Before, Blake thought being in a relationship would distract him from his education, but with Amanda by his side, his goals seemed clearer and more achievable than ever before. As he began the grueling process of applying to graduate school, she helped him stick to a strict timeline and assisted him in preparing his applications.
“She put things in focus for me,” he noted.
Her unwavering support through it all made it clear to him she was The One. “I thought, ‘What better person than Amanda to go through that experience with me? Who would support me more?’ ” he recalls.
His hard work paid off — he received a full ride, master of fine arts scholarship from Ohio State University and will be attending in the fall.
For Amanda’s 30th birthday, he whisked her away for a romantic weekend at a bed and breakfast in Virginia wine country. The gesture surprised Amanda — typically she was the planner. Excited, she announced the impending trip on Facebook, and immediately, engagement suspicions arose.
Although Amanda hoped and thought they would one day marry, she had put it out of her mind believing that, if it was going to happen, it would most likely be after he finished with college.
But to her surprise, as they shared a bottle of wine and watched the sunset, he asked her to spend the rest of her life with him. He described the proposal as “romantic, somewhat practical and definitely spontaneous.”
After a 14-month engagement, they married June 1 before 155 friends and relatives at the Whittemore House near Dupont Circle.
“I know it’s kind of a cheesy thing to say, but seeing her come down the aisle took my breath away,” says Blake, now 28.
The two, who live in Arlington, still laugh about the circumstances that brought them together.
“I joke with my friends, ‘Remember that guy I was just hanging out with?’ They respond, ‘Oh, you mean the one you married?’ ”
“You just never know what’s going to come along,” Amanda said after the wedding. “I truly married my best friend.”