Tristan is a navy veteran and had served for 8 years in the navy as a hospital corpsman. He was deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan, Cambodia, and Spain. Tristan then enrolled at Florida State University, where she later met him. He then decided to join a fraternity after learning from his military friends that it was a great way to create relationships in school as a veteran. When joining his fraternity, he met Nicole’s brother and teased him that he would date his sister one day.
On the day of their first meeting, Nicole had gone to the Subway sandwich shop on campus, and, as she told me, she was rocking frumpy pajamas that she had changed into after a long day of her sorority’s philanthropy. When she walked into the store, Tristan happened to recognize her (interestingly, she was there with two of her friends who became her bridesmaid and her maid of honor at the wedding). He introduced himself, and they became acquaintances. Nicole told me, today when Tristan looks back to that day, he always tells her that he thought she looked beautiful even in her pajamas and her no makeup and crazy hair look. About a month or two later, a guy Nicole had asked to accompany her on a sorority function stood her up, so a friend arranged for her to have a backup date. It turned out Tristan was the one to step in and save the day. Tristan and Nicole both initially agreed that he would just casually escort her to this dance and that it wasn’t a romantic date. But within a few minutes, they just hit it off. They have been inseparable ever since.