Garrett & Elizabeth
Photography by Meredith Jenks
Interviewed at their Brooklyn apartment in Fort Greene, artist and Creative Director for Harry's, Garrett Morin, fell in love with Elizabeth Dilk, Design Director at Partners & Spade. The two are recently engaged.
Friends of friends
ELIZABETH: My friend dated his friend casually and our friend groups came together.
GARRETT: Elizabeth had a boyfriend when I met her. I was pretty into her, but there wasn’t much I could do so I chilled out for a while. We’ve been together now for six and a half years.
ELIZABETH: We were buddies for about one year.
GARRETT: No guy ever wants to be a girl’s “buddy” for the most part.
ELIZABETH: Our friend groups merged, we had WPP, Wednesday Pint Pals every week. Which gave us a chance to hang out.
GARRETT: Elizabeth was single for about six months. I had to wait, I had to give her a grace period. Once you break up with someone after dating them for a long time you have to go on a walkabout. I unfortunately lived through the walkabout as her friend, like, ‘oh sure that guy is really great’ haha. I think I had a timer, or a date on my calendar set for this six month mark to talk to Elizabeth. I finally asked her to come over. She thought that was pretty weird.
ELIZABETH: I asked a bunch of friends, is this a date, is this not a date? No one could figure it out.
GARRETT: Everyone could figure it out it was a date, I think that you were having a bit of reluctance.
TWP: The other people in your friend group didn’t know that Garrett was crushing?
ELIZABETH: Oh they all knew. I was the last one to know.
GARRETT: I had a lot of friends telling me, ‘dude, just do it, ask her out’ and I kept telling them ‘no this won’t work right now, I have to wait’ and so I did. So, she came over, my apartment was nasty, my bedroom was nice though. When you have an old apartment there’s only so much you can do to keep it clean, especially the kitchen and bathroom. It was decrepit, but I wasn’t thinking about any of this at the time.
ELIZABETH: We had been talking about horror movies, so he invited me over to watch a movie.
GARRETT: I think if I had asked her to go to a dinner it would have been too much of a date, but if I asked her over, and she said yes, then she’d just want to hang out with me. We watched The Devil’s Backbone and then Friday Night Lights. At the end of the night I started through my ‘ughh I like you’ speech. It was fucking terrifying. We were friends and so once we both realized that we could be more, we were like this is awesome. It was easy, it was fun.
ELIZABETH: I remember him saying, ‘we are going to have so much fun’ and he was right, this has been so much fun.
GARRETT: I had had only one other long term girlfriend, I was really young at the time and breaking up sucked. From there I was super conscious, I knew that if I was ever going to be invested in someone again I wouldn’t want it have it be short term.
ELIZABETH: I don’t over think any of that stuff. I think moving in together was a big step, other than that not much else has changed. When we moved our one requirement was a backyard. We had a garden apartment, it was really nice. There was also a crazy tongue speaking Pentecostal church next to us.
GARRETT: The noise was irreconcilable.
ELIZABETH: But we had so many parties in the backyard and it was a cool apartment to have. You only have those kinds of apartments if you want to host people and have people over all of the time. It was really fun.
ELIZABETH: I went to Pratt, studied graphic design, advertising, art direction. I graduated and my first interview is the job I have now, I got pretty lucky. My first interview was with Andy Spade and Anthony Sperduti, they were looking to open a little design firm at the time. I’ve worked for them, I’ve freelanced for them and I have freelanced for years on and off. I also had the worst job at an agency at one time, all nighters, crazy hours.
GARRETT: We would meet for lunch during this time. Elizabeth refuses to admit that Chipotle was our first date. I was thinking, sweet! Lunch date! Which was not the case in her mind at all.
ELIZABETH: I did bring you as my date to our first party at Partners & Spade.
GARRETT: Date, date?
ELIZABETH: Well no, I needed someone to come with me.
GARRETT: She needed a buddy. I was her buddy.
ELIZABETH: We do super similar things so we talk about work and work goals, even last night. We’re in tune. I connected Garrett to the job he has now when Harry’s was being talked about and looking for a Design Director.
