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How We Met

Valeri had been living away from her family and was leading a pretty isolated life, much to her mom's dismay. Her mom kept sending her details about a Filipino pageant that she (along with Valeri's aunts) insisted she join to meet new people. When the time for the rehearsal arrived, it was noticed by the coordinators that she was participating with no help while the other girls had shown up with parents or friends. She was invited to the staff-only dinner where she struck up a conversation with the host, Monica, and her brother, Joel. They talked about music, their favorite YouTubers, and filmmaking. Their oldest brother, Josh (the videographer for the event), was sitting nearby, listening to everything. He messaged Valeri afterward asking her to join them for the Orlando 48 Hour Film Project. She eagerly accepted, happy to have found people with the same interests as her! The film went on to collect numerous awards and they've since stayed together to be partners in career and life endeavors.

How He Asked

During one of Valeri's piano lessons, her teacher and friend of over ten years invited her to a networking event hosted by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. They carpooled to walk in together, but all of the doors were locked when they arrived. The last door was answered by a sparkling woman who introduced herself as Emily, and she explained that the event had been canceled but that she would give them a tour of the building to make it up to them.

As they toured the smaller stages and offices, Valeri was buzzing from head to toe-- fangirling, if you will. They made their way onstage where a string trio played, and Emily asked if it was okay to watch them rehearse. While Valeri asked her where the best place to sit during concerts was, a few familiar faces walked out, and she realized that the trio was playing Ed Sheeran's "Perfect". Everything connected at once.

She turned around and there was Josh, a huge smile and tears in his eyes... "This is it, it's happening," he said. She was speechless as she processed that he planned ALL of this for her, and the only thing she could do was nod her head to an excessive degree. The answer was already "YES!!" but she couldn't force it out. She continued to nod and opened her arms when he asked if she would marry him, coming full circle to the first time he said he loved her and all she could do was hug him before her heart and brain could collect themselves to be articulate!

Their friends and family cheered and came onstage and it took some time before she could catch her breath and before her knees unlocked. Everything about how he asked from the private building tour to the string trio was "Perfect", and he created a day that she will fondly look back on with him for the rest of their forever.