Charlotte and Patrick
How We Met
Patrick and I met back in high-school. He came from a small town and was homeschooled for the majority of his education. I went to a large church in the East Baton Rouge parish area and attended the local all girl catholic high-school. I lived in the city and was used to the close quarters of homes and buildings that I grew up around. Patrick lived out in Sunshine Louisiana and only had 3 neighbors within 2 miles of his home. He was the boy who would show up to our church events in jeans and boots. I was the girl who would show up in my school uniform. We never really talked much within the church group sessions until one day we were in the process of working towards a big youth event we hosted annually.
However, we need to backtrack in order to get some background information on this timeline. It was junior year and we were new drivers. He was driving his dad’s company truck. It was a small little 5 speed manual ford ranger. I was driving my mom’s acura MDX. Prior to the night we officially met, we would go out to grab dinner after each meeting with a group of our friends from church. We would drive the same route each time we met and would go to the same Raising Cane’s each week. After the first time we each noticed the other’s presence we hit it off in a group session with our friends. At the end of the evening we both had to go in the same general direction. I had to go home, while Patrick had to go to his aunt’s house. She lived close enough to me that we decided it would be a good idea to see who could get to that side of town first. As we began our quest to our next destination something clicked. Little did I know that little something would turn into me writing this article about our engagement.
Flash forward to the first meeting of the annual youth event hosted by our church group. This event consisted of several hundred people coming to one location for a day of prayer and fun-filled activities. This year was going to be something special. This year we decided to put on a flash mob during the event. During the very first flash mob practice the choreographer asked for two volunteers. He needed one guy and one girl. Since Patrick was the only guy there, he rarely missed any event within the church group, he was unanimously chosen to be the guy lead role. Me, being the shy girl I was, did not instantly volunteer to be the main role until one of my friends literally pushed me forward to accept this position. Moving towards the center of the room not knowing what would come next, I took the leap of faith and accepted the position as lead girl role. The choreographer told us to go in a round about fashion and look each other in the eyes. While doing this for the very first time, Patrick looked me in the eyes and did something I’ll never forget. As the music started playing and we began practicing our routine, he looked me in the eye and winked at me. From there I knew, this would turn into something special. After the practice session we officially introduced ourselves.
After a year of getting to know each other, Patrick finally mustered up the courage to ask me to be his girlfriend. Well, sort of. He put a note in my shoe after one of our church meetings and wrote a country song, “Would you go with me”, by Josh Turner, with a box at the end that said check yes or no. And that is the story of how we went from complete strangers, to high-school seniors that fell madly in love with each other.
how they asked
Patrick, is an adventurous person. He never rejects a challenge and will always try to go above and beyond what anyone else would do. So, when it came time for him to propose, I had no idea how he would plan on doing it. The curious girl I am tried time and time again to get it out of him on how he would ask me. All he would tell me is that he has multiple plans and didn’t want to give any way in case one fell through. The story goes as follows. We were nearing our 4-year dating anniversary and marriage talk was in the air. It was obvious that we were going to get married, it was only a matter of how and when that the proposal would take place. I expected it to take place in December, when we had discussed it happening; little did I know that it would take place several months before. Patrick had been crafting a plan for over a year, and boy did it turn out perfectly. He wanted to make sure that the way he asked would remain in our hearts and minds forever.
The week of: Patrick told me time and time again that he was busy with work and could not hang out with me at night. He held a guys night the Friday before he asked me and began his master plan with his group of guy friends. That night he laid out exactly what would happen and gave each guy their part. A total of 5 guys and 4 girls not including Patrick is what it took to pull off this plan. With each person having their role it was time to actually make the move.
The day of: Patrick had laid out exactly what had to take place that day. He had to clean his parents’ house to host the after party and make sure all of the decorations were loaded in the truck. The location he chose to propose to me was a location that was near and dear to our hearts. It was a spot that we would go in high school to have picnics. It was dubbed, “our spot” it was a little spot off of River Road that had a break in the trees just perfect for watching the sun set. Patrick went over there with two of his friends and began the set up process. This consisted of them cutting a path in the levee with a lawnmower and weed whacker in order to blaze a path for me to walk. They cut out a 20’x40′ section of grass that would soon be named ground zero. After completing the grass cutting they headed back to the base camp for the final preparations. Patrick had to put together 6 notes folded into the shape of a heart and attached to a rose for each note. After dropping off the notes at my house and then giving the rest of the notes and roses to his friends it was game time. With their roses and notes in hand, everyone headed to ground zero. At ground zero the setup consisted of a 10’x10′ tent that was laid out in the center of the cut patch. The tent floor was burlap cloth that covered not only the tent floor, but also the walkway to the tent, which he then covered in rose petals. After setting up the walkway and tent, Patrick then put out tiki torches and strung led lighted clips from one to the other. On these lights he put pictures of us from birth until we met. The final step was to put in place the chairs and computer for the slideshow he made. And with that, ground zero was ready.
During the set up time each person with a rose and a note had to leave at a certain time in order to get to their location that was predetermined by Patrick. With the first note being at my house, he set out before me a journey of a lifetime. He had me travel to 5 unique locations that all played a significant role in our dating life. At each location was a person that had an impact on us that involved the location. Each note led to the next with carefully crafted clues that only I would understand.
At the final destination was one last rose and one last note. After following directions and making the trek up the levee, there he was. My fiance to be was standing there, with the other 6 roses in hand and an illuminated walkway waiting for me to reach him.
After I reached him we walked through the path of pictures dwelling upon our past lives. At the end was the computer with a slideshow of pictures only of us. This was to signify the separate individuals we were before that day and the center of the tent represented the unified people we would become. The slideshow was beautiful, it was created to reflect our love from beginning, to that point in time. At the end of the slideshow Patrick explained what everything meant, and after his explanation he got down on one knee, pulled out this beautiful hand crafted cypress wooden ring box and asked those 4 words every girl dreams of hearing. After the water works were released I shook my head in acceptance and then I was changed from Charlotte Mart to Charlotte Gremillion to be.