most perfect mirror and counter space for any group of girls to spend hours getting ready for an unforgettable night out!
I guess I should add who was all there because this is sort of the important part. In planning an AC weekend and after being separated from my lovely roomates for so long, we were far from overdue for a reunion- thus Aubree and Michele Zap, my Misericordia roomates joined the trip. Then whenever you want to have a good time, you have to invite Mikey Dougherty! Aubree at the time was dating “Davey”, who in reality ended up being my “future brother- in -law to be” and played a huge part in making my fairytale love story a reality! At this point, I only met Davey one other time prior to the AC in Pittsburgh when we decided to stop at an Eat N Park for a late night snack while visiting family. This trip was the perfect time for Zap and I to get to know Aubree’s new boyfriend, as well as enjoy my new “single lady status”!
After choosing the perfect outfits, strapping on the highest heels, and applying the perfect amount of lipstick, AC was ready to meet Meghan, Aubree, and Michele Zap on our mission for a wonderful weekend! After a night of slot machine playing, life saving, single lady dancing, laughing, and uncountable amounts of shot taking, we decided it was time to call it a night and head back to the hotel for a slumber party. The next morning reality set in and it was back to the real world we go. As we were searching for clutches, shoes and lipsticks that happened to find different spots around the room, Davey and I had a chance to “talk”. I will never forget the conversation because it actually made me a little bit mad! Davey went on saying how fun I was and how I would be perfect for his brother… In my head I was replaying a movie of Aubree and I dating brothers! It was perfect, thus my response “hook me up!”, of which Davey then responded “No, I would never hook you up with him because you would break his heart”. Really!!!!! On the inside I was so angry! Who does this kid “Davey” think he is! But underneath the anger of initial denial, something deep inside was telling me that this “mystery brother” who I am not “good enough for” might be “the one”!
About a year later, Aubree invited me to Pittsburgh for a weekend of girl time, fruity drinks, and dancing! We went out, got new outfits and jewelry and while getting ready for another crazy night, we may have been drinking a couple more drinks than necessary before Davey came to pick us up! We decided we needed snacks, so we stopped at a Giant Eagle when to our surprise we saw Davey’s mom aka Mrs. Koziel aka my “future mother -in-law” checking out at the register. Davey introduced Aubree and I as we were trying to hide our giggles and maintain our balance after a few too many fruity mixed drinks.
After the short introduction, we ended up going to Davey’s friends house to pick up his brother and a few friends to drive out to BuckHeads, which is a local bar/ club in Station Square. I was introduced to many of the friends as well as Davey’s brother who “I would break his heart”. It was a typical introduction, I first noticed of course his height but other than that, he was dressed like a bum in a t-shirt and jeans with a blue fitted hat. On the car ride to the bar, John and I got into the conversation of our relationship status, I of course was flaunting my single lady status, and he went on telling me about this “older girl” he was talking to but she wasn’t returning his texts to come out that night to which my response included something like “she’s just not into you”
Throughout the night we talked occasionally but my first impression was “wow this kid is boring”. He wouldn’t dance, he just stayed planted next to the bar engaging in conversation with his friends. I even tried the whole, “let me steal your hat move”— lets just say, he was simply boring! Oh well, how often was I in Pittsburgh?! It was time to get this party started! After a few lemon drops later, to the dance floor we went. I ended up spending most of the night with Aubree and some of John’s friends but no dancing with John!
We drove home and spent some time at the “friends” house before driving back to Aubree’s house for comfy beds and a good nights sleep. I found myself on the corner of the couch sort of taking in all the conversations being that I didn’t really know anyone aside from Aubree and Davey who I’ve encountered only a handful of times. It was then that John found a spot sitting next to me and we engaged in conversation. Simply talking turned into story telling which then turned into taking control of the computer and playing different music for the house. We found that we actually had a lot in common, there was a connection and it was so easy. Toward the end of the night, he ended up lying across the couch with his head in my lap shuffeling through different Youtube videos and music we wanted to share with each other. The night was getting late and everyone was getting tired so Davey, Aubree and I headed home. A part of me really didn’t want to leave but I wasn’t staying behind and sleeping on a floor.
Weeks went by after our formal introduction, and I hadn’t heard from the tall, blonde, blue-eyed boy from Pittsburgh. Aubree’s birthday was right around the corner and Davey didn’t have a Facebook, so how else was I going to show up unannounced for the best birthday surprise ever aside from Facebook messaging “the brother”. To my surprise… he responded!
After exchanging numbers so we were able too text each other, we must have texted everyday, possibly every second we were free until Aubree’s birthday weekend finally arrived! We would talk about our days, work, friends, family, and of course I had to up my flirting game just to see if he indeed was interested… you know, its what us girls do best! It was that day on November 10, 2013 that I texted him that he would be my “future husband” at the time a complete joke but maybe deep down I really knew? We ended up planning the perfect way to sneak me into Pittsburgh without Aubree knowing and providing me a 2nd chance at Pittsburgh fun!
My sister and I ended up driving across the state together as I hid a big part of reasoning for my return to Pittsburgh… DUH to get some sort of attention from the boy who practically ignored me the entire night the first time we met! My sister, Samii had “Pittsburgh plans” of her own that night, so after her perfectly fitting into a short dress of black leather, I had her curl my hair and put on my own little black dress and was ready for the party to begin! Samii ended up driving us all to BuckHeads and we shared a night of drinks, dancing, and a first kiss!
