First Names:Â Hanah & Colin
Hometowns: Westford, VT but grew up all over the U.S. and overseas (Hanah) and Windham, ME (Colin)
Occupations:Â Hanah is a Senior Strategist at M+R, a DC-based firm that does communications and advocacy for major nonprofits and foundations.Â Colin is a civil engineer focused on airport engineering.
Wedding Date: October 3, 2015
Location: Windham, ME at his childhood home (which I, Hanah, have spent many years visiting as well)
Colors: Shades of green, earthy tones and the foliage we hope to have all around us
Vibe you are going for: Togetherness and a whole lot of fun. The whole weekend really is about bringing everyone together as much as possible to enjoy the time and celebrate.
Let’s hear your love story!
Colin and I met in college at Northeastern University in 2003 when we both joined the same intramural volleyball team. I was immediately attracted to him when we met for our first team meeting. He was attracted but didn’t make a move since he didn’t think I liked him. Finally, one of our close friends, who is going to be our wedding officiant, got us together.
On our first date we went to see the reboot of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre (my choice). It wasn’t romantic but it gave me an excuse to hold his arm in scary moments. The rest of the evening we walked all around Boston talking and getting to know one another. The next day he asked me to be his girlfriend. Maybe a month later we said “I love you.”
That was the first time we fell in love but weâ€™ve been through a lot of life stages together over the past 11 years where weâ€™ve fallen in love/deeper into love again and again in new and different ways.
We moved to Baltimore, MD in early 2012 for work (Hanah) and school (Colin). Packing up all our possessions and our cat Tuna into our old Subaru is still one of my favorite “couple moments.â€ We were packing up a storage unit with just each other until 2 a.m. and then got about 4 hours of sleep on the floor before we had to get in our car and drive down to Maryland. I think we spent about the first half hour of the drive all crying – Colin, myself and the cat – in this packed to the gills Subaru. And then we just started laughing. We knew it would be okay, even in the most ridiculous moments. We could take this giant personal and professional leap and leave our hometown of almost 10 years because we had each other.
Whatâ€™s your favorite thing to do on any given Saturday together?
Stay in bed with our two cats for family snuggles then take a long morning walk with our coffee and talk about everything and nothing. If we’re not doing something in nature, we’d rather be flying to lunch. Colin has his private pilotâ€™s license so day trips to good food is a favorite pastime. Little general aviation airports often have amazing diners connected to them and are full of personality and personalities!
What is one trait that you love about in your fiance?
Hanah: I have to pick just one?! There are so many good qualities. A top 5 though is the fact that he can make me laugh anywhere about basically anything. Heâ€™s really quick witted. I have cried laughing in the grocery store line more times than I’d like to admit.
Colin: She always assumes the best in people and situations. She thinks positively and expects things to work out but can think on her feet and always seems to handle whatever comes up. Her daily positivity makes just about every day a happy one.
How did he pop the question?
Colin planned a full weekend away in Western Maryland last October under the guise of an 11 year anniversary trip. We were in this adorable cabin near a bunch of hiking trails. He made me drive out so I couldnâ€™t be looking at the GPS to figure out where we might be going or what was around our destination. I love hiking and coincidentally enough had bought him a new pair of hiking boots for our anniversary without knowing this plan.
The next morning we got up and went to this awesome diner nearby that was clearly a local favorite. We were the youngest people in there by about 30 years, but weâ€™re used to that. (Weâ€™re secretly retired folk who enjoy a good salt of the earth diner and early bird specials.) Then we drove to the start of what turned out to be a beautiful as well as challenging hiking trail. It was so steep in certain parts it took us 3 hours to hike a 4 mile long trail. By the time we got to the top all I was really focused on was getting my Gatorade and my Cliff Bar and enjoying the gorgeous view. Itâ€™s a point in Maryland where you can see the mountains in Maryland, West Virginia and Pennsylvania all from one spot and it was especially beautiful because the trees were starting to become dotted with red and orange.
After rehydrating and having snacks he asked to have our anniversary card exchange. I gave him my two cards and then he stood up and said he didnâ€™t have a card but had something he wanted to say. He said a lot of really nice things and then got down on one knee and proposed. I was so focused on taking in the moment that at first I didnâ€™t respond! He had to prompt me to which I said â€œOf course, YES!â€ There was much hugging and merriment. To further celebrate the moment he pulled out a bottle of my favorite champagne from his backpack and we toasted and drank straight from the bottle at the top of the mountain. It was perfect. The whole hike down we got to talk about our ideas for the wedding.
Who was the first person you told about your engagement?
We told all our parents the next day once we got reception again.Â We were also lucky in that we have some living nearby (Hanahâ€™s Mom and Stepdad) so we could stop in and surprise them with the news in person.
How did you decide where you wanted to get married?
We knew it had to be in New England since thatâ€™s where we met and we wanted it to be in the fall so we could be in a place that highlighted the beautiful foliage. We looked at mountain resorts and other facilities but nothing felt meaningful enough. When I proposed the idea of doing it at the Maine house it just felt right and â€œclickedâ€ for both of us. Thankfully the parents were excited about it too!
What has been your favorite part of wedding planning?
Hanah: Feeling an overwhelmingly wonderful outpouring of love from family and friends – theyâ€™re always great, but everyone is in overdrive right now – and all the opportunities the wedding has already afforded to bring everyone together and celebrate. Iâ€™m really thankful for all of it and just find myself smiling from feeling so lucky.
Colin: Being able to think back to growing up while planning the wedding at my parentâ€™s house. It always puts me in a reflective mindset and I usually end up thinking about how appreciative I am for the people in my life.
What do you look forward to the most about being married?
Continuing to build our life together and realize shared goals in our lives.