Carole and Colt

How We Met

Nearly 4 years ago I was heading to my first basketball game on a co-ed team in Washington, DC. I joined this league, in hopes of making friends, as I was recently graduated and new to the area. I arrived at the gym, searching for my team and designated court. I wandered and internally panicked for a while – though I feel most comfortable on the basketball court, new situations and people still make me nervous.

Carole's Proposal in Marshall Park - Charlotte, NC

I eventually found my team but realized I needed a team shirt. After asking what seemed like everyone on the court, some guy jumped out of the warm-up line and ran over to me with the leftover shirts. He held a large and extra-large – which unfortunately were not going to fit. I think he saw my reluctance, as his response to my hesitation, was, “you can have mine if you want. It’s a medium.” To which I responded, “um, it’s fine.” He was sweating, and my social anxiety only allowed me to be short and distant. I grabbed the large from his hand and ran on the court to warm up. We won that game, and I guess I won his attention.

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Where to Propose in Marshall Park - Charlotte, NC

That night I received an email… It was the t-shirt stranger or Colt. He asked to meet up sometime that week to play, but I didn’t think much of it. At this point in my life, I was training to play professional basketball, so I was willing to play almost anywhere with anyone, so I agreed to hang out without knowing what would come of it.

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Proposal Ideas Marshall Park - Charlotte, NC

Well… we talked every day after that email. We met up to play basketball and watch movies later that week. Went on our first date that weekend. He surprised me with our first puppy, Zoey, on that Valentine’s Day. We moved into our first home that summer. We made our first city move last year. He proposed last winter. So… I guess it all started with an email. And Colt offering me the shirt off his back (he won’t let me live that down).

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I am so blessed to be able to share my longest passion – basketball – with the love of my life. Colt is my best teammate and competitor. He is my lifelong movie date. He is my kitchen dance party partner. He is my entire heart, and I am thankful that we get to write our story together.

Carole and Colt's Engagement in Marshall Park - Charlotte, NC

How They Asked

We started our day early on a rainy Saturday in December. We got ready and walked the dog – a very typical weekend morning for us. I started to make my way out the door when Colt insisted upon grabbing an umbrella before we left. It was a bit strange, as none of our plans involved being out in the rain for a long period of time, and we are definitely those – “run to the door because we are too lazy to open the umbrella” – the type of people.

We had numerous tasks to accomplish that day, including me trying on a bridesmaid dress for my cousin’s upcoming wedding. I remember yelling a joke to him as I pulled on the dress in the fitting room, “please don’t propose on Christmas.” We had talked about marriage before but I did not expect a proposal anytime soon, especially with the holidays right around the corner. He laughed along with me and made sarcastic jokes about the worst times to pop the question.

Our day continued with more errands and us driving all over town. Later that day, we find ourselves at a bar to watch my alma mater play in the football playoffs. Finally some much needed relaxing time. We were surrounded by fans and a couple of friends. It was great (what seemed to be finished) to a busy day. The game ended, and someone mentioned that we should go to the “Sky Bar,” claiming that it was within walking distance. It was still raining so I hesitated but followed along with the crew.

We walked… and walked some more… and kept walking. The rain was starting to pick up with no Sky Bar insight. My frustration started to show – and being honest, I was being quite vocal about our unknown whereabouts and the location of this mystery bar. We made a sudden turn to walk through a park in the middle of the city. “At least I have the umbrella,” I sigh to myself. Colt knows my frustration is increasing but we keep on, dragging our feet through the puddles.

Soon, we cross a bridge and on the other side, I see a strange man pulling out a camera. I feel a sudden tug of my hand. I turn back and Colt is pulling something out of his pocket with a growing smile on his face. My heart drops. My stomach tightens. I throw down the umbrella, letting the rain cover us both as I scream, “Are you kidding?!?” “Nope,” as he bends down on one knee. At that moment, as cliche, as it may sound, I feel as though the entire world stopped spinning and time stood still. I cry. He cries. We laugh together. I squeeze him as hard as I can, hoping to stay in that moment forever. We are absolutely soaking wet, but I couldn’t have cared less. I have loved him so much for so long. Though the proposal was not at all how I pictured it in my head, it was perfect. I am so lucky that get to dance and scream and laugh in the rain with my best friend for the rest of my life.

Special Thanks

Scott Stockton
 | Photographer