Victoria and Michael

Photo Jul 19, 3 36 35 PMHow We Met: My fiance’s name is Michael, and we met almost two years ago at Morgan’s Pier in Philadelphia on Labor Day weekend while we were on break from classes. I had just recently gone through a bad break-up and had moved in with two new roommates, when one of my roommates knocked on my door one night and asked me to go out with her and her friends.  I agreed, and together, my roommate and I walked to the subway in Philadelphia to meet with the rest of her friends.  I can still remember the exact moment, turning from Cecil B Moore Avenue onto Broad Street- there was a Barnes and Nobles on the corner right in front of the subway stop- and that’s when I first saw Mike.  I still joke to this day that Mike was not the friend I thought I was going to see when I turned the corner. I really think I did a double-take! We sat next to each other on subway ride, and the ESPN app on his iPhone went off, so we started talking about sports teams, and this is how we first learned that we liked all the opposites of each other (He likes the Eagles, I like the Giants.. Phillies/Yankees, Penn State/Notre Dame… this is still an on-going rivalry to this day!).  That night we danced the night away together right under the Ben Franklin Bridge, and our six months of teetering between friendship and something more began. Come the new year, I started a jar called my “Good Things That Happened in 2014” Jar, where I would write on scraps of paper good memories from that year. Then on January 17, 2014, Mike took me to the Liberty Bell, which he told me was the perfect symbol of the city we met and fell in love in, and handed me a slip of paper for my jar that read “01/17/2014: Michael asked me to be his girlfriend”.

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September 7, 2013: Michael and I out with friends at Morgan’s Pier- The first night we met!

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January 17, 2014: Michael took me to the Liberty Bell and asked me to be his girlfriend.

How He Asked: On July 18, 2015, Michael took me out on a “date”.  He told me in advance that he planned a date night for our weekend together and told me to wear a nice sundress for the occasion. We drove to Penn’s Landing and ended up back at Morgan’s Pier to get dinner, and when we first walked up to the restaurant, I had my suspicions, as we hadn’t been back here since we first met almost two years ago! But during dinner, Mike made a comment to me about how my earrings were gleaming so bright in the sunlight, and that I needed some matching “bling” on my finger, but reminded me he was saving for the perfect one. To throw my suspicions off a little more, after dinner, we left the restaurant! (I figured if he was going to propose on this date, that Morgan’s Pier would be the place he would do it, since it had so much meaning to us). At this point in our date, I thought to myself that it definitely wasn’t happening, and that this was just a nice, enjoyable, relaxing date night.  We walked under the Ben Franklin Bridge and out onto Race Street Pier, a place neither of us had ever been to before (or so I thought at the time!).  The pier ran right out into the water, along the side of the bridge.  The view was stunning! Unbeknownst to Mike, a wedding was wrapping up on the pier (and he told me later how that had made him even more nervous than he already was to begin with, as he thought his proposal plans were going to have to change!).  Luckily, after some quick pictures, the wedding party left the pier, and we were able to walk down near the water.  Mike told me how he brought me there on our date night because he felt that the Ben Franklin Bridge was the perfect symbol of our past, present, and future; our past: being friends and students at Temple University, meeting and dating during our senior year of college- our present: living together in Manayunk, getting our first jobs in the city- and our future: on the other side of that bridge, settling down one day in New Jersey.  We sat and watched the waves, and watched the Spirit of Philadelphia drive by.  After a few moments, he pulled me away from where we were sitting so that we were situated right near the bridge, and he told me there was another reason why he brought me there that day. He began to tell me how much he loved me, and how he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me, and before I could even comprehend what was going on, he was down on one knee and was asking me to marry him! I couldn’t believe it! I literally kept repeating, Oh my goodness, this isn’t real, this can’t be happening- and then I said the one word I knew would change everything… YES! Before I knew it, we were hugging and kissing under the Ben Franklin Bridge with a beautiful ring on my finger and my fiance in my arms. It was an incredible moment that I will never forget, and just as I started to come down from Cloud Nine, Mike told me, “And now meet our secret photographer…” and I looked over to see our good friend from college, Steve, crouching behind a bench with a camera, snapping pictures of the whole thing.  Besides having the memory in our minds, we now have pictures we get to keep forever of the moment our life together officially began!

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