Sara and Tom
How We Met
Tom and I met at a Chamber of Commerce networking expo. I was representing the Young Professionals and the corporate company I work for, and he was there with his business partners networking for his newly opened Kayak Eco Tourism company. I was talking with a perspective lead and he marched up to me, told me he thought I was the most beautiful woman he ever saw, and that he just had to meet me. He then handed me his business card, and walked away. The card had his information on it, printed in rainbow vegetable ink on the back of a Tony the Tiger cereal box. I thought he was a pompous goon, a goon that I couldn’t stop laughing to myself at and thinking of for the remainder of the evening.
The next day, he had face-booked me, called and left an email telling me how he wanted to take me and my friends out kayaking as a future business partnership. Thinking I would never get rid of him, and also incredibly flattered at his open persistence, I convinced my girlfriends to come with me and make sure I wasn’t murdered! He took us all kayaking, was a total gentleman, and then surprised all of us with an organic wine and Smith Island cake pairing on the beach. Needless to say, my girlfriends were won over, and we have been best friends ever since!
How He Asked
Six years later, we get engaged! I woke up that morning and really took my time, Tom was antsy for no real reason. He really wanted to jump start the day, and I was more of a lets relax sort of mood. Finally, after lunch time, he asked me if I was ready to go out for an adventure. This is not unlike Tom, he is a romantic, fly by the seat of his pants kind of guy, and often has tricks up his sleeve that surprise. Always ready to play along, I got dressed and said “where are we going”? He handed me a baby blue envelop that had “Clue Number One” typed on it.
Inside was an elaborately cut metallic piece of paper that had a riddle typed on it. Taking me a few moments to solve the riddle, I finally figured it out, it was the location of the Chamber of Commerce business expo where we first met. Jumping in the car, he said you can drive, and off we went. When we arrived, our friends Matt and Hayley and their sweet baby Quinn were there. Naturally I was surprised, and they handed me a matching blue envelop, clue two.
This led us to the apartment I lived in with my roommate and best friend, Meredith. She had clue three, which took us to where Tom lived when we first started dating in downtown historic Berlin, Maryland. There our friend Billy gave us clue four, a restaurant that we frequent often around the corner. The bartender, our friend Hilary gave the next clue to go to another restaurant we love and always visit for date night, the Atlantic Hotel. The final clue was given there, it took us to Assateague Island National Seashore, a beloved place of mine since I was a child, and the location of Tom’s Eco Tourism business. It is a beautiful Island with wild horses and one of my most treasured locations where we live. On the beach, I was naturally looking for another friend, but found a huge heart drawn in the sand. Turning around to say something trivial, I am sure, Tom was on one knee. He took my hand, told me that we had traveled through all of our past relationship landmarks, to see where we had come from, and he wanted to use them to chart where we were going in the future.
He promised to love me forever and always, to be strong and sensitive, to keep the spark and adventures alive, and for me to be his partner for the rest of his life. I cried, we hugged and he placed the most gorgeous ring on my finger that I have ever seen. Our friend and local screen print artist, Brian, took a photograph from the dunes of the moment, and Tom has commissioned a one of a kind piece to be screen printed of that photo. When we left Assateague, of course we were elated! We didn’t call anyone on the twenty five minute drive. I never wanted that moment, that high of how deeply strong our love is to end by including anyone else. I wanted to keep it a secret almost, to cherish it and soak it in to every pore of my body, and that feeling will forever be my happy place. Arriving at the house, we told our two dogs that mommy and daddy were making this official, we of course offered treats that they accepted as a token of their approval. Sitting on the counter, was a stand up sign, and a bunch of papers around it. When I walked over, I noticed it was all printed on the metallic silvery paper our engagement hunt clues were in. It was an itinerary for a trip to the Bahamas, in a private beach villa, appropriately named Love Beach, and all the details outlined. I looked at Tom and he said “Pack your bags baby, you are already off from work, you just need a new bikini!”
Reeling from excitement, I couldn’t believe we were going to be in the sunshine in a few days, and this was all planned by him, including clearing it with my boss, with me none the wiser! He then said get dressed, there are some friends at the Brewery- our friends own and General Manage Burley Oak, and it is our local favorite spot- that want to cheers with us. When we arrived, my family from Baltimore, Maryland, about 2.5 hours away, and some of his family from Ohio, 9 hours away, were there, among tons of our local friends! He had also secretly planned our engagement party! It was the best day, that felt as though the surprises would never end!
We had so much fun laughing at memories of the past six years, enjoyed the memorable moment on the beach together, then shared it all with our favorite people, and ended it by relaxing in paradise for a week later. That ladies and gentlemen, is how you ask a woman to marry you! We are excited to now be planning our wedding, an art deco/vintage carnival themed decor in a western theme park and camp ground, where we have also rented all of the cabins for the weekend to celebrate with friends and family in summer camp style.