In the morning reality set in and I lived 4.5 hours on the other side of the state. Samii texted me that she was on her way to pick me up and quote “we have to get out of this city ASAP!” I guess her night wasn’t as magical as mine! We went out into the living room of the “friends house” as Samii arrived. The floor was covered in taco pieces from the night before and Samii with big sunglasses and high heels on arrived with a huge bag of bagels! I dragged out the morning stay as long as I could, but eventually Samii was ready to say “Peace out Pittsburgh!” Before I left we made a promise that we’d try to make it work… I was actually really upset to leave, was I leaving my prince charming? We kept texting, face timing, and calling each other whenever we could in the weeks to come. My family planned a trip over thanksgiving weekend into New York City to see the Rockettes and enjoy some holiday city time! We came up with a plan that John would tell his parents he was going to a “concert” with his friends, and we would have a fun weekend without any questions being asked because we really didn’t know what would happen between us!
Being nervous for his first time meeting my family, first time in NYC, and first time seeing a show on Broadway, John reached out to his friends for some styling advice. They took him out, tried on some coats, and he decided on the perfect attire (of significance because he wore that exact outfit the night he proposed!) We had a fabulous night in the city, enjoyed family time and ended the night with some Chocolate fondue from Max Brenners!
Months went by and our relationship grew into true love. We split the travel of going back and forth from Pittsburgh to Bethlehem almost every other weekend, spent time doing fun things while battling the struggles of a long distance relationship.
How He Asked: It was after celebrating a separate Thanksgiving with both of our families that I was able to get a long weekend off of work and headed to Pittsburgh to visit John. Being that I was unable to get off work for Black Friday, I worked my shift and attempted to beat rush hour traffic for my travels to Pittsburgh, little did I know this weekend would be a little different than others prior!
I arrived late that Friday night, so we had planned an amazing Saturday night of fun as we attempted to get into the holiday spirit with Christmas right around the corner! The year prior, John and I took my sister and her boyfriend to a “light up the parkway” in Allentown where we listened to Christmas music and took a bunch of pictures together! It was such a magical memory thus us planning on attending a “light up night” in Pittsburgh was so exciting! John told me his friend “Anth” wanted to come as well as his brother because Anth had a photography project to do for college and wanted to take some pictures of us. This was nothing surprising to me because both of my sisters were always planning different photoshoots and things— I would just arrive and smile J Earlier that day, Johns mom and I planned a girls day to go get our nails done and simply pamper ourselves… little did I know, John had this all planned out! Later that night, we all dressed up, I curled my hair, and bundled up in a pea coat and scarf when I noticed John looked extraordinarily handsome. I took some pictures of us before we left and we were on our way for our night of festivities!
We arrived at the light up event and John wheeled down his window to pay the entrance fee for the car. The man collecting money said “Hello” and acted very friendly toward John, he paid the money, wheeled up the window and said, “he must have thought he knew me or something”. Me being too excited to see the lights ignored the whole interaction. We drove through the park and had the windows down because it was strangely a warmer winter day. That was when we, well I spotted this little bridge covered in lights! I immediately explained how that would be the perfect spot to get out and take pictures… however I also said I didn’t want us to get in trouble. Little did I know, the events of the night were planned in advance and permission was already received for us to use the bridge for the very special photo-shoot!
We parked the truck, ran across the road and I of course sped ahead taking my own pictures of all the lights on my phone. I specifically remember John yelling at me saying “won’t you slow down”, here I didn’t realize what was to happen next! Davey said he had to “go pee”, this was nothing out of the norm for him so I ignored his walking off into the darkened wooded area. I didn’t know he was actually making sure the proposal would go off without a flaw. We headed toward the bridge and Anth began taking posed pictures as well as candid pictures of John and I. It was truly the perfect evening, we were in love, taking pictures, looking at beautiful sparkly lights and listening to Christmas music… lets just say, it was truly magical! After a couple minutes of picture taking, I said to Anth “what is your project about, these pictures seem kinda lame” of which his response was “just do you”.
A couple seconds later, John was sort of grabbing on me trying to get me in the perfect spot for the execution of his proposal which once again, I knew nothing about so my sassy self responded something like “will you stop pulling on me”. He then got into a position that he was able to just hug me, and now looking back may have included an awkward silence. The song Mele Kalikimaka (Hawaiian Christmas Song) was playing in the background and a couple moments later he looked me in the eye and said “you know I want to be with you forever”, of which my response was “ya”… then he spun me around to look at a huge lit up sign spelling out “Meghan Will You Marry Me”.
It all happened so fast because if Davey wasn’t recording the whole thing I’d probably still be arguing with John that he never got down on one knee! I instantly gasped and turned to face the love of my life as he did indeed get down on one knee and pulled out the most perfect, sparkly diamond ring! I’m pretty sure at that point I was still completely shocked! I of course said YES, he picked me up and gave me a big hug and kiss!!! It was kind of funny because when he went to put the ring on my finger, I looked down and said “John, I have another ring on that finger” of which his response included, “so take it off”! He slipped the beautiful ring onto my finger and we again kissed and hugged! It was an absolute magical moment and memory I will cherish for the rest of my life!
Here’s our video: