How We Met
I met TJ on May 7, 2016, in Atlanta, GA. I was at work when I received a phone call from a friend inviting me for a night out with her and the guy she was dating at the time. I turned her down and explained I just wasn’t feeling up to it. I was having a very emotional day as this was the day we auctioned off my fathers business property. My Dad passed away when I was 19. My mother and I tried to keep the business up and running, but it just wasn’t working out. We listed the property with a real estate agent, but unfortunately it did not sell. Therefore we had come to the gut-wrenching decision to auction off the property. The auction didn’t meet what we felt the property was worth, and letting it go was just devastating for me. This was a place I grew up as my dad had owned his own business from the time I was 4. So needless to say, I was not in the mood for drinks and dancing, I had more of a binge-watching session with lots of snacks in mind. As I’m sitting at work, the phone rings again. It’s her, telling me I HAVE to come out, the guy she is seeing has a really cute friend. She then proceeds to gas him up telling me how attractive and charming he is and convinces me this will help take my mind off things. I give in, and it turned out to be the best decision I’ve ever made. I rush home to get ready, after all, she said he was really cute, so I put on my best face, a cute outfit, and head over to her place. When I arrived the three of them were already there. Tj and I were introduced and immediately had a connection (I mean have you looked at him). We went out had drinks and danced all night. At the end of the night, he asked for my number so he could take me on a proper date. He mentioned he was going out of town for a few days to visit a friend in L.A., but when he returned he wanted to take me out. I’ll be honest, I thought this guy is going to go on this trip and forget all about me, it was one night. We texted, called, and even FaceTimed while he was in LA. He was only gone 4days… He got back and took me on the date he had promised, and we’ve been inseparable since.
How They Asked
I wanted to plan a special trip to celebrate TJs 30th birthday. I had been researching destinations for at least a month, when I finally landed in Paris, France. I’ve dreamt of Paris my entire life like many women do. I felt the romantic city would be the perfect destination to celebrate his birthday and enjoy some much needed time together. I gifted him with a round trip ticket to Paris for his birthday, and we began planning where to stay, things to do, etc. I was talking to my best friend when she mentioned that we didn’t have any photos of the two of us from our last trip to NYC, and suggested that we get a photographer to take some pictures of us. I immediately thought, omg, how fantastic would that be. Those would be memories we would cherish forever. I pitched the idea to my then boyfriend and he was onboard. My BFF and I started planning outfit ideas. I wanted something dressy but not over the top, my exact words were “ this isn’t an engagement shoot”. She immediately shot me down and pushed me to wear something dressy, elegant, and sexy.
She told me “you only live once, and I know how picky you are, plus who knows when and if you’ll ever go back”. I started thinking well she has a point, and she would never lead me astray. We begin searching for a more formal dress with sleeves because I knew it would be cold. This turned out to be quite difficult as many formal gowns don’t have sleeves. I’m googling red formal dress with sleeves, and the most beautiful dress popped up. Naturally, you cannot purchase the gown online, so my BFF searches for a retailer near us, and we were in luck. We found a shop about 40 minutes outside of Atlanta that carried the brand. I get there, try on the dress, and immediately fall in love. I was torn because the dress was pricey, and again the shoot is just for fun. I didn’t want to be THAT person, but I felt beautiful. My BFF encouraged me to call my then boyfriend to talk to him about the dress. I texted him a photo, then called. He said “ WOW you look incredible. What’s holding you back?”. We talked through it and he offered to purchase the gown stating “ he wanted me to feel beautiful and happy”.
I wasn’t shocked he offered to purchase the gown because this is so typical of his character, and let’s face it, I’m a little spoiled. Finally, the day comes we are leaving for Paris, and it felt like a fairytale. I remember thinking how lucky am I to get to roam the most romantic city in the world with my person. The day of the photo shoot arrives, our 3rd day in Paris. As I am getting ready TJ packs me a small bag of extra shoes in case my feet get tired, a hairbrush, and my makeup. He was going above and beyond to make sure I had all I would need for our shoot. We arrive at Trocadero to meet our photographer. She begins instructing us on poses and takes a few test shots. As she is instructing us she asks TJ to stand behind me with his arms around me. Then she instructs us to stand with our backs turned to each other with one of us on each side of the Eiffel Tower. She then proceeds to tell me to turn around for the next shot. I turned around and I was in disbelief.
There he was on one knee, a smile from ear to ear, and the most beautiful oval ring. I couldn’t believe it. I immediately begin tearing up, thinking thank goodness he packed my makeup. He asked me to come closer, he takes my hand and says “You are the best thing to ever happen to me. You are my best friend, my partner, my everything. A life without you would be meaningless and dull. Carly Bryce Smith will you say yes to a lifetime of love and make me the happiest man in the world, will you marry me.” Of course, I said YES!!! I was in such shock. I had coordinated the photo shoot so how did he pull this off. I later found out that he conspired with my best friend, she snuck in my phone and got the photographers info and sent it to him. He told her prior to me planning the trip he wanted to propose, which is why she pushed me to do the photo shoot and go with the formal gown. I am very picky, and he knows this, so he asked her to encourage me to do the photo shoot and help me pick out a formal gown to make sure it would be exactly what I wanted.
SNEAKY little devils!!
It was the most incredible moment of my life. I cannot wait to share a lifetime of love with this man.