Rebecca and Steve

How We Met: Steve and I both come from a history of acting in theatre. When I was 16 I was in a local production with another teenager, Paul, who went to a different but nearby high school. At one performance, a slew of Paul’s friends from the high school came to see him in the show. They took up the entire first two rows. After the show, the he introduced me to each person, and not a single name stuck in my head.

I should’ve listened better, because 11 years later, I married one of those friends. Paul and I ended up at the same college, 3 years later, and he had this friend there, Steve, who he’d gone to high school with. Steve was cute but taken so as nice as he was, I didn’t pay much attention. However over time Steve and I became friends. We bonded over being the only two Philly Italians in our acting major at the University of the Arts.

We both loved Philly sports, classic rock, and all the same playwrights. Eventually we figured out we’d met as teenagers, when he was in that huge group of kids that came to see Paul in the show I was in with him! Over time Steve’s girlfriends changed and then finally, at the end of our junior year, he was actually single. After a few long walks and late nights, Steve and I announced to our circle of mutual friends that we were dating. We’d grown so close in the months leading up to it, all our friends reacted with “Well, we’re glad you’re finally admitting it!”

How He Asked: Steve and I were celebrating our five year anniversary with a vacation in our beloved Williamsburg, VA. It was our second trip there together, after we visited for our college graduation and one year anniversary combo celebration. The third day of our vacation was Friday, May 10, 2013, the actual day that marked five year together. We made a dinner reservation at the King’s Arms Tavern, the nicest tavern in Colonial Williamsburg, and Steve suggested we head over to the historical town early enough to enjoy a nice walk. He kept alluding to some kind of surprise he had for me.

We parked the car and headed to the center of the town. Along the way he said “Wow, five years. You must really think I’m dragging my feet, huh?” I just laughed it off an walked alongside him, not paying much attention to where we were headed on this gorgeous, sunny spring day. We found ourselves at the Governor’s Palace, where we’d been a few days before. I had told Steve then that the Governor’s Palace had been my father’s favorite place in Colonial Williamsburg.

My family took many vacations there when I was young and my dad, who passed in 2010, always loved the design of the place, the collection of original weapons and art, and the beautiful gardens behind the palace. The gardens were practically empty besides us. It was as if he’d reserved all the benches so we could enjoy the beautiful flowers in private. We sat down and started talked about the last five years. Before I knew it, he was down on one knee, in my late father’s favorite little spot, with a stunning sapphire and diamond ring, just like I always wanted.

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Then he asked “Will you marry me?” all I could say was “Of course I will!” The next few moments are a bit of a blur, but then Steve said to me, “Well you know how I said I had a surprise for you? Well that wasn’t it. This is it.”

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He stepped back and pointed and when I turned, one of my best friends and the greatest photographer I know, Ashley LaBonde, emerged from the bushes, snapping away. Not only had he proposed, he had gotten Ashley to drive down from Philadelphia just to capture the whole thing.

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I knew then I had gotten one of the greatest and rarest gifts he could’ve given me: complete coverage of the proposal and the moments immediately following.

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The three of us walked around a bit together while I laughed, cried, and eventually got my head screwed back on.

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We all had a drink in a nearby pub before Ashley headed right back to Philly and Steve and I headed to our romantic dinner at the King’s Arms where we told the hostess what had just happened. Before we knew it we were sipping celebratory cocktails and being serenaded table side with a sweet old love song from the costumed balladeer, and in the moment, my life and my future were everything I ever hoped they would be.

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Photos by: Wide Eyed Studios