These high school sweethearts met all the way back in their sophomore and junior years. She was a grade ahead of him, but was a transfer student, having just moved to the area. She describes herself as being “the shy new girl” and was introduced to Brandan in the hallway on the way to class within the first couple weeks of school. “He instantly caught my eye, but, of course, I kept quiet.” It was later in the winter when they both showed up at open gym for soccer that they finally connected and then, as luck would have it, they took a couple of classes together in the spring semester.
“Our first date was at Pancheros sometime in the fall of 2014,” Brandan says. “I had been trying to talk to her for a long time and wasn’t nervous at all because I have always been able to be myself around her.”
Emma says she thinks she always kind of knew that Brandan was the one for her. “I kept him in the ‘friend-zone’ for about 7 months just to make sure he was actually serious about wanting to date me, but even then I knew he was someone I couldn’t lose. I think I really knew our first Christmas together. I know I was in high school, but my instincts were there. We were sitting in my room in our sweats after a long day of family interactions, relaxing, and watching movies and I just remember thinking to myself that I wouldn’t mind doing this forever.”
Brandan agrees. “I knew Emma was the one not long after we started dating because we always make each other laugh and are very comfortable with each other about anything.”
Brandan proposed just before Christmas this past year when they were on vacation with her family in Punta Cana. “My mom had planned family photos on the beach, which wasn’t out of the ordinary because we haven’t taken family photos in a while. So, we got all dressed up and I remember feeling bad because Brandan isn’t the biggest fan of photos and he had mentioned a few times that day that his stomach was hurting (turns out, it was the nerves). We went out around the resort and to the beach and Brandan was cracking jokes left and right, which isn’t like him during pictures (again, nerves). Once we got to the beach, Brandan got down on one knee and asked the question with my mom’s old wedding band that I have been obsessed with since I was 10 years old! It was all the emotions at once and so so beautiful! I love that our experience was so unique and special.”
“I was very nervous all day,” Brandan says. “Even though I didn’t think I would be, but I was starting to get a little jittery when we were going through the photo shoot with her parents. But then once we got out to the beach, I was not nervous and knew what I wanted to say.”