Elizabeth and Hayden

How We Met

Hayden and I met on a chilly, January evening at a Starbucks for our first date – a blind date! Our mutual friend, Abby Griffis, thought the two of us would be a fun pairing, and she was right! Hayden and I had been very patient to only pursue a relationship with someone we felt sure about, and our relationship has been one of the sweetest gifts from the Lord.

Marriage Proposal Ideas in Memorial Park in Jacksonville, FL

Engagement Proposal Ideas in Memorial Park in Jacksonville, FL

Elizabeth's Proposal in Memorial Park in Jacksonville, FL

Elizabeth and Hayden's Engagement in Memorial Park in Jacksonville, FL

Wedding Proposal Ideas in Memorial Park in Jacksonville, FL

Where to Propose in Memorial Park in Jacksonville, FL

How They Asked

Hayden and I were supposed to meet two of our friends, Natalie and Rob Thurlow, in Riverside to enjoy bagels and an art market on Saturday morning. Natalie let me know they were running a little behind, so Hayden suggested we take a walk by the river in the nearby Memorial Park.

Hayden took me there on the date he asked me to be his girlfriend, so I was excited to revisit a place that was already special to us. On the night Hayden asked me to be his girlfriend, we sat on a bench in Memorial Park and I was honest with him about a lot of fears I had surrounding relationships along with the lies I had been believing.

On this Saturday morning, while we were waiting for our friends to arrive, Hayden and I sat on that same bench, and he asked me if I remembered what I told him that night. He wanted to take a guess at what they were – he then went through each of the lies I had stored up in my heart, and he spoke loving truth that wiped each one away. Then this sweet man got down on one knee in front of me and asked me to marry him. I said YES!!

Hayden had the sweetest day planned out for us! The friends we were supposed to be meeting had been waiting there all along to capture the moment on camera, and those beautiful pictures from my talented friend Natalie Thurlow are treasures! Then, he took me to have breakfast with our moms. My mom lives in Maryland, so he completely surprised me to have her in town for that sweet breakfast! Then he took me on a tour to see people and celebrate! That night, some of our wonderful friends planned the best engagement party for us where we ate delicious food, opened thoughtful gifts, and played some of our favorite games.

Hayden Stevens is more than my dreams come true. He is a gift from the Lord and a reflection of our Lord’s goodness and faithfulness. I cannot wait to marry the man who knows my heart more than anyone.