Zach and Rachel

How We Met: Zach and I met on a dating website that we both joined with no intention of EVER meeting anyone.  I was actually out of Zach’s search criteria because I’m 5 years younger than him, so he was never able to view my profile.  I however had my search set to cut off at his age so I came across his profile.  I immediately loved that even in a short paragraph I could tell he was hilarious and had a great personality.  I thought about it for three days before I decided to send him a message- and thank goodness I did!!

Zach and I talked for a few weeks via messaging online and texting and finally decided we wanted to meet up.  We met at a restaurant one evening and both being as nervous as we were ended up hitting it off immediately!  We sat and talked for almost three hours and could have kept going.  I had to leave for a trip to the Middle East for a few weeks and a few days after I returned he went to Mexico so we didn’t get to really see each other again for almost another month.  But once we were both back we spent as much time as we could together!

We both knew very early in the relationship that we really liked being with each other and enjoyed so many of the same things.  We went to a number of sporting events together, plays, church every Sunday, etc.  By around month five I think we both knew this was something very special and we wanted to spend the rest of our lives with each other, however both agreed we should date for at least one year before being engaged.  So that’s what we did!

The Proposal…As we were driving to Iowa to meet up with our good friends Steven and Makenzie to celebrate their twin boy’s second birthday’s in November we started talking about getting married and our wedding parties, etc.  Zach had told me he’d propose while were in Mexico that following January.  I was a little bummed about this because I really wanted to be surprised when he proposed and knowing it would happen sometime in those seven days was still great but I knew I’d be anxious the entire trip.  Once we got to our friends house they told us that the party had been moved to the following weekend and that we’d have more time to just hang out with each other- sounded like a fun weekend either way!

Saturday morning we all woke up and were brainstorming things to do that day.  Makenzie suggested we go out to this winery just a little ways out of town because she had photographed a wedding out there and it was really beautiful, as well as had great food.  Sounded like a great plan.  We all piled into the car and Makenzie noticed she had her camera with so we were going to walk around and take a few photos of each other (she happens to be a professional photographer which might help with the story).  We start walking around the winery and everyone is sort of quiet but I don’t really notice- I was talking away as usual.  I had no clue what was going on and while we were walking along Zach looked down by his feet (in a spot that he considered using for “the question”) only to see a pile of dog poop.  I’ll never in my life forget him looking up saying “oh, that’s some romantic dog poo..” and continuing on walking.  In my head I was wondering what the heck “romantic dog poo” meant, but didn’t think much of it.

After taking a few photos here and there Makenzie announced that this would be the last photo- that was Zach’s cue!  We started walking down this hill in between two rows of vines and as we were about halfway down Zach took my hand and faced me toward him.  He began talking about how much he loved me and how much he enjoys all the time we spend together.  He said  a few other things (the whole thing was beginning to be a blur at this point) and finally went into how he’d driven two hours to meet with both of my parents to ask their permission for him to marry me. He had to pretend he was working overtime at work in order to get away for a long enough time and had to cover all his tracks so I wouldn’t somehow find out.  My mind was BLOWN at this point and then next thing I knew he was on his knee pulling out a little black box!

On November 5th by best friend got down on his knee, just one week after we’d been dating for that “one year” we’d both agreed on.  With both of our eyes filling with tears, he asked me to be his wife! I struggled, but I finally found enough of my voice to get out the word YES!!  The photo you see is the exact moment in time where I realized this was very real and I got to marry by best friend!! In the same week that we will have first started dating two years ago, and one week short of becoming my fiancé one year ago- Zach will be my husband!

Photos of the proposal by Makenzie Schultz, owner of Kenzi Photography based out of Marion, Iowa!

Engagement photos by Tiffany Anne Art and Photography.