How We Met
When I first met Ben, he was sitting at a bar talking to the bartender. I was a server hanging out in the back and he was filling out an application. The bartender waved me over to say hello but I was too nervous to talk to him, and so I retreated to the back of the restaurant and kept waiting on my tables. The next day when I showed up to work, the “cute guy at the bar” was standing in the server alley. I awkwardly introduced myself and asked if he was lost (well, he was standing in the server station!) He laughed and said “no I work here, today’s my first day. I think you’re training me?” I instantly wanted to clock out and go home and face plant into my pillow. It wasn’t that bad however and we hit it off right away. After working together a couple weeks and becoming good friends, we started hanging out with mutual work friends. One Saturday night, Ben was bartending while I served. After we closed and the other servers went home, we sat at the bar and had a drink. Hunger set in and we then went to the local diner to get something to eat. It wasn’t until the sun started rising that we realized how late (or early) it was getting. He walked me to my car and we hugged goodbye. I got in, started the car, and clicked onto my phone until I realized that he was walking back to my car. I rolled down the window to ask what’s wrong, and before I could, he popped his head in the window and kissed me! He then said “Sorry, I had to do that, see you at work tomorrow” and turned around and left. I melted!
how they asked
Leading Up to the Proposal:
Fast forward 3 and a half years, we booked a 5-day vacation to Nashville TN. Always being a fan of country music, I was so excited. Ben was excited too, only I would find out later it was for much different reasons! After announcing it to his parents and asking for my father’s blessing, he had brought the ring with him on the trip and was going to ask me to marry him while we were down there. We spent the weekend visiting the honky-tonks on Broadway, the Jack Daniel’s distillery, Lookout Mountain in Chattanooga, and I even met Chris Young! I was having a great time, but apparently he was not! I found out later he was a nervous wreck the entire time. He had the ring with him, but wasn’t going to propose until our fourth day there, and so he kept thinking about it and getting more nervous the entire time, at the bars, the museums, even dinner at Hooters! He didn’t want to leave it in the hotel because there was no safe, so every day he sneaked it into his laptop bag and put it in the trunk of the car to keep it safe. Looking back, I’m surprised I didn’t pick up on how weird it was that he was putting it in there every morning!
Monday morning, we woke up and went to the Country Music Hall of Fame. I wanted to relax and take my time, and was getting super aggravated that Ben was kind of rushing through the exhibits. We were supposed to leave the Hall and go straight to Arrington Vineyard, but the ring was in the trunk of the car and he was wearing a tee-shirt and jeans! He had spent the entire time walking through the Hall trying to figure out how to get the ring box from the trunk and get changed without me getting suspicious. Not to mention he still hadn’t figured out how to get the proposal on film! He came up with an excuse for everything: having to stop at the hotel to freshen up and use the bathroom, getting the ring out of the trunk by saying he had put the room key in his bag by mistake, and changing into a sports jacket and nice shirt by explaining he wanted to take funny pictures in the vineyard like he was a sommelier! I was upset because I wasn’t dressed up fancy too, but I would completely forget about that later.
We headed to Arrington Winery, and as we pulled up the views were amazing. Rolling hills with beautiful trees in bloom surrounded this vineyard with little picnic tables sporadically placed upon the hills. We headed inside and chose the wines we wanted to sample; I picked mine very specifically based on my tastes, Ben picked numbers 1-4, I don’t even think he read them! We headed to one of the picnic tables outside and just took in the view, enjoyed our wine, and relaxed. It was nearing sunset and the colors were gorgeous. After a bit of wine tasting, I sighed. Ben asked what was wrong and I said, “I wish there was someone around to take our picture”. I didn’t realize this was the moment he was waiting for. He quickly said, “Do you want me to ask that couple down there to take our picture?” He walked down about 20 yards and (he told me later) handed his phone to the couple and said, “Hi, I’m about to propose to my girlfriend and I would love if you could video it? She thinks it’s a picture but just leave it on video the whole time.” They were very excited and as the couple and Ben walked up the mountain to take our picture, I found the best spot. Once we stood still, Ben said “Alright on three – one, two, … just kidding” and dropped to his knee.
I didn’t know what to think and just kept saying “Not uh!” At one point he even grabbed onto my pants pocket because I stepped back…and almost tumbled down the hill! He told me how much he loves me and his family loves me, and how he wants me to be a part of his family. He opened the box, and I said yes! I instantly kissed him and he said, “I have to actually ask you first”. He then asked “Will you marry me?” I said “Yes, of course yes” and jumped into his arms. Just like that my best friend became my fiance! It was the most beautiful ring in the most beautiful winery with my favorite person.
The third picture here is from a different angle. We had no idea, but a family was having an outing at the winery that day. They just happened to be professional photographers and started taking pictures when they realized what was going on. After getting engaged, Ben wanted to go back into the winery to get our favorite bottle of wine from the tasting to celebrate. When walking back the couple pulled us aside to congratulate us. We exchanged emails and they sent them to us later on that night. So amazing!