Who are Ellie & Jess?
E: I am currently an undergraduate student at Washington State University, pursuing a degree in psychology. After graduation, I intend to follow in her father’s footsteps and become a pilot. In my free time, I enjoy traveling and taking photos.
J: I am currently pursuing her Master’s degree in Sport Management at Illinois State University. After graduation, I want to further my education, studying student-athlete well-being. In my free time, I also enjoy love to travel and play sport.
How long have you been together?
E & J: Almost two years, and we met on our Varsity Rowing team. At first, we were friends, which eventually grew into something more.
Tell us about your love tale.
E & J: Our love grew very organically. Within days of meeting, we had become friends, and then best friends, but the spark between us became stronger. Our love faced a challenge by requiring us to be honest with ourselves and confront our teammates, coaches, friends, and family. But our connection continued to grow. We fell in love fast and hard but then had to face our next challenge of long-distance. Going from practically living together, to being in completely different time zones was daunting.
It was during this time that we both knew we wanted to be with each other forever. The promise ring is a place holder for the next step. It’s a tangible way of being proud of everything we have overcome, and a physical reminder of the love we share – especially on the days when we hardly get to talk or cannot see each other. We are proud to be who we are and love who we love. We cannot wait to continue this incredible journey together, spreading love and pride wherever we may go.
Tell us about the promise rings.
J: I got Ellie’s ring from Pandora. I wanted a ring that would symbolize our love, but I also didn’t want a ring that would look like an engagement ring.
We often look at engagement rings, as hopefully in the next few years, that will be happening!
What does this promise mean to you both?
E & J: It is nice for us to have that reminder of each other. We are enjoying this period of time in our life before the next step. We don’t want to grow up too fast, but we also know not to take each day for granted, so its about finding that happy medium.
We are lucky to have found each other at such a young age.
Photography by Liv Schultheis