9 On Your Side reporter's next assignment? Planning her wedding

9 On Your Side reporter Ally Kraemer got engaged in November. She will be writing about her wedding planning experiences for the next six months, until her wedding on Aug. 19. Expect to see the good, the bad and the bridezilla. (Just kidding!)

CINCINNATI -- It’s true -- I’m engaged!

I’ve been to a dozen weddings and tried on dozens of bridesmaid dresses, and now it’s my turn. The past three months have been a whirlwind! 

Our story

Jake and I met at THE Ohio State University in 2012. He’s only a year younger than me (it’s not really robbing the cradle), and we have a great group of mutual friends, so I’d see him occasionally. It wasn’t until the spring that I really got to know him, but by the time I graduated in May 2012, I knew he was the one.

My girlfriends thought I was nuts: I was graduating and moving away, so it wasn’t really an ideal time to start a long-distance relationship. (Looking back now, I probably was a little crazy.)

If you ask Jake, he will say his first memory of me actually dates back to 2010 when one of his friends injured himself, and I drove his friend to the hospital. Did he know I was the one back then? Ha! Hardly.

For two years, we maintained a long-distance relationship. I was a reporter in Evansville, Indiana, and he was working for GE Aviation in Evendale. He moved every six months but tried to stay close between Dayton, Peebles and Madisonville, Kentucky. I simply dreamed of moving home to Cincinnati!

In September 2014, I got the job at WCPO. We both moved home (he’s an Oak Hills West Sider) for what we thought would finally be a normal relationship!

The proposal

Was I pushy about getting engaged? Was there a timeline? Well, I’m not getting any younger! My mom always says, “Good things happen to those who wait.” So I waited, knowing Jake is a planner and he would ask when he was ready. But it was fun to think about!

It happened on a Friday, Nov. 11, 2016. He was off for Veterans Day, so we were going to meet for lunch as soon as I left work. I had been covering the Ray Tensing trial for the past two weeks, and by that Friday I was exhausted.

Just before I got off work, news broke that the jury couldn’t reach a verdict and the judge was sending them back. Our coverage went 24/7 trying to cover the news. I left my personal phone in my bag and didn’t check it until 1 p.m.

It turns out Jake had been texting and calling me since 11 a.m. He said he had gone to Eden Park for a run and now had a flat tire. He needed me to get him, drive the tire to the shop to get it patched and take him back. I felt terrible. (I had left him stranded on the side of the road once before -- I couldn’t believe it was happening again!)

9 On Your Side reporter Ally Kraemer with fiance Jake Haas. (Provided)

I bolted out of there and headed to Eden Park. And there he was, in a suit, with flowers and a ring in his hands. I was a hot mess and couldn’t believe what was happening. Was it that picture-perfect moment at sunset or that beach proposal with your friends hiding in the background? Nope. But it was perfect for us and our crazy lives.

And you know those perfect engagement photos you get when someone is hiding in the bushes with a camera? Well, ours is a selfie. Was I all dressed up? Uh, no -- in fact, I was sweating in black pants. But our photo is real, and I love the memory it provides. 

What’s next?

Now you’re all caught up. In coming weeks, watch for fun videos, how-to projects and tips on how to save your sanity while planning a wedding. And I’m always looking for advice! If you have some to share, send me an email at ally.kraemer@wcpo.com.

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