Toledo Zoo Wedding // Laura & Al

Story from the Bride:

Al and I met in law school, but neither of us actually remember meeting one another. We started to get to know each other towards the end of my last year, in October of 2012, at an event the law school held for Halloween. Al insisted I owed him and his roommate a drink ticket, because I had "borrowed" one of theirs, instead I gave him my phone number. Al texted me almost every day, even though we saw each other often because we were working on the law review together. In late November, we ended up on our first date, accidentally. I had finally finished my constitutional law outline and desperately wanted a beer. Al agreed to meet me for "one drink!" at a bar that was located halfway between our apartments. By the time I got there, Al was half finished with his, and when asked if we wanted another, Al said he was ready for the check. He swears I yelled to the bartender that it was separate checks, screwing up his idea that it was a date. At Christmas time, I went home to Florida for 3 weeks and he to Michigan. However, he texted me every day and asked if he could pick me up from the airport and drive me back to Toledo. I agreed.

Originally we didn't tell anyone we were seeing each other. The only people that knew were his roommate, and two of my friends. This is because we never thought anything would become of it, I planned to move back to Florida after graduation, and he was going to go back to Detroit the following year. Long-distance was not for us. However, fate had another plan. I ended up taking a job in the Lansing, Michigan area that started right after I graduated. Al came from Detroit every weekend that summer to see me while I studied for the bar exam. During the school year, I drove down each weekend to Toledo to see him. Almost a year after we started talking is when our law school friends found out we were dating. The following summer, 2014, we studied for the Ohio bar exam together, as Al had gotten a job in Toledo and I wanted to be licensed here. We made every effort to see each other during this time but it was a lot of FaceTime dates. By the end of 2015 we agreed that we wanted to split the difference in the drive time between Lansing and Toledo and moved in together in Ann Arbor - making our commutes go from about 15 minutes to over an hour each way. 

On September 25th 2016, Al and I, almost his whole immediate family, and my mom and step-dad all went apple picking in Erie. Late September/ early October apple picking had become tradition over the last 3 years with his family. The first year we picked apples, however, I temporarily lost a ring Al had given me for Christmas in a sunflower patch. Hours (and a few tears) later when I realized it was gone, the entire family trekked out to find it and we did, shortly after we started looking. However, this September was different. Everyone stopped to let us take a photo in front of the sunflowers. As I started to pose, Al looked over and said "I have a piece of jewelry for you, but you have to promise not to lose it." At this point I realized what was going on and started jumping up and down as Al got on one knee and asked me to marry him. I screamed "of course I'll marry you!" With quick thinking, Al's brother-in-law switched the phone from photo and caught the entire proposal on video. 

Al and I have been through a lot together - law school, long distance, 4 bar exams between the 2 of us, a 1.5+ year house hunt, 5 moves, getting our first post-law school jobs and then new jobs, illness/death in the family, and the list goes on. We know that getting married isn't going to make stresses go away, but we do know that through it all we will continue to support each other and make each other laugh. And there is no one we'd rather do it with than each other.