The only thing better than a Blu Moose Photography engagement session is when the bride-to-be is one of your BEST FRIENDS! (This is where I’d insert ALL the heart eye emojis but I’ll spare you the emoji and exclamation point overuse – just trust me when I say I’m so excited for her!) Jess and I met in fourth grade and grew up just a few miles down a country road apart. We spent countless days on the farm where she and John had their first date and are getting married at in October, and I could not be happier for these two lovebirds.
Having known Jess for 25 years, we’ve experienced happy, sad, good and bad times together (like the time we missed our connecting flight from London to Ireland 3x – but that’s a story for another day) … the point is, I know a happy Jess when I see her. She was so excited to introduce John to Chad and me, and I could tell immediately that he was a keeper. I imagine it’s hard for a person to step into a group of friends who’ve known each other forever and share so many memories and inside jokes, but John fit right in like he’s been with us all along.
She can tell you their love story better than anyone and she’s shared it below, along with John’s thoughtful and sweet proposal story. Cheers to you, Jess and John. I love you both so much and wish you a lifetime of happiness!
From the Bride, my dear friend Jess:
John and I met at work about 4 years ago. We both work in the health department for a Native American tribe; I work in the Baraboo location and John was working at the tribe’s other location about 1½ hours away. Our relationship was strictly professional for years and we only saw each other at staff meetings (but I thought he was smart and handsome from the first time I met him!).
About 2 years ago, John transferred to the Baraboo location so we started seeing more of each other. I was excited he was working in the same building as me, and some of our coworkers were excited to play matchmakers! John and I started talking more, and we learned that we grew up 5 miles from each other (which is also about 120 miles from Baraboo)! He went to the Lutheran school in the area and I went to the public school, so our paths had never crossed.
Shortly after learning we had our hometown in common, I decided to plan a trip back there and I let John know I would be in the area. Well, it ended up he was going back that same weekend to visit family! We made plans to hang out at the farm I grew up on, and that ended up being our first “date”. I knew from that day on that he was something special; kind, funny, strong in faith, and thoughtful (he brought me a box of chocolates AND a bottle of wine on that first date-it was like he knew the way to my heart already!).
After that day, I felt like we couldn’t get enough of each other. We started spending more time together; watching movies and making dinner, going for walks, and meeting each other’s families.
As we got more serious, I began inviting John on trips to visit my grandparents in Arizona. My grandparents are very special to me, so it was wonderful to see my grandpa and John hit it off immediately on our first trip down. Arizona quickly became our favorite place to vacation together. This past December, on Christmas morning (my favorite holiday), John proposed to me in my grandparents’ living room. He and my grandpa had been in cahoots for weeks planning the proposal, and I, of course, had no idea! John even had the ring shipped to my grandparents’ house, which was delivered while we were there. When the box carrying the ring came, my grandpa casually informed us that it was “just another Christmas present from the family” and tucked it away in another room. When I found the ring at the bottom of my Christmas stocking (inside a bag of cookies!) on Christmas morning, I couldn’t have been happier, and my grandpa was thrilled that he got to be a part of the plan and see John pop the question!
I am beyond excited to spend the rest of my life with such an amazing, loving man. We will be getting married back in our hometown this October, on my family’s farm where we had our first “date”.