Hi, I’m Abbey, and I’m in love with Zach. A&Z. It just works. And this is the start of our love story.
One Monday night in February 2014, I was one of many in charge of a huge activity for single adults in my neighborhood. There were big numbers to be expected, and I thought it was a rather pretentious activity. Speed-Dating? Lame. Just like a live “Tinder”. I didn’t want to go, but had no choice but to help out. So, I decided, “I just won’t participate, no matter what.” Over 400 people, men and women, showed up for the event, ready to find their next piece of dating material.
Among those was Zach.
He was reluctant to go to this big Speed-Dating event as well. He didn’t really feel like going, and was especially bummed when he got there and there were more men than women present. But, his friends wanted to go badly, and so Zach joined. Mid-way through the activity, Zach was bumped out of his seat because there were too many guys! A little old lady said, “Go sit up there on the stage by those two andthey will tell you what to do.” So, he did as he was told and sat next to a friend of his and a cute girl (cough cough…me). The friend had to leave and so “the girl” was in charge, and he began to talk to her.
I was having none of it. I didn’t come here to Speed-Date, I thought. (Plus he was cute, well dressed, and way too nice for it to be true. He had to be a dirt-bag.)
Zach wondered why “this girl” was so hard to crack, he was just being nice! But, the challenge was fun, so he said he would find me again after the activity. At the end of the night, I found out that we had several common friends, and was less worried about his possible dirt-bag-ness. He found out I was a photographer, followed my Instagram account, and asked (sly-ly) for my number. To my astonishment he said, “I will happily ask for it in person if you’d rather, I just don’t know when I’ll get to see you again.” I was won over and decided to give it to him. However, after a few replies back for him to know it was the right number, I didn’t respond to anything from him for about 2 weeks. (Zach swears it was 3, but he is sadly misled.)
Finally, I was sitting at work and realized that I had been kind of rude to just not respond to him, he hadn’t done anything wrong. I sent him a text apologizing for “being so busy lately,” and we talked for a little while. Then, he stopped replying and I thought, ” I deserve this.” I was sad though, he had seemed pretty cool. Suddenly, a knock came at my office door and in walked Zach! He stood there, (looking reallllllly cute) and said, “Are you free this week and can I take you to dinner or not?” I tried not to let my jaw drop out of my head and responded, ‘Um, yes I’m free Wednesday, Thursday, Friday – ” and cut myself off because that was just embarrassing.
Wednesday it was, and Thai food we ate. On the drive to the restaurant, I had fallen head over heels. I can point out the exact location on the freeway where I knew I was doomed to be filled with heart-eyes the rest of my life. Zach was pretty hooked too, I promise. ;) We might as well have had a “Lady And The Tramp” moment with our Pad-Thai.
After dinner, we drove up on a mountain in Draper, UT and looked out over the valley while we talked and laughed for ever, and found out more and more about each other. And from then on, we were with one another every day.
how they asked: On January 24, 2015 I woke up sick as a dog, but also excited to go on the date that Zach and I had been planning for a week or two. We had busy schedules and were unable to see each other as often as we wished. Zach was in charge of planning dinner, and I was in charge of planning the activity/fun part for afterward. I was being sneaky and was going to surprise Zach with fun tickets to a comedy show in Salt Lake City that night, but little did I realize who was going to be the most surprised. After hours of waiting and being busy throughout the day, we were finally off to dinner at a secret location. Since I was holding back the information for the activity, Zach wouldn’t tell me the restaurant we were going to for dinner. As we pulled up, I recognized it as the little Thai place we had been to on our first date! I was so excited, we hadn’t been here since our first date even though we kept meaning to go. As we got out of the car, Zach told me he had something for me, and pulled out some daisies. (Those are my favorite flower. Cough cough.) I couldn’t get over how sweet he was being, and kept smelling the flowers all through dinner. (Well, smelling them as much as I could, I was still sick.)
Zach couldn’t eat. He kept me believing that he was just not feeling good either, and I totally bought it. He would get up and go to the bathroom, and I felt so bad for him, but while he was in there all he was doing was making phone calls and making sure that everything was being set up and ready for us! He wasn’t eating much, (because he was so dang nervous), and I didn’t suspect a thing. A sweet little Thai lady asked, “What is the occasion for the flower??” And I replied, “He is just so sweet!” (Score for Zach.)
We finished dinner around 7pm, but I had booked the 10pm show, so we still had about 3 hours to kill before it started. I thought this was a big bummer on my part and felt bad, but when Zach suggested we just go up on the mountain in Draper like we had done the last time we were at this restaurant (our first date), I thought that would be a great way to spend some of the time! As we drove, I noticed nothing odd. It didn’t even cross my mind that anything could be coming. I chatted his ear off, and we got up to the little lookout where we had been before, and Zach started to get out of the car. I was not wanting to go up to the lookout because I didn’t want to make anyone upset by being in their neighborhood, but Zach insisted that if we went on this trail near the houses, we wouldn’t bother anyone.
As we walked up the trail, I noticed some pretty lights up ahead, and immediately grabbed Zach and said, “Babe! Someone is doing something up there we can’t go up there!” Zach was being his normal, (perfect), friendly self and said, “It’s fine! We’ll just ask what they’re doing!” “Are you serious? I’m going to have to apologize to these people for interrupting whatever they’re doing. Zaaaaach,” I thought. But, he pulled me along and we went up near the lights. As we started getting closer, I noticed that the lights were lanterns, and people were in a line leading down the trail, and…………they were holding daisies. As soon as I noticed this, I recognized the first person closest to us. My sister. I thought, “What is Jane doing he-“
It hit me.
OH MY GOSH IS THIS REALLY HAPPENING HOW DID I HAVE NO IDEA OH MY GOSH WHAT ARE YOU SERIOUS – The thoughts from inside my head at that very moment.
Zach looked back at me and smiled, “Come on,” he said. I hugged each person in the line, my best friends, my sisters, his brother, all of them smiling and handing me flowers as I went along. Then, Zach led me into a circle of candles, and said, “So….” as he got down on one knee.
“Abbey Smiley,” he said as he looked up at me and smiled, “will you marry me?”
We’re getting married!!
When you think as a little girl about the man of your dreams…it’s crazy to realize that he really exists. I am so lucky, and so in love.
Can’t wait for May 2, 2015!