Sarah and Dave

How We Met

Dave and I met at UConn, and while we were both in Greek Life, we actually met at our student job where we planned events for the off-campus community. This experience was true preparation for our lives today – grocery shopping together (to feed hundreds of college students), planning events together (although let’s be honest, I am definitely planning the whole wedding), and driving around campus together while singing along to 2000’s alternative (with me undoubtedly backseat driving). Like most great college love stories, our relationship wasn’t always crystal clear. Whether we were casually dating, “best friends”, or not on speaking terms, we always seemed to find ourselves sitting down for yet another sushi lunch or Margarita’s dinner together. After I graduated, Dave stuck around at UConn for a victory lap.

When our boss went out on maternity leave shortly after, she called me to ask if I’d like to stick around too and fill her shoes for a few months. This was a whole new relationship dynamic for us; I was officially Dave’s boss (again, this job was true preparation for our lives today). After several months in this role, I accepted a job in Hartford, and Dave ultimately graduated with plans to move to Boston. Our relationship remained unclear, at least to me. Dave was never one for saying how he felt, so although he came home from Boston every weekend and just so happened to be in my area and free for dinner each and every time… I just figured we were still “best friends”. Eventually, I forced Dave’s hand (or let’s just say the expensive dinners added up), and for the first time, he made things very clear. We went on to move in together and began building our incredible life (and yes, we are still very much “best friends”).

How He Asked

When we first began dating, Dave would often take me to Newport, RI. It very quickly became my favorite place to spend time together – the beach, good eats, and a charming downtown area. It is “our place”, and grows more special each time we come and go. It should have been clear to me that someday I could be lucky enough to add an engagement to our Newport memory lane; however, after planning a trip to Napa in December of 2016 with our recently engaged friends JC & Kendra, let’s just say I sprung for a top-notch manicure. Dave is a very perceptive guy so before leaving for Napa, he sat me down over wine and tapas and told me flat-out that he did not plan to propose in California. Naturally, this just convinced me more! After a beautiful trip and plenty of fake-outs, we returned home just as we left – not engaged.

Over the next few months, I tried to keep my impatient comments to myself, which was only made easier by the fact that Dave was away on business for months at a time. In May of 2017, we were preparing for an annual Newport trip to celebrate mine and JC’s birthdays at The Spiced Pear at The Chanler. Situated at the start of the Cliff Walk and above First Beach, we look forward to a cocktail in Adirondack chairs on the lawn every year prior to an incredible chef’s tasting dinner. Dave was due home from a business trip and unsuspiciously, he planned my birthday trip and dinner at The Spiced Pear. After work on May 18th, we headed up to Newport to meet JC and Kendra. The three of them were so excited to get to The Chanler in time for the sunset, so much so that they gave me 15 minutes to get from baseball cap and t-shirt to dinner-ready.

I mean I love a good sunset, but come on! Kendra laid out my outfit, unbuckled my shoes, and helped me along as I curled my hair and threw on some makeup. Once we arrived, JC and Dave walked inside to grab drinks for our pre-dinner cocktail and photo session. Although the sunset was not perfect, with a glass of champagne in one hand, and my arm around Dave’s back, we posed in front of the water for a picture. Little did I know, JC and Kendra were really filming us as Dave got down on one knee and asked me to spend the rest of my life with him. I always envisioned myself with my hands over my mouth and crying when the time finally came, but I found myself giddy and jumping up and down in excitement! I will never forget the happiness flowing through my body when I realized we were finally engaged, standing in the place where we grew our relationship. We will return to get married on the same beach August 18th, 2018!

Special Thanks

Brooke Brady
Photographer