Autumn and John

How We Met

John and I met nearly five years ago, when he was transferred into my weigh-lifting class. I was 15 and he was barely 17. A few of our friends in the weight-lifting class thought we might be a pretty compatible pair. However; my mom would not let me date! “Too young,” she said, and like me, she had heard that he was a bit of a rascal. Early on though, I saw something deeper than meets the eye in John. I saw a goodness and a willingness that captured my attention. John was relentless though. He caught up with me in the high school hallways; walking me to every single class carrying my book bag; suggesting a hundred different things we could do to spend some time together; asking repeatedly if he could take me on a date to which my constant answer was, “I CAN’T, I’M TOO YOUNG!!” Oh, but did I ever want to go!

Autumn Jade and John Austin's Engagement in SkyDive Panama City, Altha, FL

Little by little he tried wheedling his way into my life. Quite a few months after he started his pursuit, I caught a virus and missed school. He immediately called to see if he could run (literally) from over a mile away, to bring me a bowl of chicken noodle soup. Well, that softened my mom and became our break through moment. I still had to wait until I was 16 to go on a date though! When my birthday finally rolled around, John had everything beautifully planned and treated me like a princess. From that day on, we’ve been an inseparable duo; tackling the challenges, sharing together , growing together and loving every moment.

Engagement Proposal Ideas in SkyDive Panama City, Altha, FL

how they asked

John told me a while ago that one day, when he was going to ask me to marry him, it would be an epic occasion. Little did I know that when he talked (begged and cajoled!) me into going on a skydiving adventure that this was exactly the type of thrilling event that he had been waiting for to pop the question. We set the skydiving date for a few weeks after his birthday. We were both stoked about knocking this off of our buckets lists and adding another special memory to our archive. I didn’t have a clue about what he was really planning. When the day of the jump arrived, we were all butterflies and anticipation. My family, John and I headed out for the skydiving venue early on Sunday morning as we were scheduled to jump in the early afternoon.

On the drive there, John was his usual, passionate, bubbly self; asking me over and over again if I was excited or nervous, getting us both pumped up for the jump. He even jokingly asked me if I would marry him for the 100th time to which I said, “don’t ask me, until you mean it!” When we arrived at the Skydiving facility, the staff, unknown to me, were all aware of what was about to happen.They all played it so cool! I didn’t sense anything suspicious! When we checked in, they asked if we wanted to purchase the photo package, to which my mom said “Of course!” Unbeknownst to me, they had actually hired a professional photographer and she was playing it off that she was the staff photographer. After watching a short instructional film, we spoke with our instructors, suited up, hugged my family tight and headed for the sky!

At this point, I was beginning to feel like I was the calm one. John was acting overly excited and giddy. I kept teasing him about how the tables had turned and I was the composed one. The skydiving jump itself, was incredible! John hopped out right before me, which I thought was just the order the crew had us go, and he landed about a minute before me. During that minute, the staff raced the ring out to him and the hired photographer, and my family, gathered around the landing zone.

I zoomed in, hooping and hollering and they landed me almost exactly into John’s arms who was standing there beaming. He grabbed me up with his usual zest and gave me a warm, loving bear hug. After the embrace and cheers from everyone, and with my heart still racing from the jump, John took my hand and said, “You know I Love you so much with all that I have ………” In front of the staff and my family, he summarized the past five years of our lives with his beautiful words and emotions, got down on his knees and said “would you Autumn Jade, take my hand and walk beside me for the rest of my life?”

Through tears of total shock, amazement and happiness, I said YES! The skydiving crew, my family, John and I were all teary eyed. It was a once in a lifetime moment. An unforgettable surprise that I will cherish forever. I can’t wait to start my journey with John!

Special Thanks

Lauren Folk | 
Skydive Panama City |