Lauren and Ryan's Adorable Picnic Proposal

How We Met: Ryan and I met while both attending the University of Georgia. Although we were a year apart in school (I’m only a cougar by one month though) it didn’t stop us from being each other’s “person” from the moment we met. One of the first times we ever hung out I told him he could be my boyfriend for the day. Just the day. Little did I know then that 5 1/2 years, 3 cities, countless trips and memories later, he would not only be my best friend, but also my future husband.

how they asked: You would think after 5 1/2 years I would be expecting this… but I could have never expected what was planned for me on March 6, 2015. The day started with Ryan telling me that we were going to an event Friday night and just stopping by Magnolia Plantation to “make a day of it” since we had never been. After walking around the gardens, we headed towards the Long White Bridge (I honestly gasped because it was so gorgeous). It wasn’t until his hand began to shake that I realized what might be happening. He got down on one knee and I answered the easiest question I’ve ever been asked. I cannot tell you how many times I have pictured this moment and it was so much better than anything that ever crossed my mind.

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Then he told me the surprises weren’t over quite yet. We turned the corner and a picnic was waiting for us. On the blanket was a scrapbook that he had made, but this wasn’t just any scrapbook. It was us. He saved so many special things from our relationship – train tickets from our adventures in Italy, coasters from our favorite restaurants, every card I had ever written him, a map of the proposal spot from when he visited a few weeks prior – and blank pages to fill with our engagement weekend.

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Then my best friend since forever popped out of the bushes and I immediately went into ugly cry for round 2. I thought he had really done it all, until I learned what was coming next :)

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But the day didn’t end there. The photographer took us around Magnolia Plantation for some special engagement photos right afterwards. Turns out we weren’t really supposed to go to any event later that night. Ryan said we would be going to dinner in Charleston but to pack a bag because we were leaving for the weekend. After calling my parents (who told me they were coming next weekend to celebrate), we headed to dinner at one of my favorite spots. As we were being shown to our table, all the sudden we turned into the private room and our families and best friends were waiting there. I was in shock – for the second time that day. They are all very, very sneaky and I have no idea how they kept this secret for so long! Ryan then told me that they had all rented a beach house for us to celebrate in for the whole weekend!

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It was the absolute best day (and weekend) of my life. It is a true testament to how well Ryan knows me and knows our love. I simply can’t wait to marry him.

Photos by Richard Bell Photography