Brian Gill and Jaime Leiner (handout art from bride )
They were best buddies who didn't want to risk losing their friendship by dating, but then they took the plunge and have been together since.
Wedding date: May 27, 2012
Her story: Jaime Leiner, 27, lives in Owings Mills, which is also where she grew up. She is a graphic designer at Medifast. Her father, Mark H. Leiner, is a computer scientist for theU.S. Department of Defense. Her mother, Mindy Leiner, is a teacher in the Jewish Community Center's early childhood education department.
His story: Brian Gill, 27, grew up in Pikesville and Owings Mills, where he continues to live. He is vice president of Window Consultants, Inc. His father, Michael Gill, is general manager of Window Consultants, Inc. His mother, Susan Goldberg, is a dental assistant at Valley Dental Associates. His stepmother, Francie Gill, is facility and event coordinator for Baltimore Hebrew Congregation. His stepfather, Howard Goldberg, is the president of Pikesville Lumber Company.
Their story: They both attended Owings Mills High School, but didn't meet until the summer before their senior year, when both were working for Carmen's Italian Ice.
"We were on the same shift one day and started talking," says Brian. "We became friends instantly."
"We weren't dating, but we did everything together," says Jaime.
Jaime went off to Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va., and Brian stayed in town for college, but they continued to talk a lot, and he would visit her often — still, just as good friends.
"The summer of 2005, right before senior year, he said, 'I really like you. Would you be my girlfriend?'" Jamie says. "But, I was a little hesitant because I didn't want to lose him as a friend. So, that Thanksgiving, I didn't actually say anything. I just nodded my head "yes" and he knew what I was referring to. We started dating November 25, 2005."
They've been together ever since.
"People had always said that we were perfect together," says Jaime. "So, when we did get together, I was kind of hoping he was the one...Sometimes I feel like we can have a complete conversation without saying anything out loud. I think that's part of that knowing each other for so long."
"I think what attracted me to her at first was her smile, good looks and carefree attitude," says Brian. "But, in order to build a relationship, I had to recognize her deeper traits, which I would describe as loving, hard-working, diligent and outgoing. She makes me a better person when I'm around her."
The proposal, March 19, 2011: They both knew it was inevitable. The question was when.
"My dad would always ask, 'When is he going to do it? When is he going to do it?' It was a running joke about a year."
Jaime also got a bit of teasing from Brian for about a year, as well, in the form of fake proposals, just to throw her off track.
So, she wasn't expecting it to happen when they went to Virginia for a Phi Sigma Pi alumni reunion weekend.
"Blacksburg has been a really important part of her life," says Brian. "Every time I visited her we'd always try to do outdoorsy stuff. I thought I would love to incorporate Blacksburg into the proposal. I called her friends who I knew were going to be at the dance as well and asked them if they wanted to participate. I knew I wanted to propose at a place called Wind Rock, one of the first hikes we went on together."
Then, Brian had to subtly suggest the idea of last-minute asking four friends to join them on the hike and picnic, and make Jaime think she was the one who came up with the idea.
It worked beautifully. Until it came to the actual location of Wind Rock.
"When I got further into it, I realized I didn't know where Wind Rock was," he said.
"We couldn't find it on the map," says Jaime, laughing. "We ended up on a different trail called War Spur Trail. Wind Rock was a half mile, but this one was a 2.7 mile loop. It does share a similar overlook. We had wine and cheese and this whole little picnic.
"We went to the overlook and everyone had taken their couple shots there, but we hadn't done ours yet," says Jaime. " So we got in a position on the edge of the overlook and handed off our camera. Our one friend was taking some shots. I assumed we were done, but I noticed our friends were still holding their cameras up, all four of them standing there watching. I was instantly confused. I had no idea what was going on. Brian walked up to me and pulled me in and said, 'There's something I wanted to ask you.' "
After having suffered through a few previous fake proposals, Jaime thought this was another one.
"It wasn't until he grabbed my hand and I could feel his nerves that I knew that it was happening," says Jaime. "Before I knew it, he was down on one knee." With ring in hand.
The ring: Brian had actually been working on the design of the ring for about a year.