Rachel + Justin

September 17, 2022

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Our Story

Our Story

The Meeting

In the Fall of 2018, Rachel had begun her senior year at Virginia Tech, while Justin had begun his junior year. After the first week of classes, Niki Kreynus, Justin’s friend from Architecture, and Rachel’s Sorority sister (now Bridesmaid), was having a birthday celebration at her family’s house at Smith Mountain Lake and invited Justin. While he wasn’t sure if he should go or not, Niki encouraged him to join the fun because he could meet some of her Alpha Chi Omega (AXO) sorority sisters. Enter Rachel. Throughout the weekend, Justin, Niki and Rachel, along with three other friends, had fun on the lake, jet skiing, tubing, and sitting on the dock chatting. When it was time for Niki’s friends to leave, Justin quietly mentioned to Niki, “Hey, your friend Rachel is really cute. Is she single?” And that was all that was said. Little did he know Rachel thought Justin was cute and was wondering the same. The following weekend, they hung out again at a watch party for a Virginia Tech football game. Justin and Rachel sat next to each other for the entire game and got to know each other a little better during the game.

The Early Years

Following the game, Justin and Rachel began talking and went on their first couple of dates. First, grabbing lunch on campus at Qdoba inside Turner Hall (How romantic!). Next, an ice cream date. Finally, an official date at downtown Blacksburg’s Cabo Fish Taco -- still the couple’s favorite restaurant. The two started dating on September 21st, 2018, and thus their relationship began blossoming into what it is today.

Through the remainder of the 2018-19 school year, Justin and Rachel studied together, went to Virginia Tech football and basketball games, and enjoyed downtown Blacksburg. With Rachel graduating in Spring 2019, they made the most of their remaining time together in Blacksburg. Some of their favorite memories occurred during the Spring of 2019 when they hiked popular trails near Blacksburg, including the Cascades, McAfee’s Knob, and Dragon’s Tooth, and visited Charlottesville to enjoy wine at some of the best wineries in Virginia.

The Proposal

Finally, after two years of a long-distance relationship, Justin graduated from Virginia Tech in the Spring of 2021 and had a job waiting for him with HITT Contracting in Northern Virginia. They decided the perfect opportunity to enjoy one last hoorah before Justin began his first full-time job was a big trip out west to visit the National Parks with Hayden Hovis (Justin’s longtime friend and now his Best Man) and Maddie Thompson (Hayden’s girlfriend). Justin knew he wanted to give Rachel an unforgettable proposal in an incredible location, so he began planning a special addition to the trip. In April 2021, Justin met Rachel’s parents, Jim and Mary Jane, for lunch and asked for Rachel’s hand in marriage, where they happily said, “Yes!” Come May 2021, the four embarked on an epic weeklong trip where they visited the Grand Canyon, Zion, Bryce, and Arches National Parks. Completely unbeknownst to Rachel, the trip had a dual purpose.


Justin decided the spot to propose to Rachel was at Delicate Arch, the most pictured spot inside Arches National Park. Justin knew this was a popular location. What he did not expect was around 150 total strangers to be there when they arrived. The unexpected crowd made Justin all the more nervous as he prepared for the moment he’d pop the question to Rachel. After standing in line to take their picture under the arch, Justin and Rachel’s turn arrived. They posed for pictures until Justin turned towards Rachel, dropped to one knee, and asked Rachel to marry him - and she said, “Yes!” Once the crowd of fellow visitors realized what was happening, screams and cheers erupted, amplifying the joy both of them felt at that extraordinary moment. It was the happiest moment in both Justin and Rachel’s lives!

We have been happily located in Northern Virginia together since May of 2021. We cannot wait to celebrate and share our next chapter with all of you on September 17, 2022!