Samantha and Joseph

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How We Met

“Do you believe in love at first sight?” Yes. I absolutely do. As crazy as it sounds, I knew I was going to marry Joe from the moment I met him at the age of 12. Joe is five years older than me and our lives went separate ways after he graduated high school and I was just starting. My mom was Joe’s teacher and she runs trips to Europe every summer for her graduating seniors. When I was graduating 8th grade, she invited me along for the trip to Italy and Joe was going too. Joe and I began our story there (aka I followed him around and he was polite enough to let me) and I gave him a red bracelet that said “Florence, Italy” on it. Years went by and any friend or boyfriend along the way knew my feelings about THE Joe Puma. For the next four years of high school, I randomly ran into Joe at different events or holiday parties at the school. Joe’s brother, Mike, was a year ahead of me in high school and him and I became close. At Mike’s graduation, I saw my mom walking over to me from across the room holding someone’s hand. It was Joe and I just about died. That night, Joe had texted me asking to go to dinner and I could barely breathe for the next few weeks leading up to that first date. The first night I went to Joe’s house, I saw a red bracelet hanging from a picture frame in his room. It was the bracelet I had given him five years earlier. Joe said he knew I would always come back to his life and now I am marrying my soulmate.

How He Asked

Even though Joe and I have a history before we started “officially” dating, we also have a history of growth in our five and half year relationship. Joe had decided he wanted to go back to law school. It was a daunting task that we knew was going to be straining finicially, emotionally, and mentally. Joe promised me before he signed the papers for Rutgers, Newark Law School that all this hard work was to give us the life that we both deserved. He sat down with me and promised that we would make it through the four years of commuting, studying, straining, and stress. At the same time, I was working hard in college and earning my Bachelor’s degree right along side of him. While pushing through the hardest years of our lives, we were able to come home to each other at the end of the night and that made everything worth it.

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When Joe graduated, I watched from the stands and cried tears of pride watching this accomplished man earn his degree. A few months later he received news that he passed the bar exam and was being sworn in as a lawyer. After the ceremony, we walked up to the stage to take pictures. As I was fixing my dress, Joe started to talk to me about how he wouldn’t be standing here today if I wasn’t by his side from the very beginning — that it was my undying devotion and support for him that got him through all these years. As I began to tear up, Joe got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife in front of all our closest family members. Everything had come full circle and no day even compares to this day — the day my best friend asked me to spend the rest of our lives together.