GARRETT: Date two, we networked with each other. The experience that she has, has really helped me. For me, talking about work is selfish, it’s like, tell me, tell me more (laughs).
ELIZABETH: We do the same thing but Garrett is at a brand and I am at an agency and we’re not competitive with each other, I love seeing what you guys are doing and you’re into in what we’re up to too.
GARRETT: Her successes are my successes. My success is her success.
ELIZABETH: Whomever becomes a millionaire first, the other is automatically a millionaire.
Her successes are my successes.
TWP: How did you get into graphic design?
ELIZABETH: When I was young I told my mom, I want to know who has the job that makes photos in magazines look the way they do. Which what I was actually talking about was more prop styling and production design I think. I had awesome family members subscribe me to W Magazine so I had a good exposure to Art Direction, and in high school graphic design was enough of a thing and when applying for college it made the most sense. My brother is an artist, he is drawing nonstop, our mom has been super supportive of our creative endeavors. I am not an academic person, Garrett and I definitely have that in common. Garrett is similar to my brother in that he has always been drawing, every second, all the of time.
GARRETT: I was and have been drawing all of the time. When I was young I would draw comics, I guess all little guys draw comics? I didn’t do any other things. I would draw with my friends so I thought I had all of these creative friends and then all of a sudden they stopped being interested in drawing. I still was. My parents were really supportive too. I was really into animation and comics, I applied to CalArts and didn’t get in. I didn’t have any approach to college. I also went to a vocational school and was studying communication design in high school alongside plumbers. Colleges don’t love seeing a C student from a vocational school. They’re like, 'we’re good, thanks for drawing a bicycle, we’re going to pass.' I had a hard time getting into decent colleges and I started studying illustration and I said, I can actually do this myself, I don’t think I need to get an actual education in illustration. I started getting really obsessive and into Graphic Design. One of my close friends with a similar experience transferred to RISD, so I applied, didn’t get in. I moved to Providence and so they were like, take some classes, get your grades up and some letters of recommendation from some of our professors, and you’ll be okay. I took summer courses, got in. Grades help, they’re not everything. School sucks.
Take your time
GARRETT: We watched friends around us move at a pace that’s faster than ours. It’s never been because we weren’t sure or committed we were just living our lives together and not hitting milestones in the way other people were. We moved in together after three years. We got engaged after over six years.
ELIZABETH: We had been talking about marriage for a long time. We knew we wanted to get married. You have to have that conversation. 'Do you hate marriage? Are you cool with it?' We even looked at rings together. Before getting into a real, real relationship, a marriage material relationship, I never would have thought it would be romantic to go look at rings. We started talking about it and it made a ton of sense.
GARRETT: I had a ‘rings’ folder on my desktop. Not porn. Hyperlinks to ring designers.
ELIZABETH: We went up town to to Barneys. It was cool because we both ended up getting really excited!
GARRETT: We got pretty womaned.
We were just living our lives together and not hitting milestones in the way other people were.
TWP: How did you propose?
GARRETT: We looked at rings a while before, in May, we knew it was going to happen. Then, with that crazy loud church going on we knew we had to move. We had to get out of there. We were all excited about ring shopping but that financially, was unrealistic with the fact we had to move. That pushed things back a bit. I did ask her mom. Who was so excited that she immediately told Elizabeth. That was June, and I ended up proposing on New Year’s Eve Day. I think a lot of people would have been waiting all year for it to happen, Elizabeth wasn’t.
ELIZABETH: On my 30th birthday our friends were certain it was going to happen, we went to the Caribbean, Garrett told me beforehand it wasn’t going to be happening then which was nice.
GARRETT: I knew you would need to know! That you would appreciate knowing. I told her, this is about you, this is about turning 30. I’m not going to do getting engaged and turning 30 at the same time. It was starting to get a bit tense, people were like what is wrong with you. At the same time all of our near and dear friends are getting engaged, which created a challenging environment. I was working on getting the ring, and figuring out a couple of cool ways to do it. I am close with her cousin, Michelle, so I worked with her to find a place for New Year’s. It ended up being in East Hampton, we rented a house. I had to do it in a way that Elizabeth didn’t catch on, she kept wanting to be inclusive, ‘shouldn’t my cousin have her own other friends there?’ Michelle and I were like ‘no it’s totally cool.’
