Summer and Jake

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How We Met

My sophomore year at UC Davis, I decided to join student government. The first day of school I volunteered to pass out fliers to get the word out for the student body president I was campaigning for. As I strolled past the basketball courts near the dorms I saw an opportunity to give the info to a couple of guys that were taking a break from playing. That’s when I met Jake.

My team won the election, and sometime soon after, I was working at my desk in the student body oval office, and in walks Jake with a friend. He gave his congrats and said he came to volunteer…now I realize it was probably just to flirt! We became friends from that moment on and by my final year in school, we were very close; from his fraternity events to cooking together weekly while we watched Zoolander and Anchorman, trips to Sonoma and even his attendance at my Miss Solano County USA pageant. In true My Best Friend’s Wedding fashion we even made a silly pact, if we weren’t married by 32, we’d get hitched.

After graduation, in 2005 we remained friends and stayed in touch. Life took us all over the globe (and never again in the same city) while we were establishing our professional lives, but at least once a year or every other he would reach out to say I miss you. My response always being, miss you and love you too Jakey.

After my 32nd birthday, Jake text me out of the blue asking if I remembered the pact. I said, “yes, I’m over the hill!” He replied, “start planning the wedding!” We had a laugh and he let me know he’d be in my city for a few days to celebrate 4th of July with some friends. That was the second time I had seen him in 6 years and we had a blast reminiscing over the past.

5 months later would be New Years 2015 and Jake was back in town. He invited me to celebrate but I had to work. New Years day he asked if I’d drive out to Manhattan Beach to meet his friends, visit, and catch up. I said, “Jakey, you know I love you, but ugh, an hour to Manhattan is too far to drive after last night. Can you uber to me?” He said of course, no problem.

It was that moment that something changed in me. This amazing man had been my friend for 13 and a half years, and never let a year go by without showing, even the smallest expression of, how much he cared, even willing to take an hours uber ride for a quick dinner to say hello before he flew home the next day. I told him I’d come his way, and for some reason felt compelled to get beautiful for our dinner.

Let’s just say the rest is history! We did long distance for a year and a half, from LA to Milwaukee and he finally made the full time move this past August. This past year and 10 months has been our very own fairytale!

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How He Asked

Since Jake’s official move to Los Angeles, he’s been on the road for work constantly. I knew for his 33rd birthday, September 25th, that I wanted to throw a surprise weekend for him, complete with his friends, a great dinner, and gifts to shower him with appreciation.

His friends in Northern California were totally in, and one of my close girlfriends, Nichole, gave me a few ideas on where to host the dinner. Everything was falling in line perfectly, and as Jake had to work out of town the week of the big bash I had plenty of free time to get the details together.

On the evening of Friday the 23rd, two of Jake’s friends flew in and ubered to our house. I strategically had us out of our apartment complex at our nearby grocery store, so when we arrived back at home he would be shocked to find them greeting us at the front door. The moment was just perfect as they were hiding behind a tree, in the dark, and popped out for what I thought was the surprise of the year!

The next event I had planned would be our glamorous dinner at Cecconis, which I ended up telling him about prior. I had managed to get a few more of Jake’s friends to attend, along with my sister, her fiancé, my two girlfriends and their boyfriends. Jake’s friends and a birthday dessert platter would be his Saturday surprise.

About a month back I had told Nichole I wanted to do a fitness photo shoot with her, as she is a fabulous professional make up artist, and was really getting into photography. She agrees to it and suggested I plan some time the day Jake’s friends came in town for his birthday, and prior to the big dinner. Great idea I thought, as he could have some guy time and catch up with his friends. I left the house and told the guys to dress up for the evening, because I was planning to show off my Nicki makeup and a cute dress for our fancy dinner.

At the shoot, Nicky said she wanted to do some beauty shots with athletic props like my tennis racket and a medicine ball. I explained to her that nails don’t really matter for fitness photos, but she insisted and said she wanted to get some nice close ups to show my range. Free manicure? Ok! I thought nothing of it as I flashed my jazz hands for the camera and followed direction. We finished the shoot and got ready to head out for dinner. The guys would be meeting there.

At Cecconis, we walked to the hostess stand and checked in for our reservation. The hostess asked if there were any instructions for my guests to ensure Jake was surprised. I said, well he found out about dinner but he doesn’t know about his friends so when he walks up don’t mention the guest count, and obviously remember to being the dessert at the end of dinner. She assured me all would go well and ushered me towards the dining room.

We passed the bar, then the main floor, and down a little hallway to these large double doors. I looked back at Nichole thinking, wow, how nice, they must have upgraded our table! Then to my utter shock and surprise there was Jake, in a suit, with about 20 of our friends, his parents, and mine, standing on either side of me clapping and whistling! He grabbed my hand, walked my to the back of the room, and dropped to a knee under an 8 foot art installation of a heart filled with butterflies.

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He said, babe, I love you so much, 15 years ago I met you and knew this was something special, I want to spend the rest of my life with you. Will You Marry Me?!

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I was an instant emotional wreck but managed to squeeze out the words, Of Course! Then the entire room erupted in laughter because I asked him if he was going to put the ring on my finger! He said he didn’t know if he was supposed to or if I was, and didn’t know which finger! Haha! He asked my sisters fiance, and then we sealed the deal!

The night was magical. He had arranged for a professional photographer Ian Bailey of Jupiter Media Group, to capture the night, and we even had a cocktail reception while the restaurant staff set up our private room for dinner.

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Special Thanks

Ian Bailey
Photographer