We should’ve met as kids. The Internet wasn’t supposed to be the force that brought us together. It should have been the mutual friends. Or it could’ve been the post-show gatherings after he’d seen his friends in high school musicals that I happened to be in. It could’ve been at Hebrew school, where his mom taught and we both attended. Better yet, the fact that his dad accompanied the cantor on guitar at my Bat Mitzvah should have triggered the match. Woulda, shoulda, couldas aside, Bryan and I weren’t meant to meet until 2005. On JDate.
We had both come out of long, serious relationships around the same time. I set up a JDate profile in order to “get back in the game” and serial date. He created his JDate account thanks to his mother’s sponsorship. After our share of dating a handful of prospects, he landed on my profile and when I took notice, I realized he looked familiar. He was the same guy that a mutual friend of ours had tried to set me up with, but I had declined the offer, muttering something like, “Eh, I’ll leave it up to the JDate G-ds to determine who I date.” Good thinking. The JDate G-ds steered us in each other’s way and we began a busy week of emails back and forth. I had just graduated college and was still unemployed, and Bryan felt no motivation at work with a new girl on the brain, so we literally spent all day and night for a whole week communicating. The emails lead to phone calls, and the phone calls to a date.
Our first date was August 5, 2005 and Bryan learned a thing or two about me during our prior conversations and played the date right. He took me to an Italian restaurant where I ate my favorite food. He took me miniature golfing to incite some flirtatious competition (he credits this first date idea to “The Karate Kid”). And, he set up an intense game of Scrabble® because he figured out that I’m a wordsmith. The jury is still out on if he let me cheat or if I rightfully won. We may never know. A moonlight walk through the park concluded the evening because he knew what a sucker for romance I am. I’ve never been a “kiss on the first date” kind of girl, and even though we didn’t, I wished for it.
For the next five days in a row, our date continued. Five dates or one long one – we don’t know. We couldn’t stop spending time together. It didn’t take long to realize that, yup, we’d be in it for the long run.
In January of 2007, he bought a ring. He ditched work for the afternoon to pick it up and planned on proposing during a weekend away in Napa that we’d already had on the calendar. But as soon as he had the ring in his pocket, he knew he had to propose, so he insisted we have a date night at the end of a very long, and tiring Friday. I was in a bad mood from a stressful day at work and only wanted to stay in. Over and over, he tried to convince me to come out, but I wouldn’t budge. So, in my PJs, glasses, and a ponytail, he came over for, what I thought, was just a movie night in. When he came over so dressed up and started spewing off romantic language, I was so confused. And there it was: the ring and the words, coming together to ask me to be his wife. In disbelief and shock, I blurted, “Are you serious?!?!?!” and then quickly burst into a fit of giggles, then tears and then kisses. My bad day had suddenly turned fantastic and before we knew it, I was dressed and looking human again, on our way to meet my parents for a nice, celebratory dinner.
Our wedding day on May 25, 2008 was perfect. Rain threatened the venue, which we chose for its outdoor garden ceremony, but just as it was time to walk down the aisle, the clouds parted and everything was gorgeous. After Bryan stepped on the glass and we exchanged several rounds of kisses, we left the chuppah to “Here Comes the Sun,” and it couldn’t have been more appropriate. The day brightened up and so did our lives.
It’s still hard to believe that we never met until JDate. We’d been in the same room probably, oh, dozens of times. We sang the same Shabbat songs at Friday night services and exchanged rivalries at opposite town high school football games. All it took was a few clicks and we just… clicked.
Today, we live in the suburbs of Los Angeles with our furry son, Princeton, a terrier mix. Bryan does nerdy computer things I don’t understand for a big biotech company, and I am a teacher, a dream Bryan helped me achieve.
I’m also the co-founder and head writer for The Wedding Yentas, the Guide for the Jewish Bride! My friend, Nicky, and I launched this blog in order to help modern Jewish brides plan their weddings. We offer ideas featured in photos of Real Weddings and write about traditions with a modern twist. Whether you’re looking for a cake or a ketubah, we are your go-to gals! With fresh, new content 5 days a week and an attractive user experience, The Wedding Yentas is absolutely the next stop after JDate.
Alison and Bryan
Simi Valley, CA
*Scrabble is a registered trademark of Hasbro Inc.