ELIZABETH: I was not thinking about getting engaged.
GARRETT: We put together a group of friends from the very start of our relationship that I knew we would have a great New Year’s Eve celebration with, but also a great time celebrating our engagement. We showed up to the house the day before New Year’s. My whole thing was that I wanted to bring her to this beach area that was by the house, but that I had never been to. It has been raining all week and shitty winter weather. I asked our friend Martha to go for a run and come back and tell us how great it was over by the beach so we would want to go. We travel with her frequently and she’ll do that so I knew it would seem natural. I told the rest of the crew to act normal, not work out and chill in their sweatpants if Elizabeth asked them to come to the beach with us. That’s exactly what they did.
ELIZABETH: I did ask them if they wanted to come with us.
GARRETT: I was going to use going for a run to get Elizabeth to the beach by herself. When we were packing I asked Elizabeth if she’d like to pack her workout clothes and she was like ‘no, I don’t think I’ll want to go for a run’ and I had to be like ‘oh you should, we may want to go and get some exercise’ and so she threw her stuff in all like, ‘yeah but I don’t know.’ There’s a lot of logistics that went into this proposal. When you wait six years to get engaged, you don’t fuck it up.
When you wait six years to get engaged, you don’t fuck it up.
GARRETT: We go for a run and I had the ring in this really small pocket of my running shorts and I also had my phone, which I don’t usually bring on runs, in the front part of my sweatshirt, for photos. It was a half mile to the beach and I was basically walking. I was trying to hold onto both of these things making sure they didn’t fall out.
ELIZABETH: Every time I would turn around he would smile all like ‘oh hey.’
GARRETT: Meanwhile I’m running behind her all I’m a little teapot style. It’s sunny for the first time in weeks, I’m panicking like the spot is going to be packed with people because it’s nice outside. We got lucky. We got down to the beach and there was one paddleboarder. We finally get there and Elizabeth says, ‘let’s do a sprint’, because the run was so short. I’m like, ‘okay, let’s go’, I can barely walk at this point. My new plan in that instant was to let her go ahead of me and then turn around and I would propose. She goes, books it, hauls ass. She got to the end, took a couple of breaths, turned around, and I was on one knee.
ELIZABETH: I kept looking behind me at him jogging like ‘you need your arms to run, dude.’ I cry in every movie I was surprised I didn’t cry.
GARRETT: I’m not sure that you didn’t cry, but you took a really long time to say yes!
ELIZABETH: I kept asking asking him if he was serious. It’s not the most romantic reaction, but it’s crazy to see it happening to you. It was super surreal. I was in total disbelief and he said, ‘you can say yes.’ Then he dropped the ring in the sand. I was tongue tied.
GARRETT: Then we called our parents from the beach where we were and our friends were back at the house ready with our other friends who couldn’t be there all up on FaceTime and Skype.
ELIZABETH: We walked back to the house and they're all holding up their phones with people on their screens and they had decorated the house and other friends started showing up. It’s funny to be the absolute last person to know what is going on.
GARRETT: I need a t-shirt that says ‘engaged’ because she gets to wear a ring and no one knows that I am taken. The world isn’t sobbing over it though.
ELIZABETH: Garrett is the most talented person that I know personally in my life. Very talented. He is always doing something. He is very inspiring.
Garrett: One of the things that first attracted me to Elizabeth is the ease I felt from her, she was very comfortable in her own skin. She’s not cynical. There was a time when I first had a crush on her, when I was waiting for 6 plus months when I would say to our friends, ‘look guys I’m not in love with Elizabeth.’ I knew we would have a really great time together. I had a really strong sense of what I wanted and she was that. There was a strength, composure, confidence about her that I really admired. She still has it.
I knew we would have a really great time together.