Caroline and Riley

How We Met

I moved to Nashville in the summer of 2017 from North Carolina. After living here for a month or so, my big and best friend told me that I should get on Bumble just to see who was out there. Well to know me is to know that I am naturally pretty shy and definitely am not the type of girl who talks to guys first. But after her convincing me I downloaded Bumble with the intention of only keeping it for 48 hours (silly I know!).

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I remember coming across Riley’s page and thinking wow he seems like a nice guy and he had a great smile- which was a plus in my book! So, I swiped right, and we matched. Fast forward to the next day and I get a notification that someone has extended our match because I didn’t message someone before the 24-hour expiration point. So, I went to the app and saw that Riley had extended the match. Me, not knowing what to do, texted my big saying “This guy just extended our match! I guess that means he really wants me to say something?!” She replied, “Omg yes, Caroline!” With that- I went to the app after work and messaged him saying “Hey! *insert wave emoji*” After a few moments I get a reply and he said, “Hey beautiful! I was hoping you would message me!” We instantly starting texting and quickly scheduled our first date for the following Tuesday.

Our first date was on August 8th, 2017 in 12 South which is a popular little area in Nashville, where we met at Bar Taco for dinner and drinks. Because this was my first time meeting someone online, I group texted my girlfriends saying, “Hey if I go missing I was last seen in 12 South with a 5’8 ginger.” Come to find out- Riley’s friends thought I was going to be a guy because they thought he was getting catfished. Thankfully for us both, we were who we said we were, and our first date was incredible! We didn’t stop talking the whole time and (without knowing it) started a tradition of getting Jeni’s ice cream after every big date.

We talked for about a month or so until we officially started dating. Now we have been inseparable for 2 years and that time has flown by in the best possible way! We love traveling, he’s a pilot so we get free flights, so we have had some amazing adventures like a 24-hour trip to Dublin, Ireland and countless jam sessions to Dave Matthews on road trips. He is truly my best friend and I cannot wait to spend forever with him!

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How They Asked

Riley proposed on Saturday, July 13th at Harlinsdale Park in Franklin, TN and to say that I was shocked when it happened would be an understatement!

The day began like any other normal Saturday. Riley said he was going to play Frisbee Golf with his best friend, Kyle and that he would call me once they were done so we could start our day date. We had planned on going to a new dog park with our dog Daktoa and then to dinner in Franklin for sushi because I had been craving it all week. Before Riley left he said, “What are you wearing today?” I said, “Um not sure yet, why? You never care what I wear?” He said, “Oh I was thinking about wearing my jeans, denim shirt and brown shoes.” To which I replied, “You never were those shoes unless it’s a special occasion? But sounds cute!” He said, “I don’t know I just feel like wearing them today.” Shortly after that- Riley left to play Frisbee golf and I stayed at home to get ready. (He knew that I would be upset if I got engaged in yoga pants and a t-shirt, so he knew if told me what he was wearing that I would mirror my outfit after his- which was genius!)

Around 1:00 PM I get a call from him and he said, “Hey feel free to come over to my parents’ house whenever and then we’ll get ready to go.” I left my house shortly after and headed that way. When I arrived, his parents were doing what they always do on Saturdays- yard work, cleaning, washing the car, etc.- so I didn’t think anything about it except that it was a normal Saturday at the Steed house.

We left his house a couple of hours later and headed to this new dog park that I had been wanting to go to because Dakota could play and we could have a few drinks at the same time. We stayed at the dog park for about 1.5 hours until Riley says, “Hey you wanna head to dinner now?” and I said, “Yeah that sounds great!”

We’re now on our way to the restaurant and Riley says, “Hey we should probably let Dakota use the bathroom before we go so she doesn’t go there.” I said, “Oh that’s a good call! Let’s do that.” (*Side note- I have no sense of direction so I had no clue how close we were to the restaurant. All I knew was that we were close because I recognized the area.) Shortly after we pulled into Harlinsdale Park and there is a polo match going on. So, I was still completely clueless as to what was about to happen.

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We get out of the car and start walking with Dakota and throwing her frisbee so she can use the bathroom. Once she does that we walk back towards the car, so I thought, until I see something in the distance on the ground. I was thinking, “Oh I don’t think I’m supposed to see that!” So, I throw the frisbee in the opposite direction to avoid seeing anything else. After that- -Riley grabs my hand and I see the most beautiful set up on the grass, and I start to cry which causes him to cry.

Once we get to the area he had so beautifully set up- he got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife. I said yes yes yes!! I start crying again and he says, “Hey say hi to Emilie and Mark they are taking pictures and videoing this whole thing!” I started crying some more. Then he said, “Hey who is that walking up?!” It was our two best friends- Rachel and Kyle! They had set the whole thing up while we were at the dog park!

Riley then pulled me to the set up again and said, “Do you have a question to ask me?!” Me (being in a state of shock) said, “um no I don’t think so?!” He said, “Where do you think your family is right now?!” I burst into more tears because I knew my parents drove 10 hours from North Carolina to be there! He said, “Our families and friends are waiting at my parents’ house for a surprise party!” I proceeded to cry even more at the thought of us celebrating with closest family and friends!

Riley also wrote me a hand-written letter to read because he said, “I wanted you to know how much you mean to me and I wasn’t sure if I could tell you all of this when I was proposing.” It was easily the most genuine and heartfelt thing I’ve ever read! He also signed it, “Love, Your Forever 5’8 ginger!”

All that to say- Riley knocked it out of the ballpark and exceeded my wildest expectations! The whole day and evening were so special and Riley thought of every detail possible. I am still in shock but am SO thrilled to spend forever with my best friend!

Last thing- we are thinking our wedding date will be August 8th, 2020 which is a Saturday and exactly three years to the date of our first date! If I only knew then what I know now!

Special Thanks

Emilie Harvey
 | Photographer