Sara and Paul

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How We Met

Paul and I met in 2005 during my junior year of high school. Paul was a senior and sat directly behind me in our Pre-Calc class. While we would exchange small talk every now and then, Paul and I didn’t actually start becoming friends until halfway through the year. We had a guest speaker in our class and during the presentation, Paul made one of his classic “Paul” jokes. I turned around laughing and thought, who is this kid? I distinctly remember that day as the moment I started to have a crush on the quiet mystery man who sat behind me.

One day before Christmas break, our exams were over and we had a free period. I was sitting in the back of the room when I noticed Paul in the front playing Hangman using a person’s name that looked A LOT like mine. Never to be one to beat around the bush (and secretly hoping he was using my name), I asked Paul if he was using my name for Hangman. Paul’s face immediately turned red and said no while simultaneously trying to erase my name from the board. Years later, Paul said he had noticed me all year and figured that was his best chance at catching my attention. You could definitely say it worked!

From that moment on, small talk turned into non-stop talking, and even resulted in a $600 phone bill due to exceeding my 1,000 text texting limit my parents weren’t thrilled about. Over the remainder of my junior year, our friendship grew into what would be the foundation of our relationship for years to come.

During my senior year, Paul and I began exclusively dating long distance while he was at school at Florida State. I was also accepted to FSU once I graduated and we were looking forward to experiencing college together! We continued to date all throughout college and grew together through the years.

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After graduation, I accepted a position in Boston where I worked for 2 and a half years, and unfortunately Paul was working in Orlando. Despite the distance, Paul and I didn’t go a day without talking and would fly to visit each other as frequently as possible. In November 2013, I accepted a transfer back to Orlando to be closer to family, friends, but most importantly, Paul. We picked up right where we left off as if no time had passed at all. Now, after almost 10 years of dating, we are getting married!

How He Asked

Paul and I planned a vacation to California in July 2016 for two separate weddings occurring the same weekend. It just so happened that one of my friend’s from Boston, and one of Paul’s friends from Vegas were both getting married in Lake Tahoe the same weekend. Some may say coincidence, but Paul saw it as a sign to start looking for an opportunity to turn this vacation into one we would never forget!

Our trip started off on the wrong foot with a forgotten garment bag including both of Paul’s suits and dress shirts along with my dresses for the weddings. After a few hysterical phone calls to my mom and a $250 overnighting fee later, the problem was resolved and we were on our way to Lake Tahoe!

After attending both weddings, we packed our bags to head to Sacramento for our flight home that Sunday… Or so I thought. Paul had booked both our return flights to Orlando as he “found a really great deal”. He even went as far as to send me a copy of the itinerary which had our flight departing from Sacramento at 12:00 PM on Sunday. As we embarked on our two hour drive to the airport from Lake Tahoe, I could feel Paul getting nervous when we were “behind schedule”. I joked that it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world to be stuck out on the west coast.

We arrived at the airport and instead of checking in, Paul kept walking towards the exit to go BACK outside. I immediately got excited and couldn’t help but wonder what Paul was up to! As I followed Paul out the airport doors, I saw a limo and driver waiting for us. Paul turned to me excitedly and said he was taking me to Napa Valley for a surprise vacation! The entire limo ride I was giddy with excitement for what he had in store.

When we arrived in Napa, the surprises didn’t end. Paul had booked an hour massage for me to relax while he “checked into the hotel”. After my massage, he told me I had exactly one hour to be ready as the limo was picking us back up for a special wine tasting.

As we rode in the limo, I noticed that we were going up into the mountains. Paul had booked us a reservation at the beautiful and stunning Viader Winery, a small winery located at the top of a mountain overlooking the Napa Valley. My heart began pounding and my stomach was doing summersaults. After almost ten years together, I was praying this was the big moment!

The winery was extremely intimate with no one else in sight. Paul and I had a private tasting and tour of the winery thanks to the wonderful employees at Viader Winery. As we were taking in the views with a delicious glass of cabernet sauvignon, Paul asked me if I would go for a walk with him through the vineyard.

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We walked down the path to a secluded area at the edge of the vineyard overlooking the valley. As soon as we stopped, Paul got down on one knee and told me how much he loved me and asked if I would spend the rest of my life with him.

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I immediately said YES!!!! It was the best moment of my life!!!

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After the tasting, Paul said that we would be going to a special six course chef dinner with a wine pairing, something I’ve always wanted to do! As we pulled up to the “restaurant”, I made a comment that we were at a hotel and the restaurant must just be attached to it. As I was getting out of the limo, we were surprised by my parents and Paul’s parents and sister! Both of our families flew into Napa the day before to surprise us for our engagement!

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After two wonderful days in Napa and (another) surprise day trip to San Francisco, we flew back to Orlando engaged and happier than ever. It was the best weekend of both of our lives!

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