how we met
Andrew and I met through mutual friends while in college at Auburn University. I graduated a year earlier than he did and moved to Nashville, TN for an internship. After living in Nashville for about 6 months, one of my sorority sisters invited me along with a small group of friends to dinner to celebrate her accepting a local job. She wanted the group to park near the Nissan stadium, home of the Tennessee Titans, so that we could all walk across the bridge together before dinner. The Shelby Street Pedestrian Bridge spans the Cumberland River and connects downtown’s popular 2nd Avenue area to Nissan Stadium. It’s a local favorite for photography and river views, a romantic stroll, or special events.
When I arrived in the parking lot of the Nissan Stadium I noticed Andrew was there with the group. I immediately asked him what he was doing in Nashville to find out he was actually from Nashville and was home visiting family for the summer break. As we all started to walk across the bridge, he immediately began asking me question after question such as: What was I doing in Nashville? How did I like it so far? Did I plan on staying after my internship? Did I like my internship? What were my career goals? Etc. Looking back at it now, some girls might think it was odd for a guy to ask a girl so many questions at once, but it made me feel like he was really interested in getting to know me.
Before I knew it, we were so deep in conversation that we got to the restaurant and the only seats left were at opposite ends of the table. After dinner, the group wanted to go to a bar on Nashville’s famous Broadway Street to listen to a band. At first I mentioned that I had to work the next day and needed to get back home, but since everyone else had to work as well I decided to go for only an hour.
Once we left the restaurant and headed to the bar, Andrew and I began to pick up right where we left off. For every question he asked me I threw one right back at him. Once we got to the bar, we continued to talk just between the two of us. I think the group noticed we were hitting it off when one of the girls in the group suggested I should come to a pregame at Andrew’s dad’s house the next day on Friday. We walked back across the bridge to our cars, and Andrew insisted I come to the pregame.
The next day, my roommate called and told me she had plans for us to hang out with her friends from her hometown. I remember offering that we should all go to Andrew’s dad’s but my roommate insisted we go with her plans instead. It was getting close to the end of the night and we were at a local bar and in the large crowd Andrew somehow spotted me and approached me by reaching out his arm to give me a hug. I was so in shock he found me! From then on he became and forever will be my best friend.
how they asked
Wow… How I asked… Well I will start by saying that I have never been so nervous before in my life. I wasn’t nervous about her response, but rather nervous about making this event the most amazing moment of her life, the exact moment that she had dreamt about for years. I knew she was the one for months before I proposed, but wanted to think about the perfect way to ask. My mom was ill and didn’t have much time, so it was important to me for her to be able to see this moment. I began thinking. I thought about our past and memories and couldn’t help but think about the moment I knew, that very moment she caught my eye and I knew that she truly was a special person. Then it hit me.. What better place to do it than the walking bridge, the exact place that I had this realization. The exact place I fell in love with beautiful woman I now call my fiancé.
I began doing research. I called her mom and her best friend to let them know I finally had it figured out, but how was I going to do it? I wrote a letter. This letter told her everything. How much I loved her, my feelings, my thoughts, etc.. I made brunch plans at the Southern, an incredible restaurant in downtown Nashville, and convinced her that it was highly recommended by a friend. I work at a plant in Nashville and bought a lock to be engraved with her initials and mine accompanied by a bible verse that meant more to me than anything in the world, and found an incredible photographer to capture this moment for her so she could relive it time in and time out, and for the final touch I got family and friends to be waiting on the opposite side of the bridge.
The day I asked, we finished brunch a little early. With butterflies in my stomach I had to hold it together, because I couldn’t let her sense anything out of the norm. I walked her around downtown staring at my watch every second she glimpsed away. It was finally time! I walked her up the bridge to a nice secluded spot visible by our families on the other side. I told her about the French gate and how it was a cool idea to put a lock on this bridge since this was the spot that she captured my heart. I was so nervous I pocketed my letter and decided to improvise. I showed her the lock and told her how much I loved her and that this was a symbol of our eternal love.
I read her the bible verse on the back, Ecclesiastes 4:12, “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” I explained the significance of the verse and how my mother and I would end our prayers every night praying that our family could be like a bundle of sticks with a rope tied around it, God being the rope, unlike one stick that could easily be broken, and how I wanted us to become a bundle protected by God, but first I needed her. She looked at me strange. I got to one knee and asked her! “Christian, I don’t want to be overpowered, I want to be two who can defend themselves, so will you help me? Will you marry me?” She said YES!
And the best part about it, my mom was able to attend! Christian was in her own world, not even noticing the clicking of photos by our photographer right by us. I turned her around and pointed at our family, my mom, and friends.
I have never been so happy in my life, and never seen her so happy either. We began walking to our families, I noticed tears falling down her face, and remember thinking, I did it! I pulled off the most exciting moment of our life thus far!