How We Met: Nathan and I grew up in the same town, went to rival high schools and had a multitude of mutual friends. We had actually crossed paths throughout our lives, being in the same place at the same time without even knowing it like church festivals, sporting events, etc… But in the Spring of 2013 our love story truly began.
I received a message on Facebook from this guy whom I had heard of but never talked to before. The message basically read that he stumbled across my page while looking at a mutual friend’s picture that I was in, thought I was beautiful and wondered how we knew each other. We conversed back and forth a bit before he stated, “This may be stepping out on the ledge, or too soon, but I’m not sure how this works. I don’t know if I am supposed to ask you 56 questions and then ask for your number and after that I get to take you to dinner or what? I’ve never done this before, but you are absolutely the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen and I don’t care if it sounds crazy but I would just love the opportunity to be able to take you on a date. I’d love to get to know you more, here is my number…” Modern day dating huh?
We immediately started texting, talking on the phone and within a couple days we met for our first date. I remember getting ready for our date that night, taking way too long to throw together a casual yet dressy outfit that looked like I didn’t try too hard. It was raining, I made him wait while I was running late as usual and I walked out to meet him for the very first time. I still remember exactly what he was wearing and the look on his face when I peeked my head out from underneath my umbrella to see him and surprisingly he still remembers what I wore too! Now, that’s pretty incredible. He took me to a nice Italian restaurant in Virginia Highlands where we laughed the entire way there, through the entire dinner and the whole way back. I had never connected with someone so well before and I actually texted one of my best friends this text in the middle of dinner (which Nathan says if I wasn’t so cute that would’ve been a major turn off, so I guess I got lucky :D) which read: “I think I’ve met the guy I’m going to marry.” I sent that to one of my best friends DURING our first date! And before we even met he had already took a leap of faith and planned our second date for the very next day, just hoping i’d be free! Luckily I was and on the way to our first date he surprised me with a Braves t-shirt, red nail polish and tickets to the game the next night. Honestly after that he has spent every single day pursuing me, making me feel like an absolute princess. Bringing me flowers, cookies, nail polish, magazines, pretty much anything he knew I’d like. He has prayed with me, gone through the best and worst of times with me and been there for me through thick and thin! He’s a true gentleman, he’s truly my best friend.
how they asked: Yes, we had talked about getting engaged before, but it was truly the biggest surprise. The day began with myself being CONVINCED he was going to propose. Earlier that week his sister Taylor had taken me for a “girls day” to get a spray tan and my nails done and that Friday evening Nathan and I were going to dinner back at that same Italian restaurant where we had our first date a little over a year ago, how could he not be proposing, right!? However, my boss and coworkers spent the day convincing me otherwise, explaining they were in on it and knew when he was going to ask so they didn’t want me to get my hopes up to be disappointed. I was crushed. I truly thought “today is the day!” He told me earlier that day that he had found a family who was moving to a different state that had a one year old black lab puppy named Maggie and she needed a home. If you know me, you’ll know I LOVE puppies and have been wanting one for a few years now so I was so excited! He told me we’d be meeting them at Piedmont Park after dinner. He picked me up, drove me to dinner, the whole way there we were stuck in horrible traffic so we arrived at dinner 30 minutes past our reservation. We ate so quickly (to make it to the park on time to meet Maggie the black lab) that the Manager of the restaurant stated we had set a new record and wanted to make sure we were actually enjoying our food! We apologized and explained we were in a hurry.
Once arriving at the park every single dog we saw I kept asking Nathan, “Is that them!?” “Is that her?” We stopped at a beautiful spot where I insisted I take pictures of the lake with the skyline because the lighting was just right and it looked so beautiful, reluctantly he gave in and let me snap some pictures. He then asked me to take my sunglasses off. Laughing I asked why I would do that because it was so sunny! He said, “Elizabeth, honey, take your sunglasses off there’s no dog…” Confused I turned and looked at him only to see him smiling the sweetest smile as he started to tear up. He turned towards me, and said, “Elizabeth, I love you more than anything in the entire world, you are my best friend, and I want to spend the rest of my life with you…” I think he had more to say but out of excitement and through my tears I quickly nodded saying “YES!!!” Over and over again. He continued with “Will you marry me?”
Overjoyed, stunned, excited, filled with happiness and crying like the happiest girl in the world I hugged my fiancé before he could even put the ring on my finger. I will never forget this moment. He had planned it perfectly, I couldn’t have done it better myself, I truly couldn’t have… And out came Victoria and Ian, photographers taking photos who had been hiding in the bushes to get every angle. So thanks to them, I actually will never be able to forget this moment. We couldn’t be happier, I couldn’t be luckier, or more in love.
Photography: The Southern Trunk – Ian + Victoria