How we met: Kent and I met through Match.com in September 2013 and had our first date on October 7, 2013. We had a funny and awkward first meeting that we still talk about and have coined “the handshake hug.” Kent was already seated at our table when I met him and he stood to greet me, like a gentleman, and put out his hand for a handshake. In that split second, as I reached out my hand, he decided he wanted to bring it in for a hug; thus, the “handshake hug” was created! If you ask Kent, he was completely mortified and if you ask me, I didn’t even think twice about it. I love when things don’t go exactly as planned because life doesn’t go as planned and unexpected things add laughter and humanity to a moment.
From that moment on, we dated and we’ve learned and grown together for the last year and a half. There really wasn’t one exact moment when I knew he was “the one” because, from the beginning, he has always treated me like the man I’ve always wanted and dreamed about. We are truly a team, we make each other laugh, we have fun, we support each other and we protect each other. We’ve gone through some of the best times of my life during our relationship, but we’ve also dealt with some low points and we got a chance to see how we will come together in those times.
The Proposal Story: For Kent’s 40th birthday, we planned a trip to Europe, someplace he’s never been. My birthday also fell within the trip, so from the beginning, it was always our “Birthday Trip to Europe.” As the planner in the relationship, I naturally took the reigns on planning the trip, where we would go and how we would get there, and Kent happily let me do it. We started the trip in London for 3 days, saw the sights and enjoyed some great pub food. Then, we took the train through the Chunnel to Brussels, where we celebrated my birthday by walking around the most amazing Christmas market and having Belgian stew and wine for dinner. We spent 2 days in Brussels and then we were off to Paris for 4 days. We arrived in Paris the day before Kent’s birthday.
For his birthday, Kent requested well in advance that we go to the Eiffel Tower first thing in the morning because he had researched that it was the best time to take photos at the tower. On that morning, he woke up very early and was ready to go by 7am. I, on the other hand, was taking my time. I leisurely got out of bed, had a relaxing breakfast and spent my time getting ready that morning. What I didn’t know was that Kent had an appointment at 10am, at the Eiffel Tower. The entire time I was slowly getting ready, Kent was secretly agonizing over whether we would make it on time. He never let me see him lose his cool, I had no idea he was nervous, I just figured he was excited for his birthday and to see the Eiffel Tower.
When we get to the Eiffel Tower, Kent started his usual routine of taking pictures with multiple cameras, while I, admittedly, started to take a selfie. At that moment, a woman came up to us and asked if we would like her to take a photo of us, and we said, “Yes, thank you.” After taking the photo, she asked where we were from. We explained I was from Phoenix and Kent was from Dallas, to which she replied, “I’m from Dallas too!” She then proceeded to ask us if we would be willing to take some photos for her to put in her portfolio because she had just moved to Paris with her husband. She was a wedding photographer and needed some photos for her website to build credibility. Kent, of course, said yes and I didn’t think twice, given Kent’s love for photography.
She led us to a special area and began taking pictures of us. At that moment, Kent turned to me and got down on one knee and proposed, while she continued to take pictures. It was beautiful, perfect and a complete surprise! What I found out, after the proposal, was that he had hired Stacy Reeves of www.lamourdeparis.com to take the photos and pose as a photographer building her business so I wouldn’t be tipped off. It was absolutely the best experience and moment in my life, and it couldn’t have been more perfect!
About Stefanie’s Ring: We actually picked out the ring together at Shane Co. one day in September. I knew I wanted a thin band with pave diamonds because I love how they glitter in the sun! My favorite part was that they let us pick out the diamonds ourselves. We got to look at them all up close and learn about the 4 Cs while picking out the stone. I’ve never been so educated and fascinated about something I previously knew nothing about!
When we selected the diamond, Kent put down a deposit and we left the store. He told me that he would need until February to pay for the ring and I applauded him for his financial common sense. I never thought for a second that he already had his plan to propose around Christmas before we even walked into Shane Co.!
Photos by Stacey Reeves