Stephanie and Jared
How We Met
It’s hard to pinpoint exactly when we first met, but it all began at some point during my sophomore year in college. My brother-in-law reconnected with his childhood friend, Jared, and although they were 10 years apart in age, they were quickly becoming best friends. It didn’t take long for he and my sister to realize that Jared and I would be the perfect match together. It started with them telling me Jared was cute and nice, to telling me that he likes me and we need to date. The only problem was, he had a girlfriend at the time! I figured that there was no point in thinking we could ever be anything, but I was willing to be friends. Our friendship started as a few texts here and there, to casually seeing him around whenever I visited my sister. Even though I adamantly denied it, I definitely had a crush on him. Not only was he handsome and nice, he was the sweetest and most genuine guy I had ever met. He seemed too good to be true, and there was no question why he had a girlfriend!
My sister and her husband kept those gentle nudges going, and after what seemed like forever since we had met (about 3 months), Jared finally broke it off with his girlfriend. That same week, he invited me to Six Flags with him, his brother, and my sister. I’ll never forget the first time we actually flirted with each other and how those butterflies felt all day long. It felt like we had been best friends forever.
Even though we lived four hours away from each other, we saw each other every week for the next few months. I kept track in a calendar because I was that excited to see him every single time. Our long distance relationship was difficult from the start, only because we wanted to see each other every day.
One day, as I was dropping him off at the train station, he looked at me with tear-filled eyes and said he couldn’t leave and go home. Since his train was set to leave in 5 minutes, I gave him a long hug to make him feel better, but instead he began to cry, and he told me he just couldn’t do it. I had never seen him cry before, let alone had anyone miss me before I was gone. It was over those next few months that the “I really, really, really, really, really like you’s” turned into “I love you’s” and the four-hour commute turned into a four-minute commute. He moved to my hometown, and our relationship grew stronger as we saw each other every day. Fast forward four years later, and we’re engaged to be married!
How He Asked
One of our very first trips together was camping on the coastline of Big Sur. Neither of us had grown up camping, or been camping on our own before, so it was quite the experiment. We ended up having tons of fun and made a pact to go at least once a year. For our trip this year, we didn’t make any solid plans to go until a few days before, so we didn’t have a campsite or anything. We figured we would just wing it! That weekend we headed up the coast to San Luis Obispo, stopped to get camping supplies from my brother-in-law (Jared’s best friend), and headed off. We had an epic time camping: we scored an ocean-front campsite, hiked for miles, laid on the beach, cooked delicious food over our fire, and played tons of card games. It was the most perfect two nights and we were both sad to head home.
There was a good swell that weekend, so as we packed up our tent on Monday morning, Jared mentioned he wanted to check out the waves on the way down the coast. I was fine with that as long as we got breakfast and coffee first! We started our trek down the coast, and stopped at countless surf spots along the way. He’d park the car, we’d get out, walk a little ways to a viewing point, and he’d check the big surf. I was busy taking pictures of the scenery, so I didn’t mind one bit.
We reached San Simeon, just another stop on his route home, when my sister told me about an organic bakery and coffee shop nearby that was supposed to be delicious. We decided to stop in and get some coffee, and he somehow convinced me to check out the waves one more time across the street from the cafe. We grabbed some food for a picnic on the sand and headed across the street to the beach. Mid-way through the walk, he stopped and said he had to go get something from the car. That’s when my heart started to race. I knew something was up, but I wasn’t quite sure what it was. I had NO idea he was about to propose. He came back with something suspiciously in his back pocket, yet I still was unsuspecting of anything. It wasn’t until we were headed down some sandy stairs to the beach when I realized something huge might be happening: we weren’t headed in the direction of the perfect wave he had been eyeing through the window of the cafe. We were headed the opposite way, and that’s when I saw the top of the tipi. Jared immediately turned towards me and gave me a huge hug, told me he wanted to adventure with me for the rest of his life (along with lots of other very sweet words), and got down on one knee. We were both shaking with excitement and nervousness, and I really could not believe what was happening. I had dreamed of this moment my whole life and was having a hard time believing it was real. To have someone equally as in love with you as you are with them is something I can’t put into words, but it is truly a magical feeling. The beach was completely empty except for the two of us (and that tipi around the corner). It was the most romantic and surreal moment of our lives. I said YES!
After we hugged and kissed (and screamed), we walked around the corner and I saw the amazing tipi he had set up by Tinkertin Trailer Co, a fellow wedding vendor friend of mine. It was set up with the prettiest decor, including a picnic basket full of amazing food made by a caterer, champagne and blankets. It wasn’t long until Jared yelled out and told my brother-in-law to get out of the bushes. I had no idea he was there, and somehow he captured Jared on one knee and us celebrating afterward. My sister then came down to the beach with my nephew who delivered me flowers with the biggest smile on his face. It was THE most special day of my life and such a surprise that I still can’t believe while writing this.