Rachel and Peter

How We Met: In June 2010 I had just graduated high school in Minnesota and planned to attend Marquette University in the fall, so I went to Preview Day at Marquette to get to know other incoming freshmen and spend a night in a dorm with a roommate. When I got to Milwaukee for Preview, we were broken into small groups. At the end of the first session, Peter, another student in my group, turned to me and introduced himself, and I can still remember the exact moment and place where we met.

From then on, we were basically inseparable. We spent the rest of the two days of Preview together – playing games and getting to know the other students. Peter then went back home to Illinois and I went back to Minnesota for the remainder of the summer, but we talked on the phone several times per week and texted constantly. In the fall, when we got to Marquette for our freshmen year of college, we started dating and were lucky enough to spend all four of our college years together as a couple. Now we’re both graduate students – also at Marquette!

How He Asked: It was the day before Peter’s birthday, and I was so excited because I had planned a surprise birthday party for him the following day. I spent all afternoon baking cakes and getting ready for the party and almost forgot we had plans to go out to dinner just the two of us that night to celebrate. Peter had been working all day, and shortly before we were supposed to leave for our dinner reservation he told me he was running late and asked if I could pick him up from work instead.

When I walked to my car, there was a balloon on my front seat tied to a package with a note from Peter that told me he was sending me on a scavenger hunt. The first clue sent me to the exact spot at Marquette where we met for the first time at Preview almost five years before, and the rest of the clues sent me to other locations around Marquette’s campus – each location presenting me with another balloon and a special note. As I started to make my way to the last clue, his younger sister appeared and said she had to blindfold me.

I started crying and hugging her immediately because I was beginning to realize what was happening. She spun me around and led me outside across campus. When she took off the blindfold, I was looking up at St Joan of Arc Chapel, a beautiful chapel from France that is on Marquette’s campus, with candles lit all over in the snow, music playing, and Peter standing in front of the chapel smiling at me. I made my way toward him, and he got down on one knee and asked me to spend the rest of my life with him. It was the happiest moment of my life!

engagement picture

When we later walked into our favorite restaurant for our dinner reservation, both of our families were there to celebrate with us. The funniest part is that he knew I had been planning a surprise birthday party for him the whole time! So, we ended up still having the party the following night, but we had two things to celebrate with our family and friends – a birthday and an engagement!

proposal

We still laugh about how I planned our engagement party without even knowing it :)