October 23, 2018

How We Met

While I’m on photoshoots, clients always ask me how Chris and I met! I always tell a short version of the story of how we met, which is nice. But today I thought it would be fun to share our story in more detail!

It was summer 2015, and I had just come home from living in Arizona for 18 months as a missionary. I was also making really big decisions about life – mainly where to go to school! I was deciding between George Mason University and Brigham Young University. I decided to attend GMU. The culture of the city won me over – I couldn’t pass up the art, museums, diversity, history, and travel opportunities. I knew that school would be way more fun if I met people my age, so I decided to attend a weekend long activity that was sponsored by my church before school started.

Little did I know that Chris also decided to attend this getaway! He was in Maryland at the NIH doing an internship for his Master’s program at BYU. He was almost finished with a Master’s Degree in Neuroscience, and was in Baltimore for the summer.

There were probably a hundred or so people at the activity, with lots of fun activities! After a morning full of classes & socializing, I headed to the cafeteria for lunch.

I was standing in line with another guy I met, when I looked across the room and saw Chris standing in the middle of the cafeteria. He was just standing there, not really doing anything, with a toothbrush in his mouth! I thought this was really funny, and started laughing. He came over and started chatting with me, and he was so funny! We got our lunch, and I noticed he didn’t seem to know where to sit, so I invited him to come sit with my group of friends.

I found him so interesting to talk with! He looked really cute in his BYU soccer shirt, with his curly brown hair and great smile. Throughout the day we kept talking, and I just couldn’t get enough of him, haha!

We walked together to the dance/party in the evening, and I knew I wanted him to ask me out. So I casually asked if he’d been to see Washington DC yet. Chris said no, but that he really wanted to go! So I smoothly told him that if he ever needed a tour guide, I’d love to show him around! Of course he said yes, got my phone number, and he invited me to go that next weekend.

During the week he actually called me to set up the date – and his voice sounded so cute on the phone! (He always talks in a deeper voice when he’s nervous haha). We set a time to meet, and it was a date!

Our First Date

On the day of our first date, I walked over to the Washington Memorial (my favorite place in DC). That was the beginning of an amazing day! We walked around DC, exploring the city. We went to the Smithsonian Museum, the Lincoln Memorial, the Jefferson Memorial, and all the cool places around the mall (which is not a shopping mall – it’s the mile or so long area in DC where all the museums and monuments are!). Our first date ended up being 9 HOURS long, because we had so much fun talking with each other and hanging out! It was an awesome day, and I knew he was a special guy that I wanted to get to know better.

So, we set another date! And another, and another – every weekend until he went back to Utah.  It was a happy blur of exploring Virginia and Washington DC. We went to Arlington Cemetery, Mount Vernon, yummy BBQ’s and parties, and delicious restaurants in the city. The weekend before he left, I invited him to come and meet my family. A little fast, I know haha! But it felt completely right, and was right for us. So he came and stayed in Woodstock, Virginia – which is the most beautiful little city nested in the Shenandoah Valley. This is one of the most beautiful places on earth! I drove him back up to Baltimore to say goodbye, and we had our first kiss at the Inner Harbor overlooking the bay and the city. It was beautiful!

We both knew that we wanted to get to know each other better. He asked me if I wanted to be his girlfriend, and I actually said no at first! Haha. I thought I wanted to date other people, and not tie myself down too fast. However we agreed to keep in touch while he was gone, and see where things went.

Our Courtship

Well, Chris ended up calling me every day once he went home to Utah. Surprisingly, we never ran out of things to talk about! This is HUGE for me, because I’m not a big talker – especially on the phone. But for some reason, with him it worked. As I talked with him more and more, I realized that I didn’t really want to be with anyone else but him. It kind of just naturally became us dating each other, and no one else!

We dated long distance for about 9 months total. During Thanksgiving, my family was heading out to Utah to visit our family here. I was so excited because it meant Chris and I could get together again! So we spent a week together in November, and I met his family, and he met the rest of mine.

Then, in December, I flew out again to visit my family in Utah. I stayed for 4 weeks, and we spent time with his family and my family. This is when things got serious! By the end of the trip, we knew that we wanted to be together. We went ring shopping, and definitely did not mean to buy one – but we found the most beautiful rose gold ring that was EXACTLY what I wanted! It was at a special ring promotional, so the ring was heading back to NYC the next day. Needless to say, I tried it on and started crying a little bit – it was perfect.

The Engagement

We continued dating long distance for another five months. I knew he had a ring, and I knew he was going to propose when he came out to Virginia to visit in March. We started planning our wedding before we actually got engaged, because we knew that wedding venues book up fast! The week of Chris’s visit came, and I had no idea when he was going to propose, or how. Even though he only had a 7 day window to work with, he did a great job making it a surprise 🙂

We drove up to DC again to celebrate my birthday. We walked around the monuments, and made our way to the Washington Monument, where we met for our first date. While we were here, Chris gave me my birthday present – my first DSLR camera that was all my own. I was SO happy! We took it out of the camera bag he bought to try it out, and Chris said “I think there’s something on the lens – can you go get the cloth out of the bag to clean it off?” I went over, opened the pocket – and there was a beautiful black ring box. It was happening!! He knelt down on one knee and asked me to marry him. Of course I said yes!! And he slipped the beautiful rose gold ring on my finger.

And we were married two months later! That was almost three years ago.

Stay tuned to hear about our wedding & engagement next week! It was sooo beautiful – you really don’t want to miss it!


Chris and I on our first date!


Wearing mud boots on the farm in Woodstock, VA


Overlooking the Shenandoah Valley


Whitney and Chris How We Meet Our Engagements Washington DC Engagements
A sneak peek of what our engagement photos!