Meredith and Ben

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How We Met

We met in a college English course….I sat in the back of the class (always late to class and always leaving early), and he was the guy in the front of class always raising his hand causing class to run overtime. I thought he was super annoying.

Fast forward a few years, and my friend invited me to attend a new church with her. I had just gotten out of a long relationship and wasn’t really interested in dating. I was supposed to photograph my ex’s best friend’s wedding (he was in the wedding party) and needed a second photographer to assist. Ben, who I had re-met at church, messaged me and told me he was a photographer and would like to help me photograph the wedding. I explained that it may be awkward, but he didn’t seem to care. He eased my mind the entire day and helped calm me through all of the awkward moments. I think we became pretty good friends after that day, which surprised me (due the the extreme annoyance I felt toward him during college). I started hosting game nights at my house shortly after that wedding, and all our friends from church would come over and hang out. Ben and I continued building our friendship during this time. I took a random trip to Colorado with some friends and it was the first time I really missed Ben. I still wasn’t really sure I wanted to get into a relationship, but everything was just comfortable and easy with Ben. When I returned from Colorado, we spent a whole night watching movies and talking about our past life experiences. We started dating soon after the Colorado trip.He was so different than anyone I had ever spent time with. He was incredibly smart, and he was super encouraging to me wanting to continue my photography business. I was a high school Math teacher at the time and he was about to start his first year of medical school. I knew that I didn’t want to do a long distance relationship, so I told him that I would prefer we just stay friends since I knew he would be moving out of state (which really broke my heart). He spent his first two years of medical school commuting 3 hours to and from school every day to spend time with me. It was probably the craziest thing I could have imagined for someone going to medical school.

We decided to take a road trip all the way across the country following old route 66 as far as we could go. Our goal was to do the whole trip for under $1000. We called our trip ‘detours’ and decided to stop and detour anywhere we saw along the way that seemed interesting or unique. Night after night we slept in the car, building ‘car forts’ with blankets and window shields. We hiked the grand canyon, spent a night in Las Vegas, traveled to some creepy ghost town, saw the Hoover Dam, ate some delicious food, met some celebrities and spent a few days with them in LA, and traveled up the whole coast of Cali on Highway 1. After 85+ hours in the car, and the most crazy/unique trip I’ve ever taken, I realized that I couldn’t live without him. I later found out he felt the same way.

How He Asked

Ben had been commuting to and from school 3 hours each way, and had been sort of distant for a few months. Little did I know he had secretly been driving to and from school to custom design my engagement ring. He wanted the proposal to be completely a surprise, and didn’t even want to hint at the idea of a proposal. I had absolutely not the slightest inkling that he was planning a proposal.

Each year we had taken a silly Christmas photo with our dogs, so Ben had planned to go out and take our yearly photo with our two dogs, Swift and Kato. Ben and I are both photographers, so he brought my camera with us and a few of our friends so they could help out. My friend told us we should have a few photos of the two of us taken and kindly stepped in to take a few photos.

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He asked Ben if he had any other poses that he wanted to do, and that’s when he got down on one knee. My friend was crying off to the side, and I was so confused that Ben was proposing (I seriously had NO idea it was coming). I kept asking why my friend was crying, so Ben finally had to specifically tell me that he was proposing….

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Anyway, after I realized what was happening I started crying tears of joy. I couldn’t believe what was happening. He then told me how he had custom designed my ring with special diamonds from his great grandma’s ring (he knows how much I love family heirlooms, so it just made my ring that much more special). All the time he hadn’t been spending with me he had been designing my ring. He knew I liked unique jewelry and didn’t want my ring to look like anyone else’s. He seriously put so much thought into my ring, it just made it that much more special.

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