Emily & Jeffrey

we're getting married!


Emily Hartenstein


Jeffrey Alford

April 15, 2023

New Orleans, LA

How We Fell in Love

Happiness is falling in love suddenly and unexpectedly

Yes! This is one of your typical love stories where two strangers saw each other and fell in love. The road to finding each other may have been different for each of us, but God had something special for us in 2021. We first met at a gathering of mutual friends, each of us quietly taking notice of the other. Thanks to a mutual friend (shoutout Gary Spiess), it was made known to us that we had a shared interest in each other. We began a friendly relationship, hanging out with friends, playing volleyball, going to dinners. The more we hung out, the more it became obvious to each of us that this was more than a friendship! Emily's Point of View: So, as we know, Hurricane Ida hit New Orleans in August 2021. I evacuated to Ponchatoula (where it turns out some of Jeffrey's family lives) and Jeffrey stayed in New Orleans. When cell service was almost non-existent due to the storm, somehow I was able to keep in constant contact with Jeffrey. We were able to have hours long conversations and keep each other updated. I eagerly returned to New Orleans to reunite with Jeffrey. It was during the hurricane, the aftermath, and the memories we quickly began to make together that I knew I was falling in love with him. It was sudden, unexpected and obvious to me that Jeffrey was my person, forever! Jeffreys Point of View: I used to lay in bed at night and pray that one day I would find someone like Emily. Someone that accepts and loves me for the goofy and “weird” person I am, and can look me in the eyes and see a beautiful life in them. I kinda accepted that I may not ever find her. Then, out of the blue and when I least expected, there is Emily. I remember the first time I saw Emily from across the room. We locked eyes for a split second and I truly saw something there that I never felt before. I was never a firm believer in love at first sight, but in that moment I was a believer. As I tried my best to pursue Emily and find out more about her, a mutual friend informed me that Emily had a similar interest in me! Then, hurricane Ida hit and I thought for sure that it was gonna create distance between us. But little did I know, that hurricane would bring us closer together. From there the rest is very well explained in Emily’s story! PS- Emily said I love you first!!

The Proposal

The Big Day!

For ease of story telling, this story is written from Emily's point of view: The story was that we were all going to celebrate moms birthday in Ponchatoula at Darby's (my sister) house AND take the opportunity for Jeffrey's family members (who live incredibly close to Darby) come too so our families could meet! I had been anticipating Jeffrey to pop the question for some time now, but figured today wasn't the day because if you know my mom- you know her birthday is THE big day. So, although I had a funny feeling that morning- watching Jeffrey kind of shuffle in his seat and stare blankly ahead on the way to Ponchatoula, I convinced myself it would just be a birthday celebration. Little did I know, everyone was in on it! Someone prompted a photo opp of the birthday girl, Darby jumped in the photo, then I was asked to get in it as well. Then, Jeffrey 'decided' he wanted to get in the photo too. However, instead of posing for the photo, Jeffrey got behind me, got on one knee, then Darby exclaimed, "Emily! There is a wasp behind you!" I turned around, and there was the love of my life on one knee asking me to be his wife. Obviously, I said loudly, "Are you serious?!" then quickly followed with, "yes, of course!" The birthday celebration quickly turned into an engagement celebration and thus the planning commenced!