She couldn’t have known she’d meet the boy she would one day marry when she embarked on the bus her freshman year of high school. He’ll say he felt something immediately when seeing her for the first time. She’ll say she was clueless. He’ll explain how he pursued her throughout the rest of his high school days – asking her to homecomings, dates, and proms. She’ll say she wanted to remain friends and turned him down every single time. But after several years passed and she was having a hard time while in college, he was the first person she wanted to call.
“Hi Pat, this is Melissa” and stunned he didn’t say anything for at least a minute. But after gaining his composure, they talked and caught up on life. This girl that he’d tried to get closer to wanted to see him, so the fact he was in South Dakota and it was a 10 hour drive didn’t even become an obstacle. The entire drive he was determined to hate her after all of those years of being turned down and broken hearted, but the second the door opened he couldn’t. He made her spaghetti, rented some movies, and they spent the weekend catching up. It was different this time, and after the weekend was over and they both went back to school – this time they stayed in touch.
That summer, before leaving for Romania for a month Pat asked Melissa to officially be his girlfriend. And just like those days in high school with his hopes up high, she told him no. She couldn’t bear the thought of starting a relationship before he was going to be on a different continent, and he couldn’t bear the thought of her telling him no again. They talked here and there while he was gone, but the time difference proved a struggle. When he came back, she encouraged him to ask her again, and with fear of rejection in his voice he asked her to be his girlfriend, and for the first time after a series of “no”s on June 19th, 2007… she said yes!
Their dating years have mostly consisted of phone calls, emails, and seeing one another on winter and summer breaks as school keeps them apart – even when she lived in Australia for 6 months their love stayed strong. They would discuss marriage here and there, and when they did she always insisted he asked her dad for permission first. He didn’t know which one was more scary – asking the girl that turned him down a couple dozen times throughout the years, or asking her father! As a pretty good diversion, he teased her that he would ask her dad if she asked his for permission as well. An ongoing joke, he’d always asked her if she’d asked him yet. January of this year while home on break they decided to take her dog Bella on a walk down Rock Island Trail. While on the bridge, Pat began his usual teasing – asking Melissa if she’d asked his dad for permission to marry him. Frustrated with having this conversation again, she walked away from him with Bella. ”So… you aren’t going to ask him?” he asked, and with that she said “Come on Bella – let’s go!” and continued to leave him on the bridge. As she walked away from him she heard him call out to her “Well, that’s OK because I already asked yours!!!” He stopped her in her tracks, and when she turned around to look at him, he was on one knee – asking her to be his wife. And on January 4th 2012… she said yes!!!
Melissa and Pat are planning their July 2013 wedding in Peoria IL. Enjoy a few of their engagement photos from their gorgeous session where we started on the same bridge he’d asked her to marry him on!!!
Melissa – you are so gorgeous and in love in this shot it makes my heart skip a beat!! Our favorite!