Elise and Golden

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How we met

Golden: We tell this story all the time and it always ends in people saying, “wow you two are fate.” So the short version is we met out at a bar while on a college weekend with our friends. I noticed Elise from clear across the room, I had tunnel vision on her all night. Even in the dark atmosphere, her smile seemed to light up the whole place. Before saying a single word to her I could tell she was a confident, outgoing, and obviously gorgeous individual. I mustered up the courage to approach her, and was extremely persistent (literally it took 3-4x) until I was able to buy her a drink. Some people are exaggerating when they say the rest was history, but it really was in our case. We are so similar, our energy was immediately contiguous to each other, we had just met, but were acting like best friends who were just reunited.

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Elise: That night we were running around holding hands, so comfortable like we’d been dating for forever! I remember my best friend Brittney (who’s now my Maid of Honor) pulling me aside asking me who the heck this guy was and if he was an old High School fling or something. She was shocked understanding we really did just meet as she’d never seen me act like that before. A few hours later one of our girl friends had had enough with her blisters and stilettos, she took her shoes off, and it was the end of the night for her. Of course that meant it was time for me to say goodbye to Golden, as naturally us girls travel in packs. What he did next was just the beginning of his thoughtful gestures he does for me on a daily basis. He actually followed me out and down the escalator doing everything he could to convince me to stay. Realizing the issue, he took his shoes off and proceeded to convince my friend why shoes weren’t necessary and he’d wear socks to make her feel comfortable if it meant I could stay. We were all so shocked at his persistence and his sweetness, I got the girls to stay a bit longer, and Golden and I ran off again together. Love at first sight was the obvious part, but little did we know Gods plan brought him right back to me as he got drafted by the Seattle Seahawks (where I lived and was finishing up my Senior year at the University of Washington). A month later he moved to Seattle… And from there you can see how fate turned into Mr & Mrs Tate!

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how they asked

Golden: I really wanted all of Elise’s family to be there because I know how important they are to her, and lucky for me our season opener was in San Diego (where they all live). It was definitely a gift from God to align that opportunity, so that was the weekend I waited for. It was really hard having the ring for several months before I proposed, and there were so many times I wanted to pop the question in the meantime, but I knew it would be worth it to wait until San Diego. I really tried to set up every detail so she wouldn’t be suspicious the day of. Weeks before we went to SD I planted the seed for the proposal location of being by the water. I told her I missed the ocean and suggested we go to the ocean one last time before the season started. She was so excited and happily agreed and said she couldn’t wait to go swimming (even though I knew there wouldn’t be any swimming with that ring in my pocket)! Right after I landed in SD I got off the team plane, proposal rehearsed a hundred times over in my head, and headed to meet up for our walk and family dinner. Everything was perfect, I was all dressed up in a suit which was normal for my work trips, so Elise didn’t suspect a thing with my fancy attire. Her knowing I’d be in a suit also made it so easy for me to suggest she wore this new outfit “she wore to church the other day” (which was all white) out to the family dinner she thought we were going to. Details aside I was SO nervous.

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Elise: I could hear his heart beating literally through his chest while we were in the elevator, enough to make me ask him if he was feeling okay! He somehow played it off convincing me it was first game of the season nerves. Once at the water we talked for a bit and then out of nowhere he got down on one knee. I was stunned, the whole thing was surreal. You always envision the day you get engaged and then when it really happens it’s the most crazy, indescribable feeling. Basically my hands flew to my mouth, I dropped my purse and just stared at him for what seemed like a long long time while he was down on one knee.

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Everything he said was so perfect, it’s a pretty amazing feeling to have your best friend kneeling before you professing his love and basically saying his vows! I was blown away, when I came out of tunnel vision I noticed a photographer was there and a crowd started to form with cheers, I didnt even put the ring on for a while because I was too busy hugging and kissing him! He had to ask me… “baby, do you want to put your ring on?” Then shock number two came through when I actually stared at my ring!

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The whole experience was beyond special and I cannot believe how much detail he put into the day. Afterwards I even realized he had picked out my white outfit for a reason! I was in constant shock of his endless attention to detail he had planned. After stopping by the Lions team hotel and getting covered in hugs and congratulations by his teammates (who knew, and were awaiting our return back), he whisked me away to our surprise engagement party at Rustic Root where he’d rented out the rooftop and invited our family and friends.

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Our faces were in perma-smile mode… it was just the most perfect party filled with joy and surprises left and right. Golden literally thought of it all, again. Of course, he had the photographer (Gavin Smith) continue on to the party with us – and it really all unfolds like a movie when scrolling through the snaps. The photos are so special, each person walking into the party realizing it’s not just a family get together, but a surprise engagement party, each jaw dropped, shocked hand gestures, tears, people grabbing my hand, hugs to parents, siblings, cousins, grandparents, friends.

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Within minutes of getting to the party, I called my best friend Brittney, (now my maid of honor) to tell her the news… there’s a photo of me crying with the phone up to my ear talking to her and my other hand being pulled by my cousins, admiring my ring, everyone with huge smiles and tears… whats even better is that 5 minutes later to my surprise, Brittney walked through the door and was right in front of me…. (that photo is worth a thousand words).

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Yes Golden boy strikes again and had even arranged for my best friend to get off work early to get to SD in time for this. Moments later a bottle of champagne with a note was delivered from another dear friend who was out of town but wanted to be there in spirit. Friends, family, siblings, grandparents, cousins, parents, facetimes from bestfriends traveling across the world, all surrounded us with so much love. It was SUCH a fun celebration…. my dad, Golden, and Golden’s brother Kendrick all gave special toasts. It was a whirlwind and the next morning the fun continued with 50+ person tailgate / 2nd engagement party equipped with mimosas and white tutus! I couldnt have planned any detail of it better myself.

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Special Thanks

Gavin Smith
 | photographer
Rustic Root
 | engagement party venue
Chase Gregory
 | jeweler