Rachel and Cory
How We Met
Technically, Cory and I met at Leewood Elementary School in Miami, FL, sometime in the first grade. But, because of cooties and all, we didn’t become friends until 6th grade (ironically at the same time he and his family moved from Miami to Palm City, two hours away). We would send emails back and forth to keep in touch, and through the rest of middle school and high school we became long-distance best friends and dreamed of ending up at the same college. Sure enough, come fall 2010, we both started our freshman year at the University of Florida, and our friendship grew from there. Fast forward two years, to 2012. We had finally established that we had crushes on each other, and throughout that summer and fall Cory asked me out multiple times. I never took him seriously though, and was adamant that we take things very slow to preserve the friendship. But Cory never listens, and he was anxious to break out of the friend zone.
On October 5, 2012, he literally sat me down and said, “This is the last time I’ll ever ask, and I’m only going to ask you once. I think you need to give me a chance to make you the happiest girl in the world.” Needless to say, we’ve been together ever since. A few months after we started dating, the pattern of Cory “ruining surprises” began. Cory worked for a basketball team, and they had just lost a really tough away game. I remember feeling so sad for him, so I made him a book with a bunch of pictures of us and left it on his pillow for when he got home in an attempt to cheer him up. It happened to be a week before Valentines Day though, and he thought I was just giving him his Valentines Day gift early. Naturally the next day when I see him he goes “I made you a book for Valentine’s Day too!”, and gave me my present early. And so the tradition of early gifts and spoiling surprises began.. and we said “I love you” for the first time that day.
How He Asked
Cory and I spent two years as a long distance couple while he was in grad school in Louisiana and I stayed in Florida working full-time. We had planned an elaborate European vacation that coincided with Cory’s graduation from his masters program and us moving in together the day we got back from the trip. As the travel agent in the relationship, I had mapped out pretty much everything. Several months before we left, there was one day during the Iceland leg that had yet to be planned, so Cory asked if he could make his own itinerary, and I agreed. June 17, 2016 was “his day”. He woke me up at 4:30 am local time. He drove us almost 2 hours to Seljalandsfsoss Waterfall outside of Reykjavik. We had the waterfall almost completely to ourselves, the only other person being some guy with a professional camera sitting at the base of the falls.
As we approached the waterfall, that guy offered to take a picture of the two of us, as he was a couples photographer back home and we didn’t have anyone to take a picture of us anyways so he might as well help out. I thought it was more than a little suspicious, but then he directed us into a spot he had scoped out, snapped a picture, seemed pleased with it, and that was it. At this point I felt silly for beginning to suspect anything. As I started to turn away, Cory asked the guy if he could take just one more picture, tossed his backpack aside, and turned to face me. He began with “So you know how you think I always ruin surprises…”. Before I knew it he was down on one knee in the mud and mist of the falls, asking me to marry him with a beautiful one-of-a-kind ring that he had had designed for me.
Everything he said while proposing is pretty much a blur, I just know I said “of course” and my whole body was shaking for the rest of the day. Luckily the “random couples photographer” was actually Paul Woo, a photographer from Ohio that Cory had arranged to be there waiting for us, so I get to relive the beauty of the moment every day. He captured every moment and all my goofy faces, and then led us through a photo-shoot around the falls and surrounding area. As if all that wasn’t enough, Cory then drove us to a secluded geothermal pool in the mountains to top off the perfect morning. We were able to enjoy the early hours of our new engagement away from technology, cell service, and social media, before returning to our Air BnB and face timing all our family and friends!