Jen and Michael Harman

Jen and Michael, both 30, were working at area YMCA locations when they were “introduced” by a co-worker in 2009. A few flirty emails later, they had their first date at the Birkdale Village Brixx Pizza, which would prove significant later on. The couple married Oct. 19, 2013, and live in Charlotte. Jen tells their story.

At the Y: I was asked to attend an event in Statesville on behalf of our location. While there, I struck up a conversation with a woman from the local Y. She asked if I was single, because there were some very nice single guys she worked with. I politely said yes, thinking I really didn’t want to be set up.

At the start: A few days later, I got an email from Michael asking if I was “the cute girl in heels” his co-worker mentioned. We met at Brixx for our blind date. I couldn’t resist his witty charm and soon we’d stopped counting dates, started counting anniversaries, milestones – like his law school graduation – and the rest is history.

Movie time: We were meeting friends at Birkdale for a movie in 2012 when Michael started acting really weird. We walked to the open area where there’s live music in the summer. He surprised me with a projector-screen setup that said “The Story of Michael & Jen,” and a video started, telling our story with pictures and text. It played to Brad Paisley’s “She’s Everything,” the song I’d always wanted played at my wedding.

Perfect ending: The video ended when the words “Marry Me” came on screen and Michael on one knee. Afterwords, there was a table for two at Brixx, with a bottle of wine and a “Congratulations” sign waiting for us. We shared a pizza, just like on our first date, and it was the proposal I’d always dreamed of, and then some. Hilary Trenda


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