Garrett & Kayla

 

 

So how did you meet?

This one is actually really funny now that we look back on it. We couldn’t tell our parents the truth at first, so we said we met in a queue line at Disney World – The teacups to be exact. My dad even started calling him Teacup in jest. They know the truth now, but my (Kayla’s) parents would never have approved if they were introduced to Garrett knowing we met online. It wasn’t until after they met him for the first time – and promptly fell in love with him – that I told them the truth. They didn’t mind a bit of course. My dad still keeps his nickname though.
We actually met on OkCupid! We answered hundreds of compatibility questions, and when we were matched with a compatibility score of 99% we couldn’t turn down the opportunity to talk to each other.
We chatted on the app for a couple weeks before moving to Facebook and eventually exchanged numbers. We met for the first time in person on September 14, 2014, at his home with his Dad and Stepmom, Sue. We all enjoyed a lunch together and then enjoyed an afternoon of hookah, great Florida weather, and watching Doctor Who. He even made me eggplant parmesan for dinner and wrote me a poem!
The more we spent time together that day, the more we realized that there was some serious chemistry here, and Garrett asked me if I was interested in being his girlfriend. That was the first time I said yes!
How long did you date until he proposed?
Garrett and I (Kayla) dated for just over six years, having met in the fall of 2014. I lived in the Orlando area, and Garrett lived near Tampa, so one of us ended up traveling each week so we could see each other, working it out so we would have the same weekdays off from college classes as well as our jobs. We made a point to visit each other every single week.
Whenever one of us couldn’t travel for whatever reason, the other was always there… no questions asked. After about a year together, we both got jobs in the Orlando theme park area, myself as a seamstress and Garrett in culinary. We moved in together close to our new jobs. As far as we were concerned, it was the perfect excuse! We’d conquered the distance between us at the outset of our relationship, but our trials weren’t over.
We worked through illnesses, injuries, natural disasters, losses of family, and severe financial hardships, ultimately living with my parents for a stretch of time. Looking over our journey we wouldn’t change a thing because of the way the difficulties brought us closer together and helped us grow as a pair.
How did the proposal go? Tell us EVERYTHING! 😍

Most would consider our proposal rather unconventional on a few different fronts, but it was perfectly on-brand for the two of us! We started discussing rings in December of 2020. Garrett had tried to make sense of my Pinterest board so he could surprise me before finally asking me outright. To be honest, after years of daydreaming and pinning many different styles, he couldn’t find a way to make heads or tails of what I truly wanted!

We were researching jewelers mid-pandemic when I came across Fire & Brilliance and began to read about moissanite. Garrett had heard of the stone before but wasn’t sure what my opinion would be on a diamond alternative. After talking and more research, and reassurance that I would still be blissfully surprised, Garrett gave me full reign to design the ring of my dreams on the F&B website.

A little backstory to help our proposal be understood… I love interior design and games like The Sims or Animal Crossing. To me, Ikea is just a theme park for furniture lovers, and the best place to get my creative gears turning. I love to dream of designs for the games, but more than that, for our future home together.

On February 17th, 2021, our first day off after Valentine’s Day, we made an IKEA run to pick up a few things for the apartment and get general inspiration. After hours of browsing, building our dream kitchen, and designing a TV stand to purchase, we loaded our purchases into the car. Realizing we’d forgotten a smaller storage ottoman we didn’t get on our first round, we headed back in and found it on the showroom floor in a display room that almost perfectly represents our current setup.

After recording where to find it in the marketplace, Garrett got down on one knee and said to me “I had this crazy idea of doing this here…” and in true Kayla & Garrett dork fashion, he opened the box upside down. The combination of the perfect setting and the perfectly fitting-for-us upside-down ring made for a perfect proposal. Naturally, I said yes!!! (And even through our excitement, we managed to remember the ottoman on the way out!)


Have you had your wedding already? If so, how was it?
We haven’t been married just yet. I’m still in school until September 2021. We’ve currently set our sights on October 21, 2022. That gives us all the time in the world to plan!

Has the pandemic effected your wedding plans? If so, how? 

The pandemic has only affected our wedding planning in the sense that all of the vendors are booking so far in advance, we need to secure the important ones much earlier than usual. With vaccines rolling out and travel restrictions being lifted, we could reasonably have a safe wedding if our families respect guidelines.
In one sense, it’s given us an excuse to have the small and quiet wedding we want. We both have large and close families that under normal conditions, a wedding with a large guest list was inevitable. The pandemic at least gives us, a pair of introverts, an excuse to have something intimate for our immediate and local families. With scaling back the ceremony, we’ll have money saved to invest forward into our first home. At that point, we’ll be able to have the after-party of our dreams with all of our friends and extended family. We look forward to fully planning our wedding once I’ve completed my schooling! 

What's one thing you and your fiancé are looking forward to doing the most after the pandemic is over?

Once the pandemic is at least under control, Garrett and I are excited to visit Japan! We planned on staying there for our honeymoon from the very beginning. Once the world shut down, we added the possibility of not visiting to the climbing pile of concerns. In the meantime, we've planned about three weeks' worth of activities, from ryokan stays and temple visits to shopping and food adventures; we're so excited for all that Japan offers.

We've always dreamed of traveling, and since we're both so interested in Japanese culture, food, and history, it's only natural we visit it first! We've actually been living together for quite a few years now and have most of what we need, so we're utilizing a honeymoon registry instead of a traditional one to help make our travel dreams come true!


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