Love often finds us in the least expected times, which was definitely the case for Melissa. After having just gotten out of a relationship, the last things she was looking for was something serious... until she met Jonathan.
How did your love story start?
It started last fall when Jonathan and I met during a time I did NOT want to get into a relationship (I had just gotten out of one). We met at church and I immediately concluded he wasn't interested in me, so I considered him a friend. (Apparently this was all part of his plan and he WAS interested but wanted to make sure we were friends first and had that foundation before he displayed interest.) We started seeing each other more and more, and around my birthday in November he asked me out to dinner. Our first date in December lasted around eight hours and we also momentarily lost his car, so I guess you can say things went pretty well that first date ;) After that date, he told me he really liked me and I told him I wasn't ready for anything serious right now, but that we could keep casually seeing each other.
After that, I got two very clear impressions that Jonathan was a great guy and that I could date him with no worries or stress, so my view on the whole situation did an 180-degree flip. We spoke every day via FaceTime or text over Christmas break while I was home in Miami and he was still in Utah. When I got home in January, we saw each other nearly every day. One night towards the end of January, he told me he loved me and kissed me for the first time; it was perfect. I didn't tell him I loved him until the next day. He asked me to be his girlfriend the next week at the Midway Ice Castles and we proceeded to go to the gas station to buy tampons (true love, right?).
How did Jonathan propose?
Fast forward to April of this year. We talked about marriage and while he had met my dad and stepmom who've relocated to Utah in the last three years, I didn't want to be engaged before he met my mom and stepdad in Miami. We planned a very last-minute weekend trip to Miami for the end of April and it was so fun!
We were planning on flying back to Utah on Sunday, May 1, which also happened to be Jonathan's 26th birthday. After eating my mom's homemade lasagna and birthday cake she made Jonathan, my mom, stepdad, and baby sister all came to drop us off at the airport. There, we all said our emotional goodbyes, took pictures and gave long hugs. During the final hug between my mom and me, I could tell she was motioning Jonathan to do something. I didn't think Jonathan would propose until we were back in Utah and I wasn't even sure he had the ring yet, but I was wrong! When my mom and I stopped hugging, I turned around to see him standing there, beaming with excitement. He said many sweet words I don't remember because I was CRYING like a baby and then he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I nodded my head yes and hugged him. He later asked, "So was that a yes?" Hahah.
Proposing in Miami was significant. We first met and struck up conversation due to the fact that I mentioned I was from Miami and he was heading there for a translation conference. Then I went home to Miami for Christmas, where he realized he loved me and I had the impression dating him would be a good thing. I got home from Miami and we were inseparable. And now we found ourselves getting engaged in Miami.
Proposing in an airport was also significant, as we discovered early on before dating that we both wanted to live pretty nomadic, international lifestyles and not settle down in one place just yet. He himself has traveled quite a bit already (Japan, Jordan, Morocco, France, Belgium, the U.K., etc.) and I'm Colombian/Puerto Rican. We're both polyglots and love different cultures and foods. Our honeymoon will be in Spain and will kick off our life of exploring the world together.
What location did you choose for your engagements and why?
I've become a fan of Utah's landscape; particularly Southern Utah. I realized I'd yet to visit Bryce Canyon, so we decided to camp there and explore the place one weekend (with Haley's suggestion!). We fell in love with the hoodoos and decided it would be a magical place for engagements (and it was!). We drove down with Haley and the day was full of moody rainclouds, lots of laughter, and a bee chasing me for my floral dress. I'm glad I've been there twice already and can't wait to go back.
Photography: Haley Nord Photography