Amanda and Cliff

Image 1 of Amanda (Sluss) and Cliff

How We Met

Cliff and I met on Saturday, September 1, 2012, introduced by a mutual friend. My friend Lauren and I both went to the University of Georgia and regularly get together to watch games. This was the first game of the 2012 season and we decided to meet at a popular sports bar/restaurant along with some other friends. She knew Cliff from the gym and invited him to join us after he mentioned he had the day off from work.

He was immediately the life of the party! He had everyone laughing and I was missing out sitting at the other end of the table…..but didn’t miss the fact that he was cute too:-) Fast forward to the next weekend, Lauren and I decided to get together again for some UGA football. Apparently I wasn’t the only one that contacted her to ask questions and express interest… she invited him to join us after he got done at work for the day. The three of us drank some beer, had some laughs and talked about Tennessee Titans football. I mentioned that I had been to a few games in the past and would love to go to a few home games that year.

Image 2 of Amanda (Sluss) and Cliff

Cliff said he was a season ticket holder and would be happy to take me to the next home game. As the night came to an end, we exchanged phone numbers with a loose plan for the next home game that was about three weeks away. When Cliff called me (before I had made it home) to tell me he didn’t want to wait for the next game to see me and asked if I would like to go to dinner one night the next week, I knew he was a keeper!!! We had our first date on September 12th – and it also became the last first date for both of us.

Image 3 of Amanda (Sluss) and Cliff

Cliff and I have dated ever since….and I knew without a doubt there was nobody else for me. We had so much fun getting to know each other and I can say we developed a wonderful friendship as our relationship grew stronger. We love to attend football and hockey games, take trips to the beach and go to concerts. In January 2015, we started the renovation and addition to his house. Once finished in July 2015, I packed up everything from my condo, along with my cats Charlie and Alex, and moved in. In August, during a routine trip to the vet with the cats, we found out that Alex (my solid white, green-eyed, one and a half year old kitty) had a heart murmur. After further testing, he was diagnosed with Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy….also known as heart disease.

Image 4 of Amanda (Sluss) and Cliff

Alex did well until the first weekend in January 2016, when he had his first episode of congestive heart failure. He had regular vet visits, EKG tests, medications and more medications over the course of the next four months but was doing well considering his disease was progressing quickly. Cliff’s proposal with Alex could not have happened at a better time (April 30) because he became very ill in mid-May and spent several days at the emergency vet. In the end, we were blessed to have two additional months with this incredibly sweet boy….he passed away on July 31.

Image 5 of Amanda (Sluss) and Cliff

During this very stressful time, we planned a surprise backyard wedding for family and close friends (October 1), a destination wedding and honeymoon in Aruba (October 12) and Nashville wedding reception (October 29). Everything was perfect and beyond my wildest dreams…and I got to marry the man of my dreams.

The year 2016 turned into a year of the highest highs and the lowest lows for us, but we had each other to hold onto every day. And every time I look at my ring (which is often), I think about the man I love and a sweet little white cat that delivered it to me. That’s the best memory I could ever ask for!

Image 6 of Amanda (Sluss) and Cliff

how they asked

April 30, 2016: It was an overcast Saturday morning…I was sound asleep but remember Cliff telling me he would get up and get Alex medicated. After a few minutes, I looked at the clock wondering what time it was because it was still a little dark in our bedroom (it was about 6:30 am) and wondering where Alex was. Our morning routine was to let Alex out of his room, give him his morning medications and then he would hop on the bed….purring like crazy…to snuggle with me.

With this in mind, Cliff purchased a red velvet collar for Alex to be his partner in crime for the proposal. He had a few trial runs to see if he would freak out wearing a collar and let’s just say, it didn’t go so well! On that morning, Alex’s performance was perfection. I woke up to see Cliff walking back into the bedroom and like clockwork, Alex jumped onto the bed. I noticed the red “something” on is neck immediately and quizzed “what did you put on his neck??” He steps closer to me…”did you put a collar on him?” Alex is in on my chest, I don’t see the ring due to his thick white fur and I failed to notice Cliff is now beside me on one knee! As soon as Cliff said, “do you not see it?” and started to remove the collar, it started to land that something big was happening! And there it was…..the ring was now dangling from the red collar and I completely lost it.

Image 7 of Amanda (Sluss) and Cliff

Cliff took the ring off the collar and placed it on my left ring finger…..and proposed!!!!!! I was trying to remain calm (so I wouldn’t scare the cat) as I answered his question with a tearful “absolutely yes!”

Image 8 of Amanda (Sluss) and Cliff

Image 9 of Amanda (Sluss) and Cliff

Special Thanks

Crooze Photography Aruba
 | Aruba wedding photos
Katy Eden Photography
 | Reception photos