Tessa and Robert

How We Met

Robert & I met in the fall of 2015 after both of us had moved from our respective home states to Milwaukee, Wisconsin to work for Kohl’s Department Stores corporate office after college. Technically, we met via Tinder…but we had both discovered we shared mutual friends prior to connecting. Though it wasn’t until we started connecting the dots that we figured our just how close we had been to meeting without having any idea the other existed! The summer prior, we both found ourselves in Milwaukee participating in a 10 week internship with Kohl’s. As the company provides housing for their interns, we later discovered that we lived on the same floor of the dorm we were staying in and shared all the same mutual friends that entire summer without crossing paths! Impossible as that may seem, Robert had a sister & brother-in-law living in Milwaukee & I had a close friend & her husband there as well. This meant that I was spending a decent amount of time sans other interns, as was he. As fate would have it, we never met that summer.

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How He Asked

Over the course of our two years together we; took a trip to Mexico, got a dog(!), moved in together, got new jobs with new companies, and most recently, Robert moved from Milwaukee to Indianapolis. As difficult as it was for me to stay in Milwaukee, it was only a short time before I, too, found a job & was making the move to Indy. Now, Robert’s older sister, Maggie, is a photographer. I, as a photography enthusiast, assist her from time to time as a second shooter or photography assistant. So when Maggie reached out to me at the beginning of December asking if I’d help her on a family shoot, I thought nothing of it.

Flash forward to December 22nd, 2017, I leave work at my normal time and head home to grab my camera and rain boots (rainy winter day). I drive to Maggie’s, and together we head toward Carmel, IN, where the shoot is to take place. As we’re setting up, Maggie asks me to step up into this large gazebo, decorated to the nines for the upcoming holiday’s, so she can check her camera settings. I stand there, gazing about, when I hear a noise to my right. I turn, expecting to see the family approaching, when I see Robert walking up the opposing steps of the gazebo.

It wasn’t until he didn’t acknowledge his sister (out on the lawn taking photos) that I realized what was going on & why I was standing alone in that beautiful gazebo. The events leading up to that moment all flashed before my eyes & I immediately turned into a nervous, bashful version of myself. Completely speechless. After Robert made his speech, got down on one knee, and opened the ring box, it must have been a solid 30 seconds before I had to consciously remind myself that I was supposed to give him a response!

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Of course, I said YES! All in all, I think it took me about two whole days before I could stop shaking when someone asked to see my beautiful rose gold ring. We both still grin from ear to ear when telling that story & likely will for the rest of our lives.

Tessa Rae's Proposal in Carmel City Hall, Carmel, Indiana

Special Thanks

Maggie Hopen
Photographer