Caroline and Russ

Caroline and Russ's Engagement in Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, North Carolina

How We Met

Russ and I met after a legion game (summer baseball for high schoolers) where he is a coach. He and I had chatted before online, and “matched up” on a dating app. I was on a girls’ trip in Florida (with two of my future bridesmaids!) and the first two messages from him were “Why are you 500 miles away?” and “Tomorrow is my birthday”. He always says to this day I was bound to respond to one of those comments. It must be mentioned that Russ and I went to the same small college (1000) students, graduated together, and still didn’t know each other, but still matched! Fast forward a few weeks, Russ and I still talked but hadn’t met in person, due to our lives being super busy.

Proposal Ideas Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, North Carolina

He asked one day if I would like to hang out after this game he was coaching but had to turn off his phone before I responded. (It turns out that I was coming to the game to surprise him) After the game was over, I sat in the stands by myself waiting for what felt like an eternity, when Russ’ fellow coach pointed out “the girl in the stands all by herself”. After we met that night, we hung out till four in the morning!! I went home and received a text that said he wasn’t sure about dating because he was so busy with baseball. I was, of course, disappointed, but understood. Not even a day later he says that he wanted to hang out, and said that his mind was made up, and that to stay up till four a.m. with another person just talking is a sign, and the rest they say, is history :) Most of our time is spent with our pups, or at the baseball field where we first met (Russ is also a college baseball coach at our alma mater)

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How They Asked

I give Russ so much credit for his thoughtfulness when it came to the proposal. I am huge, and I mean HUGE Carolina Panthers fan. In contrast, Russ is a Cleveland Browns fan (which I now support) but he always went to the games with me and listened to me analyze every minute of the game. Russ and I had talked for several months about getting married, and he always finished with “It will happen sometime soon” but of course I wanted more information and continuously looked for clues, which I’m sure drove him crazy! However, he would drop a few vague pieces of information.

Eventually, he asked what one thing I wanted in an engagement ring, which I responded “I would really love an emerald cut, after that, it doesn’t matter” So, he secretly had met with my mom and told her that he wanted to custom make my ring with stones from each of our family because he knew how much my family meant to me. Sure enough, my mom had a beautiful wedding ring that my dad had given her when she turned 40, with an emerald-cut stone. (my band will be made from stones from Russ’ late Grandmother’s wedding ring) They took this ring to a family friend of ours who is the BEST jeweler ever. Mike (the jeweler) has known me since I was a baby and has helped my father create as well as purchase beautiful pieces throughout the years. Not to mention he has become a great family friend. Mike, Russ, and my mom all sat down as I designed my engagement ring together which was so special to me.

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Fast forward to the day of our engagement, August 16th, 2019 was not only a special day for us but my parents as well; as it was their 33rd wedding anniversary! Russ knows how much I admire the love my parents have for one another, as they met at college (the same one Russ and I went to) and got married there. On the way to the game, I was so sick and almost wanted to turn around and head home. (Thank goodness I didn’t!) During the first half of the game, I didn’t notice much, other than my mom and Russ getting up and down a lot “to use the restroom”. Little did I know that every employee in the entire suite that we were sitting in was in on it!

So, halftime rolls around and I’m standing there watching a performer on the field. Russ walks over to me after disappearing for a good chunk of the first half, but I didn’t think much of it. He quietly says to me “Hey, I have one more hint for you, turn around to find out what it is”. I, of course, didn’t take it seriously, but I obliged, and there he was, down on one knee. I was absolutely speechless. My hands were shaking, I started to cry (happily) and said YES as fast as I could. I think I almost fainted. As if it couldn’t get any better, Russ was able to have his parents be there hiding to surprise us afterward. Champaign, cake, celebrating were in order. I still to this day feel like the luckiest girl alive, and I can’t wait to marry such an amazing man, coach, friend, and more!