I was thrilled when Alee from Love Is contacted me about participating in the Real People in Love series. Alee & Dan are so cute and they will be celebrating their first anniversary in a couple of weeks!
How old are you & Dan?
Dan and I are 23.
How long have you been together?
We have been together for five years, since we were 18.
What are your occupations?
Dan is an analyst. I am a college student majoring in secondary education. I will student teach in the fall, and can't wait to have my own classroom soon! For now I nanny for a wonderful family with three adorable kids. I also work at a church nursery with my best friend.
How did you meet?
Dan and I met on the first day of college. I ended up going to my university at the last minute due to a change in plans and hadn't attended the mandatory freshman orientation day. I had no idea where anything was. I arrived to my first class 10 minutes early. Everything was so intimidating, but Dan was standing there with a friendly smile so I decided to ask him where the bookstore was. He gave me directions, and when I asked if I could make it there and back before class he laughed. After explaining the chaos of the first week on campus, he shared his textbook with me and gave me a few helpful tips. We continued to chat before Calc class throughout the semester. Several of his high school buddies and my friends were roommates, so we also spent a lot of time together in their dorms and out as a big group. Before long, all of our friends were teasing us about dating, and even joked about being in the wedding. The Sunday before our first finals week of college we were in our friends' dorm studying for our Calc finals together. Dan asked me if I wanted to be an "us," I said yes, and we have been together ever since.
How did you get engaged?
Dan wanted to surprise me, but had a tough time because I was constantly expecting his proposal! I knew that we wanted to get married Summer 2009 because we thought we would be moving to Baltimore that Fall. He did manage to come up with a great plan, and I was very surprised!
I was working at J. Crew and had to close that night. On my drive home I gave him a call to see if he would want to hang out. He said that he was too busy studying to do anythign else. I was bummed, and headed home. As soon as I entered our apartment building I could tell someone had been cooking something amazing. I remember wishing I lived with them! I stopped to get the mail and headed up to our apartment. When I opened the door, I realized the amazing smells were coming from our place! There were rose petals and candles everywhere, and I was so shocked I dropped my purse and all the mail. Dan came around the corner with a huge grin on his face and got down on one knee. He told me how much he loved me and asked me to be his wife. I was so excited I completely forgot about the ring! After a few minutes he had to remind me to put it on. It is beautiful. My aunt is a jeweler and Dan had her help make the ring. As we sat down to eat the amazing meal he had cooked , he told me that Jenna (my roommate) was home hiding in her room, and that all of our friends knew he was proposing. We had a little time together, and then our friends came over to help us celebrate! It was perfect.
Tell us about your wedding day:
Our wedding day was the greatest day of our lives. We were surrounded by family and friends, and everything went as we planned. It was amazing, and it went by so fast! I loved my time with the girls before the ceremony, all the excited giggles and truly happy smiles. I loved stopping at Starbucks after getting our hair done. We had done a ton of wedding planning together at this coffee shop, and wehn the bariastas saw me with my veil they were so excited! My frappuccino said "Alee the bride" and we shared more laughs and excitement. At the church getting ready, my favorite moment was recieving Dan's love letter for me. We exchanged letters before the ceremony, using our doing maid of honor and best man as deliverers. Dan gave me a package FILLED with old love letters, notes we'd written each other during school, concert tickets, and the sweetest "I can't wait to be your husband" note I've ever read. When the ceremony began, seeing Dan for the first time was magical. Afterward, celebrating in the limo, partying at the reception, and enjoying time with those most important to us was perfect. I loved all the fanfare and stealing glances at the Mr. who just made me a Mrs., knowing we would be together forever. We were surrounded by love and had a wonderful time on our special day.
Love is a decision. We think that is the most important thing to remember. Sure there are emotions involved, but constant, married love has to be a decision. It's not always worth it. Love is the best.
What is the toughest part of being in a committed relationship?
The toughest part of being in a committed relationship is remember that this person really does have your best interests at heart-even when it doesn't seem like it. I don't like criticism, and can easily turn defensive. It is sometimes hard to remember that one of the things I love the most about him is how he helps me grow, makes me a better person, and how much I value his input. I suppose my advice would be to just remember how loved you are and that all your partner ever wants to do is help.
What is the best part?
The best part of being in a committed relationship is knowing that someone always has your back. Having someone you think the world of always supporting you makes everything easier.
What is the best day the two of you have had together?
What makes you different from other couples?
Our careers are very different, and so are our political opinions. Despite these big differences, we are able to discuss work and politics easily. It helps us to stay open-minded and learn about things we may not have without each other.
What is your favorite thing to do together?
We live a block away from a beautiful lake and love to go on walks there together. There are baby ducks and geese and they're just adorable! We would like to build a house in that neighborhood within the next few years so it's fun to dream about that as well.
Do you have a song?
A few summers ago Dan had an internship in Baltimore, 1000 miles from home. I flew out to visit him several times, and the last time I rode with him as he drove home. Dan had Eric Clapton's Greatest Hits in his car, and we jammed to "I've Got A Rock 'N Roll Heart" all the way across the country. We still love the song, and can't help but roll down the windows and sing at the to of our lungs whenever we hear it. Our first dance at our wedding was a nightclub two step to Bryan Adams' "When You Love Someone," so that song is also very special to us. Our initials are AC/DC, so of course we love their music and had a great time at their concert last year.
What is the most essential element of making it?
Remember to keep laughing. As long as you can have fun together, everything works out.
What are your hopes for the future?
I hope to finish up graduate school within the next few years. Then we want to buy a house, take some cool vacations, and start a family. We love being married and cannot wait to grow our lives together.
Anything else the world needs to know about love?
"Love has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get-only with what you are expecting to give-which is everything."- Katharine Hepburn
As always, if you'd like to participate in the Real People in Love series, just shoot me an email!