Sarah and Erik

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How We Met

Erik and I met when I was a sophomore in high school and he was a junior at another school. He showed up to a game I was cheering at and since then we were best friends. When people ask Erik how we started dating he always says, “I begged.” It wasn’t until over a year of being great friends that he convinced me that we would make it. I was hesitant only because I never wanted to lose my best friend through the long road we had ahead of us: him going to school out of state. Despite not knowing what the future held we started dating May 25, 2009, a few weeks before he graduated from high school. It quickly turned into not being a question of “if” we would get married, but “when” timing would allow us to get married. We survived a little over three years of long distance, Erik deciding to go on to grad school back home, and myself launching my career. After over six years of dating this high schooler I met at only 16, the timing was right.

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How He Asked

A few weeks before getting engaged Erik and I were talking about how I had quite a bit of vacation time at work and the best time to use it is during the summer. So I took a Thursday and Friday off in July and we made plans to double date on a Thursday with my best friend and her boyfriend who was in town for the weekend. Come Thursday, my best friend is texting me what time to show up at her parents’ house and that her and her family were on their back porch barbecuing. So Erik and I drive 15 minutes over to her house and walk to the back porch. I walked first holding Erik’s hand behind me and once I turned the corner there was no one to be seen. I tried looking in the windows and couldn’t see anyone inside.

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I turn around and see the patio table covered with flowers and candles. I thought it looked pretty but my brain didn’t register anything was going on (my friend’s mother is a landscaper, flowers are always everywhere). I look at Erik and ask if he has any idea where everyone is and he looked guilty. I look back at the table and notice Perrier Jouët champagne in an ice bucket and my heart drops. Erik grabs my hands and starts telling me how I am the love of his life and how much I mean to him, meanwhile I’m trying to register if this is reality.

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He reaches in his back pocket and gets down on one knee. “Sarah Elizabeth, will you marry me?” I start laughing and crying, unable to articulate my feelings so I just vigorously nod.

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This proposal was so amazing and special to me because it shows how much Erik really knows me. I don’t love to have my raw emotions be the center of attention, nor do I really enjoy when everyone stops what they’re doing to watch me. I come to learn that no one is at the house, that Erik had them all leave except for my friend from work who is a photographer. She was hiding inside to capture every intimate moment.

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Also, we both enjoy playing cards, and my being a graphic designer, Erik found a deck called “Flesh & Bones” which includes hand-drawn illustrations inspired by legends of the sea. He put the Ace of Diamonds next to the champagne, and used the Jack and Queen of Hearts as coasters for our champagne glasses. My best friend’s parents’ house is on top of a hill overlooking the valley with a spectacular view of Mount Rainier and it was the perfect place for Erik to commandeer for the proposal. Since we had the place to ourselves we sat outside, popped champagne and enjoyed our newly engaged bliss. (We eventually went on that double date, just the next day.)

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Special Thanks

Julia Sumpter
Photographer