Sammie and Derek

How We Met

My fiancé and I met via tinder, yes you read that correctly tinder! To say that we both weren’t looking for anything to come of this is an understatement. He had just moved here from Florida to be stationed on a new base, with a new job, I was going through one of those “I’m so over men and dating” phases. So at one am, when I swiped right laying in bed unable to sleep, I really didn’t think much of it…especially when it didn’t pop up that we matched?. The next day however I got a match from a man named Derek and we started chatting (I had to message him First Ladies and gents)! We had made plans a few times to meet up but they seemed to always fall through and we were coming up on almost two weeks of texting, well back in 2015 the show catfish was popular and I had remember watching an episode where Nev said “if you don’t meet them in person within two weeks there’s a 90% chance they aren’t going to be who they say they are” so with that flying through my brain, I made one last plan to go to dinner with him and I told myself that if this falls through I’m walking away from the fake cyber man haha. Sunday June 28th, 2015 came and I waited at the end of the steps at a little restaurant in the harbor.

As I stared down at my phone, a pair of shoes entered my vision right in front of me. I can vividly remember looking up from his shoes to his head in what felt like slow motion, not being able to catch my breath. I was never one to believe in love at first site, or the whole “you just know” kind of a thing, and I’m not even sure if that’s what it was to be completely honest, but my God did I feel something I’ve never felt before. I have never felt so in awe of someone, so close to a stranger yet wanting to know everything I can about them. After that date we spent every weekend together, every possible free moment, and its lead us all the way to here. It’s funny how a date, that used to be just any other day, can end up being the only date you ever want to see on a calendar. June 28th is such a special day to us, we met, got engaged two years later, and will now be married three years later on that same day, where a man from Pocahontas county West Virginia, quite literally, took my breath away.

How He Asked

So, months ago while my fiancé was deployed, I won a photo shoot with the amazing dakaiphotography! When my fiancé returned home in May, I could hardly wait to set up our shoot! Dakai and I set up a date and a few weeks before the shoot he had texted me asking if I would be okay with doing a mock proposal shoot for a magazine he was wanting to send photos into (I know, I know, there were clues and I was clueless LOL) I of course said yes, he then said he’d like for us to write down a few sweet nothings for each other just to “grasp the real emotion in the photos”, again I said of course! The day finally arrived and I was so excited, my fiancé and I started shooting and everything seemed super casual and normal, he brought a few vendor friends for an arch and all, but again I thought we were shooting for a possible magazine so I figured it was just all part of the plan. When they tried setting the arch up, the ground was so hard, we couldn’t dig holes deep enough to place the poles in.

Dakai was so adamant that we shoot in that location that he went out of his way to come up with a solution and alas the arch was up with help from some rope and two people holding it up at either end! I figured he just had an artistic vision that he wanted executed! Dakai asked for the papers with our sweet nothings, which I FORGOT, yup, totally forgot, I didn’t write any? When my fiancé , who literally never remembers anything without me having to remind him seven thousand times said that he remembered to write his, I should’ve known something was up, but again, I was completely naive to it all. I said a few, random “I love you’s” and “you’re wonderfuls” may have even thrown in a “you have a nice butt” comment ??‍♀️and then it was his turn, as he was reading I remember thinking “wow these are deep he took these seriously”, but again THOUGHT NOTHING (crazy I know), he mentioned how two years ago to the day was our very first date, he then started to put the paper in his back pocket as he slowly knelt down and pulled out a ring…no no not just a ring, THE ring, the exact ring I’ve wanted for so so so long.

I vividly remember saying over and over “is this a joke, you’re joking right this is all part of the photo shoot?!?!” after endless reassurance, laughing, and jumping up and down, I was stunned.

They had completely proposal punked me, and I, who had always believed I was so intuitive and aware of my surroundings, had been completely caught off guard, in the most amazing way I ever could’ve imagined!

Special Thanks

Dakai Perez
Photographer