Bailee and Reid
How We Met
Reid and I met through mutual friends at Florida State University, although his memory of me is much more vivid than what I have to say. I would see him on and off at different greek life events, church or football game tailgates but never really had a conversation with him (although he would beg to differ). After college, we were both living our life’s in our hometowns and Reid started commenting on pictures of my nephew (who is undoubtedly the cutest kid in the world). Reid claims that he simply thought Benson was cute and there was no ulterior motive. However, I am still not convinced.
Those comments led to messaging back and forth daily and invitations to any and all events in our life- but, keep in mind we are on OPPOSITE ends of Florida. Anyone who knows Reid understands me when I say that the boy is confident. When I mean confident, I mean sending me a text stating that he was coming to Panama City Beach on Labor Day weekend to “give this thing a shot”. Umm, what?! Give what a shot?! It’s important to note that I lived with my parents while I was getting established in my career and I am not the kind of girl who just openly invites “random” boys to come to town.
Fast forward and the weekend included meeting my WHOLE family (on night one), attending muddy country concerts (where he soon realized my obsession for the finest music out there) and quickly figuring out that this thing could really work. By the end of that week, Reid had extended his trip (surprise), I met his family, and we decided why not book a trip to Iceland FOUR months out. I guess you could say his over-confidence quickly rubbed off on me.
We played the long-distance game for the next 6 months, traveling at least every two weeks to spend time with one another and taking many trips to make sure we were good travel partners for our full bucket list. My Golden-doodle, Gilligan, quickly attached himself to Reid- which truly was the biggest checkmark he needed in my book. After 6 months, I made the move down to Fort Lauderdale and learned the meaning of embracing change. (let’s be honest, I am still learning).
Our relationship is unique, full of adventures and some may say a little fast. But to us, it was full of clarity and the discovery of finding what it means to be in a relationship with your best friend. We can both say with confidence that it’s true—when you know, you really know.
How They Asked
Reid had a work trip planned to Nashville, which just so happens to be one of my favorite places to visit. The town, the culture, the food, the music, the people- I could go on and on. We decided that I would tag along and join him for a fun weekend. We spent Friday traveling around, shopping (little did I know that I looking for an outfit for our engagement) and singing along at every honky-tonk on Broadway. Weeks prior we were trying to find things to do while we were there and an add popped up for Arrington Vineyards promoting their Saturday night bluegrass concert. Wine and live music?! Sign us up!! Saturday quickly came and after a long morning exploring the city and eating food that was way too bad for us, Reid and I returned to the hotel to relax and watch good ole Forrest Gump.
At this point, I had no suspicions until… Reid politely said that it would probably be smart if I went ahead and started getting ready. I told him I didn’t need an hour since I didn’t want to curl my hair. Reid frantically tried to convince me that I would want my hair curled for any pictures we might take there and that I just needed to curl my hair. Cue the nerves. I started to think why he would be so particular about how my hair looked?! (I will say now in hindsight; I am very thankful he fought for this- we all know how particular I am about my hair in pictures!) Fast forward to arriving at Arrington Vineyards. Reid is pacing around in circles, not speaking- I mean absolutely silent. He settles on a picnic table tucked under the trees, on the opposite side of the bluegrass concert and away from any water or wine which I was basically begging for at this point. Reid sat silently shoving a burrito into his mouth and not answering any of my questions.
Come to find out he was stalling because the photographer had a flight delay and was not there yet! Reid’s nerves take over and he jumps up and asks if we could take a stroll through the vineyards. After looking at the sun coming over the vines, searching for baby grapes and him receiving the text that the photographer was in place- it began. Reid handed me a letter that encompassed why he knew I was the one for him. The first line read, “you can start happy crying now”. Well, I did. He proceeded to get down on one knee and opened a little box with the most perfect ring I could have ever dreamed of inside.
Through the corner of my eye, I see a photographer taking pictures (major bonus points!) Reid told me to take a second look, only to realize that he had flown in one of my best friends (Haley Jane) who is a wedding photographer in Charleston. I was in complete shock. After a dreamy photo session in the vineyard with the most picturesque backdrop, I hear Haley Jane squeal. I turn around and both Reid and I’s families come running into the vineyard!!! Cue the tears for the third time this evening. For someone who hates to be surprised this night was full of them and I was having to pinch myself to make sure this wasn’t a dream.
After enjoying some wine and family time we walk out to “find our Uber” which ended up being a hummer limo awaiting us to take us to the “next surprise”. Honestly, I am not sure how I was still standing at this point. We popped champagne, sang ‘we are family’, opened gifts and arrived at the Grand Ole Opry! The night ended with Old Crowe Medicine Show, which if you know anything about my college years you know Wagon Wheel was my song! Reid exceeded any and all expectations I could have possibly had and I am convinced that this will continue to be one of the best nights of my life.