Alexa and CJ

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How We Met

CJ and I met at our high school small group through church when I was a junior and he was a senior. I had recently moved to NC and was very reluctant to attend small group. I met CJ during my second week. I walked in shy, quiet (really not wanting to be there) and this new guy (who was very cute) came up to me, gave me a hug and said “Everybody we have a new girl!” (he was a little out of the loop because he wasn’t there during my first week). He completely grabbed my attention the moment I walked in the door and I knew there was something special about him. We were celebrating Thanksgiving that night, so it was more of a hang out time than regular small group. We had dinner, put together Christmas boxes, played games…and CJ was next to me the entire time. He was surprised to find out I had a boyfriend, but we exchanged numbers and I went home thinking “I just met a really great new friend.” Well, fast forward to about 6 months later. I had broken up with my boyfriend and my mom said “why not reach out to the guy from small group, he seemed like a great friend.” So I did and we re-connected right away, catching up and building a friendship. Around spring break we realized neither of us had a date to prom and we decided (over the phone) that we would go together. He felt bad he didn’t do an extravagant “promposal” and ended up sending me a picture of one he found on the internet as his way of formally asking (it was really sweet). We knew we wanted to date each other but wanted to wait until prom (my mom wanted me to have some time to be single- even though I was very ready to date CJ.) On prom night, after we took all of our pictures and were heading to dinner in the limo, CJ handed me the sweetest little note where he asked me to be his girlfriend, I poked “yes” in his little “check yes or no box” and that’s where it all started.

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Our very first picture together one night after church.

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The first time CJ came over a few days before prom .

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Someone captured this picture at the perfect moment, right when CJ gave me his note asking me to be his girlfriend.

how they asked

Since we first started dating 6 years ago, we have almost always spent the Fourth of July at CJ’s parents beach house in Kure Beach, NC and this year was no different. We were both so excited to have some time off to relax and be together at the beach. His parents recently got a boat, so we had plans to go out on it the Sunday he proposed. His family left early that afternoon to “clean the boat” and we stayed back to join later with his brother. We drove out to the yacht club where the boat is stored and parked near a walkway we had used the previous day. We got out of the car and began walking down a path that led to a very pretty cove area (little did I know what was about to happen). As soon as we turned the corner I saw a photographer, CJ’s family and my family (who were supposed to be in Raleigh at the mall) all standing in front of me. I turned to CJ and said “Are you about to do what I think you’re about to do?” and began to fill with happy tears. When we reached the family, he turned to his dad to get the ring and then turned back at me. He got down on one knee and asked me to marry him and I quickly (very quickly) said YES. After he proposed, we spent the afternoon on the boat popping champagne and talking all about the events leading up to his proposal. CJ completely surprised me and surrounded us with the most important people in our lives. I could not have asked for a more perfect day with the people we love. It was the best day of my life and I cannot wait to be his wife.

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This is where I realized what was happening and asked “Are you about to do what I think you’re about to do?”

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CJ went to NC State & I went to Meredith College, so we had to get a picture with my new bling + our class rings + our school hand signs

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Special Thanks

Dakota Hersey
 | Photographer