Danielle and Grayson

how we met

Grayson and I were from the same hometown but he was a few years ahead of me in high school. He graduated early and joined the Marine Corps at 17 years old so it wasn’t until a couple years later that we officially met one weekend while he was home on leave. He actually doesn’t even remember meeting me but I remember thinking he was so dreamy and that I would love to be his girlfriend! Fast forward to about a year later. I was now away at college and he was deployed to Afghanistan when I started talking to him on Facebook. We chatted back and forth for a couple months but not much more. A few months later I heard from some of our mutual friends that he was back from his deployment. I reached out to one of them and we decided I should come to his homecoming party to surprise him! We hit it off well and made plans for him to come visit me at my university the following weekend. We had a great weekend but at this point he was still pursuing his career in the military and I had a few more years left of school so we parted ways and ultimately lost touch.

Fast forward to almost 10 years later when I received a Instagram DM from him! At this point he was out of the military and in college so we swapped numbers and planned a date for the following weekend. From there the rest is history! It wasn’t until recently when I brought up something we talked about while he was overseas that I found out I had actually been catfished! Come to find out he didn’t even have computer access where he was over there and someone locally had been using his photos to impersonate him on Facebook the entire time he was gone. The jokes on them though because look at us now! All of these years later and here we are with a beautiful 7 month old daughter planning our wedding together! Looking back, it amazes me to see how no matter where we were in our lives our separate paths always led us back to each other.

how they asked

We had just moved into our new house when Grayson kept telling me how much he wanted to take us to go apple picking in the North Carolina mountains. He thought it would be a great outing to relax and unwind after all the stresses of moving. He had been bringing it up at least once a week for a month about how great it would be to take our daughter there and see the gorgeous Mountain View’s. We both love all the fall festivities and great weather October brings the Carolina’s. He even planned for us to meet his sister and her family there so we could all pick apples together. I was looking forward to making the two hour road trip to the mountains but we were far behind on getting settled at our new place. I mentioned to him that it would be better to go another weekend when we don’t have as much to get done. He seemed overly disappointed that I felt we should change the plans and I remember thinking “what’s all the fuss about?” Little did I know I was actually canceling his master plan to propose to me. So he said “would you like to go to Windy Hill Orchard and Cidery on Sunday afternoon instead to enjoy some hard cider and fresh apple donuts?” I happily obliged and thought that would be a lot easier to do around our busy schedules since Windy Hill is in our home town of York, South Carolina.

On Sunday’s we always go to his parents house for lunch. Looking back I could tell he was quieter than usual and didn’t eat much. I quickly found out his sister, her kids and his mom were all coming to the orchard with us. I had no idea everyone was going and started getting suspicious. I asked him why he didn’t bring it up that they were coming along too and he said he thought he had. As soon as we pulled in and parked he said we needed to get a family picture of us and our daughter. His sister told us where to stand for the picture and then Grayson said let’s get one of just us! As soon as I handed his mom our daughter Isla, I walked back over and we took a couple more pictures.

He immediately turned to me and got down on one knee. He had a beautiful speech prepared but honestly it was all a blur and all I really remember is how much he was shaking and the words “Will you marry me?” Luckily he had it all memorized and I was able to hear it again later after we both had calmed down some. Looking back at the pictures I realized I actually had my hand out waiting for the ring before he had even finished asking! He had a custom made wooden ring box with my name engraved on it and inside was the ring of my dreams. A beautiful oval solitaire sitting atop a double hidden halo with a rose gold pave’ band. The ring is everything I’ve ever wanted and so much more. We spent the rest of the afternoon celebrating by stuffing our faces with doughnuts and cider!