SAMANTHA + CHRIS
It was early summer in Texas, as Chris and I embarked on our 3rd international trip together. The heat in Texas was beginning to be miserable, and we were burnt out from the monotony of our 9-5 work weeks. We set out on a long flight to Poland, the motherland for my fathers side of the family. My father and aunt and a few others would be meeting us in Krakow a day later. The usual butterflies of seeing new places were setting in, with a dash of added excitement to learn more about my family roots, and time spent with my favorite person. Nothing seemed too out of the ordinary, other than a weird cliffhanger reaction from Chris when I cracked a harmless joke about him never “bringing any romance” to our life anymore. Boy was I wrong…
Months back, I asked Chris if we could find a photographer to take cute vacation pictures of us in some notable areas of Krakow, so he found a Polish student that would provide us a tour and take some pictures. We rose that morning to an almost perfect day, yet a bit warm for that early in the morning, to meet our photographer, Adrian. He gave us a wonderful walking tour of the city, and we spent hours getting outstanding shots in these remarkable hidden spots he knew of. As the end of the tour grew near, Chris, in his usual big-man fashion, was covered in sweat. He’s always sweaty, but he seemed extra sweaty, in a nervous fashion. Our last stop was in front of the picturesque Wawel Castle, a beautiful 13th century landmark in the heart of Krakow. We didn’t go in, because there were children everywhere. It was “field trip” season! Chris seemed unusually disheartened by this. I told him it was no big deal, we would work around it. We took a couple pictures, then walked out to the field in front of the castle. After frustratingly getting ourselves in a spot with no children in the frame, he told the photographer, “let’s get some candid shots”. The last words I remember vividly before I slightly blacked out from confusion was “this is good because I had some things to talk to you about”…
Up until this point, Chris and I had spent 2 and a half wonderful years together. I can’t remember when we realized, but we had been on the same page for a while in that we were each other’s person, and that marriage was in our future. Other than the unspoken understanding of that we had, there was no real talk of when marriage would happen. Chris is the type of guy that tends to put things off to not ruin a good thing. Hell, we dated casually for almost a year before even considering ourselves a real couple. But we have always been insanely happy together, and we both saw it coming. We had only been living together for 6 months at this point, despite being so close for so long. So to say I was surprised about what happened next is a huge understatement. I was floored by the confusion of what happened this day. Hence why I basically blacked out once I realized what might be happening.
As Chris poured his heart out to me, my first thought was that this was an elaborate and slightly cruel prank. Chris is almost never serious so the thoughts in my head ranged from “I can’t believe he went this far to mess with me” to “well I guess this may be real, but when did he have time to plan this?” In either scenario this would be extremely sneaky of a person that shares everything with me. I was befuddled.
But then, Chris did something that led to bewilderment from everyone that witnessed it. He looked me in the eyes and reached into his pants, deep down under his junk to retrieve what appeared to be an old sweaty gym sock that was marinating for hours in his gooch. He fumbled around with the sock for a bit until finally revealing a jewelry box. For the last three hours he was hiding the ring box in a sock in his pants all in order to avoid blowing the operation! At this point the photographer, the bystanders, and a group of about 100 small children were chuckling, and my thoughts started to race more. I still thought it was an even more elaborate joke at this point and actually said “if this is a joke I’m going to hurt you.”
He then dropped to one knee and said the words “Samantha Nicole Andrews, will you marry me?”, and revealed a ring that caught me so off guard with how perfect it was. The stone was a pink/champagne sapphire, on a rose-gold band with a simple but elegant pattern and small diamonds leading to the huge stone. We never said more than a couple words to each other about rings, marriage, or anything like this. Somehow he found a ring that suited my style perfectly, and even incorporated diamonds from my parents original engagement ring into the band. As I stand there wondering how he had the time or know-how to even perform this plan and design a custom ring for me, he asks me “is that a yes?” And I still don’t remember if I even said an actual “yes.”
After a few celebratory drinks, we met up with my family, where I learned that they all knew this was going down, and even most of my friends were aware as well. I also learned that I set up my own engagement shoot by asking for a vacation photography tour. He was already planning the proposal and before even brainstorming how to capture the moment, I had already set it up myself. He took a risk on the time to do it, the ring design, and everything else because his only requirement for perfection was to confuse the crap out of me, and to slap me in the face with some romance. Later in the day he said… “who’s romantic now, huh?”
We then flew to Prague, and enjoyed what would probably be the most memorable trip we will ever take. This would be the start of the rest of our lives together. We are getting married!
Note these aren’t the proposal photos but our engagement photos because Annique did such a great job and I just love them so much!