Love is such a beautiful thing. I am so blessed to do what I do because in this line of ‘work’, you get to see, hear and experience the most amazing love stories you could ever imagine- stories you typically only hear in fairytales. Today we have a beyond touching proposal story documented by the talented Petronella of byPetronella Photography. Zach and Jammy came all the way from Oklahoma to New York for the holidays where Zach surprised the love of his life with the proposal of a lifetime. I am ashamed to admit, okay really no shame here- I shed more than ‘a tear’ for this one. Like I said, Love is such a beautiful thing. Enjoy!
How they Met
Jammy and I met in the fall of 2002 when we both entered the sixth grade. I noticed her from the outset, but I wouldn’t learn that she had felt the same for another 7 years. We spent most of our time, as middle schoolers do. Nothing materialized from the stolen glances and silent giggles between us except friendship. Time, I suppose we both assumed, was on our side. It passes very slowly when you’re twelve.
As the years went by, she and I stayed friends. The years started passing by faster and faster and the next thing we knew, it was a month before graduation, April of 2009. By chance or fate, we both found ourselves available and for the first time since those carefree sixth grade days, were once again taken with one another.
I’m a romantic at heart (surprise flowers, candlelit dinners, and 90’s chick flicks, you get the idea), but could not for the life of me find a time when she wasn’t surrounded by a posse of friends. As she and I unloaded the good ol’ band U-Haul, I saw my chance. I asked her if she would like to go out some time. The first words out of her mouth were, “And you’re asking me in the back of a U-Haul?” After some humorous moments of her ridiculing my timing, she said yes.
Considering my “rough” start I spent the next couple of years trying to redeem myself, even after she had long forgotten. I remember the day very clearly that I knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her. I was visiting family in Dallas and for one reason or another, Jammy was not able to come. That hole, that missing piece, was too big to fill with anything else. I didn’t want anything else. On June 12, 2010, I knew I wanted to marry her.
The planning for the proposal really started that day. I knew what I wanted to do, I just had to find a way to pull it off. All of Jammy’s favorite movies take place in New York (You’ve Got Mail, Serendipity, Sleepless in Seattle [besides the “Seattle” part]). She expressed many times to me how much she wanted to go there. I decided then and there that I was going to make that dream a reality. The next day, I purchased her a “Return to Tiffany’s” necklace from Tiffany & Co. whose flagship store is in New York. I did this partly as a clue she could look back on and see more than two years later, and partly as a silent way of telling my best friend “look at where we’ll be!”
The next two years were comprised of our Sophomore and Junior years in college and nonstop work during the summer. I saved and took every odd job I could find until the goal was within sight, at least financially. I put her ring on layaway the day after Christmas of 2011 and paid on it throughout the next year. During the summer of 2012, I purchased the airline tickets and booked the hotel. For the first time, it felt like it was actually going to happen. With the dates set and flights booked, I began looking for the final piece of the puzzle. I wanted the proposal photographed and set out to find the perfect photographer who could help carry out my vision.
I contacted Petronella of By Petronella Photography and we spent six months hammering out the details. We confirmed the date, the location, the exact path we would take and contingencies. December arrived in the blink of an eye. Time again, gaining more momentum. I created some airline tickets and a brochure outlining the activities we would be doing and the timeline of our trip and sealed them in an airmail envelope so Jammy would have something to open on Christmas Day.
After a sleepless Christmas Eve due entirely to excitement, Christmas morning arrived. She was absolutely floored. After almost two years of planning the trip though, I think I may have been even more excited than she was. Forty-eight hours later, we found ourselves in the city that had only been a name in books and movies: New York.
We spent the morning of December 28th, shopping along Fifth Avenue (Tiffany & Co. included, of course). As the afternoon approached, I asked if she’d like to go for a walk in Central Park. She agreed and we made our way along Terrace Drive. I alerted Petronella that we had arrived, and then, for the first time, time seemed to stand still. We approached Bow Bridge and admired the lake and the skyline. I grasped Jammy’s hand and turned around to face her. I smiled, enjoying the moment that seemed frozen in time, and dropped to one knee. I asked my best friend if she would do me the honor of marrying me. To my elation, she once again, said yes. We held one another for a long time after that. Holding onto that perfect moment in time, knowing that once we let go, time would resume its never ending progression onward.
Congrats Jammy and Zach. We wish you everything beautiful and blessed about marriage. Now, wasn’t that the most amazing thing you’ve ever read?
All images courtesy of byPetronella Photography.