Sarah and Justin
How We Met
Justin and I met our senior year of college when my best girlfriends moved into the house next door to him and his eight best guy friends. I was living on campus as an RA at Notre Dame’s sister school, Saint Mary’s, but considered Notre Dame Ave my home as well. For many Saint Mary’s women (or maybe just me?), a small part of me had always hoped to marry a Notre Dame boy. Justin and I really hit it off while celebrating my birthday in September. Thanks to Corbys and a little liquid courage, I managed to tell Justin I had a crush on him. Little did I know that would be the start to making my silly hope come true. The beginning of our relationship was filled with Notre Dame tailgates, the standard college library dates, Sunday night mass at Saint Mary’s, and Notre Dame club hockey games. Before we knew it, our senior year came to a close, and we began doing long distance from Boston to Chicago. It only took me a few months of long distance, a good long run along the Charles River and a few tears to realize that I loved Boston and really loved the boy living there. Fast forward a year later, I was starting a new job and moving into my own studio apartment in Boston.
How He Asked
Full weekends off are hard to come by as a nurse, so we were excited when I had two full weekends off in the beginning of December. Justin and I had planned to spend Saturday afternoon baking Christmas cookies to send to our friends and family back home. I spent a few hours at the grocery store shopping for all of our cooking supplies and picking out special containers. Earlier in the week, some friends of ours asked us to attend a new members brunch at the Algonquin Club in Back Bay. I quickly responded back that Justin and I had plans in the afternoon but would love to attend brunch with them. I was thrilled to see how our weekend was shaping up! Or so, I thought! The first snow of the season started that morning and it looked beautiful outside. Just before leaving Justin asked if we could walk to brunch since it was snowing. I immediately agreed and we set off on foot. Unfortunately, it didn’t take long for the beauty of the thick, wet snow to wear off. I asked if we could walk through the mall to stay dry, but Justin quickly reminded me it was out of the way. I grudgingly agreed and kept walking. By the time we got to Comm Ave, I was on a mission to save my hair so I was a few steps ahead of him. Slightly annoyed at this point, I suggested we cut through grass across the Algonquin Club to save time since we were already late. After weirdly pausing to read a statue (or stalling…), he grabbed my arm and said we couldn’t cut across the grass because we weren’t actually going to brunch. He then got down on one knee, pulled out my grandma’s ring, one that I’d always dreamed of wearing, and proposed! Justin hired a photographer who was hiding to a take a few candid pictures of the big moment! We then walked to the river (my dream proposal spot) where he surprised me with a bench set up with flowers and champagne. The whole proposal was beautiful and unexpected! After enjoying a real brunch at one of our favorite South End restaurants, we recounted the whole morning as well as his recent weeks of planning. As we walked down the stairs to my apartment after brunch, I immediately started making a list of who we should call to share the news with first! I settled on my mom, but was stunned as I opened the door to my apartment and found it filled with our families and some of our closest friends! Another surprise! They had decorated the tiny apartment with tons of flowers, decorations and photos of Justin and me. The rest of the weekend was filled with family meals, sharing stories and toasts, and celebrating our engagement. The whole weekend was better than I could’ve every dreamed of.