Stephanie and Matthew

How We Met

I was in Orlando on vacation with my best friend about a month before I was set to move to the area from out of state. We were spending a day at Universal Studios, and she asked if she could invite a friend of hers that lived nearby, specifically her boyfriend’s best friend since they were kids. His name was Matt. I said sure, no biggie. I honestly thought nothing of it – until we picked him up at his work and I saw him for the first time. He couldn’t really see me yet, but I could see him in my mirrors and right away felt myself blushing a bit – he was so cute! I was suddenly a bit more excited about this random stranger joining us for the day. The three of us had a great time hanging out, and throughout the day I got to know him better. We would chat while standing in ride lines, learning quickly just how much we had in common. As the day went on, Matt and I bonded over our love of Harry Potter (quite fitting, considering we spent most of the day in Hogsmeade) and other geeky interests. It was also kind of nice to meet someone who lived where I was moving to, but was from my hometown. It was crazy how quickly we clicked. It was so natural, so effortless. I felt like I was reconnecting with a long lost friend.

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How He Asked

Every year on the anniversary of the day we met, Matthew and I go back to Universal Studios and wander around Hogsmeade (we’re sappy that way). When he asked me if I would like to go out for a nice dinner afterward, I thought nothing of it. We got all dressed up (which is typical for us, regardless of the occasion) and set off for Universal. Matt said he wanted to get a picture of us in front of the castle, which in hindsight should have been a hint, as he hates getting his picture taken. I was all for it, though, and so we headed inside.

On our way to the castle we “ran into” his mom and brother, who both work there. (I would later find out this was all a plan, his “back up” in case something went wrong with the camera). After a bit of a rain delay, we were finally able to find a place to set up the camera and snap a few pictures. I still didn’t realize anything was going on, until Matt leaned over and kissed me. You see, he’s not big on PDA, especially in front of his family. There was also the fact that his mom was still taking pictures… I finally started to feel suspicious. He was fidgety, clearly a little anxious. It was only then that I realized that he still had the camera bag on him, which he was now pulling something out of….

All of a sudden, he was down on one knee and handing me a beautiful leather bound journal. When I opened it, it said, “July 31st, 2012 – July 31st, 2015”. I flipped a few more pages, and there was section carved out of the pages to make a box, lined with a light blue fabric. Inside was the ring we had picked out together four months before, tied down with ribbon.

He told me later that he had planned to say more, but, “Will you Marry Me?” was all he ended up getting out. He was shaking, I was shaking (and crying). It was a miracle either of us were saying anything at all! But he did ask, and I did say ‘Yes’ – of course!

We spent a little more time with his family before heading to dinner, which mostly consisted of me staring at my ring and trying not to cry, and both of us smiling like crazy people. After dinner we went over to my family’s house to celebrate with my parents and brothers (who of course were already quite aware this was going to happen).

It was simple and intimate, and so wonderfully US. I couldn’t have dreamed of a more perfect place, a more perfect surprise, or a more perfect man.

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