Adam and Susie
how they asked
The ring was purchased in August and the proposal was in November. In between…weeks of torture, contemplating the perfect way to ask the most important person in my life to spend the rest of our days together…no pressure! To make things more difficult, Susie isn’t exactly the mushy, sentimental type. So here I am, the hopeless romantic, with no plan, trying to impress a woman with no soul (ok she’s not that bad, but it makes it more dramatic). (Ok, “soulless” Susie chiming in here… I just don’t cry when I watch the notebook, alright. I’m really not that bad!) The holidays were approaching and I still didn’t have a plan. It was customary to travel from our home in Florida to spend Thanksgiving and Christmas at my parent’s house in Pennsylvania. I had no intentions of asking during either holiday, so in my mind, I still had a few months to plan something perfect. (Awwww) About three weeks before Thanksgiving, Susie and I decided we would not be traveling home, but rather plan an impromptu trip to Highlands, NC. I had visited the town a few months prior to our company retreat and really enjoyed the area. We figured it would be a great change of scenery and a nice weekend to ourselves. We planned to stay in a quaint bed and breakfast right on the main street with easy access to all the shops and restaurants.
In only a few minutes drive we could be hiking the Smoky Mountains or exploring one of the many waterfalls. More than anything, we just wanted to be outside and enjoy some time together. We booked our flight and hotel and started counting down the days to vacation. The next night, I was lying in bed (and on top of the ring, as I found out after the fact, this was its hiding place for the previous few months) thinking about our upcoming trip when I made the conscious decision that our trip to Highlands would be the perfect opportunity to pop the question. Since this was a last minute trip, there’s no way she could expect me to pull something off. I had a little over two weeks to plan, coordinate and execute…again, no pressure! I decided everything would revolve around a sunset proposal. I figured, this would allow for a hike in the morning, lunch back in town and enough time to clean up (take a nap, that fresh mountain air really gets to you) and get ready for the sunset and dinner. Luckily, Highlands provided the perfect spot known as “Sunset Rock,” fitting, right? Every evening, the location offers a westerly facing lookout with amazing sunset views. Having been there before, I knew this spot would be perfect.
So we got up early, hiked Chimney Top Mountain, saw some amazing views, headed back into town for lunch and returned to the hotel about 2 pm …so far so good. At this point, Susie only knows about our plan to visit Sunset Rock. What she doesn’t know, is that I had a ring in my jacket pocket and a high level of anxiety. (Kudos to Adam for his calm and collected manner, he didn’t even show a glimpse of nervousness.) What she also doesn’t know is that I had hired secret photographers to capture the entire proposal. I was lucky to find an awesome husband and wife duo named Kurt and Ansley of Capturing WNC Photography (Shout out to Kurt and Ansley, thank you again. And, thank you for not publishing any photos of my snot-nose from hysterically crying tears of joy.) If you ever get a chance to use this couple for any occasion, I highly recommend. We spoke a few times prior to the trip to plan out everything and it was actually comforting knowing I had two Pros in my corner. Once we got to Sunset Rock, I was relieved to find the lookout was relatively empty. My biggest fear was to have a large audience watching my every move. I located Kurt and Ansley inconspicuously set up on their mark. Susie and I slipped down about halfway the side of the mountain and settled in.
I think I made up every excuse possible to get down to that exact spot…Susie made sure to point out about six other perfectly good spots, unaware of what was about to happen. We sat for a few minutes and enjoyed the view. That day was particularly cold and windy, certainly much warmer to stay seated, but I had to find a way to make her stand up. It was not an option to ask for a seated position. I made up some bogus reason to stand up…something like, we can see the sunset better from a standing position. (Mind you, one excuse was a branch in the way of the panoramic sunset.) I was nervous so, I’m not exactly sure how it came out. Nonetheless, I got her to her feet. I stood behind her with my arms wrapped around her, desperately trying to keep her warm to avoid her from sitting back down. My heart never beat so hard; I was shocked she couldn’t feel it pounding.
After deflecting her third request sit, I stepped to the side, dropped to one knee simultaneously pulling out the ring and asked my best friend to marry me. To my surprise, her jaw dropped, she covered her face and began to cry (See, I do have a soul!). She took a few seconds to collect herself, which felt like minutes to me, but finally nodded her head and gave me a huge hug and a resounding “Yes!”. (Yes to a beautiful proposal, yes to the love of my life and best friend and yes to forever!)