Emily and DJ

How We Met

DJ and I went to the same high school, but he was 5 years older than me. I was a little freshman with braces, and he was a cool college guy. He didn’t know I existed, but I sure did know who he was. His little sister, Ginger, was a senior on my competition cheerleading team, and he was always coming to competitions to support her. I would secretly obsess over him every time he came around, but I didn’t DARE let anyone know. Years went by, and my secret crush faded… UNTIL cheerleading brought us back together!!!! His sister and I both cheered in college, so we kept in touch over the years. We were distant friends, and I adored his family! We both graduated and ended up coaching. I now coach at North Gwinnett High School, where we all went, and she coaches at a nearby high school. This being said, we saw each other every weekend at local competitions. It was a competition at Mill Creek High School that changed my life. I was waiting for the second session to begin, and I saw Ginger and her family leaning over the rail at the top of the gymnasium. Me being me, I went over and hugged everyone…. including DJ. Anyone who knows me knows that I am a hugger- like a choke you type of hugger. I can’t help it. Anyways, I got carried away and started going down the line hugging everyone in the family. DJ was at the end of the line, and I grabbed him and gave him my biggest and best chokehold hug!!! I feel him reach around my back and point above my head (he’s 6’1 and I’m 5’4) “Who is this,” he mouthed to his mom. I died right then and there. However, my choke hold hug must have been impressive because he ended up asking me to watch a football game with them later that night, and the rest is history!!!! We’ve been together ever since, and my once high school crush will soon be my HUSBAND!

How They Asked

My fiancé, DJ, is a fireman. While he is a hero to everyone, including me, the one thing I dislike about his job is his overnight shifts. (Only because I’m selfish and want him all to myself).It was a Friday night, and we were watching a movie on our couch when the phone rang. It was someone pretending to be his lieutenant (which I didn’t know at the time) – telling him that he was hired to work overtime on Saturday. I was disappointed, but I knew he had no choice. The next morning, I woke up to a bottle of champagne, a nail gift certificate, and a sweet letter apologizing for having to go into work last minute. *Side note: DJ is the most thoughtful human in the world.

Emily's Proposal in The Lawrenceville square - right outside of where we had our first date

Where to Propose in The Lawrenceville square - right outside of where we had our first date

He is always surprising me/ doing things to show me how much he loves me. With all of that being said, the morning surprises didn’t give anything away because he is ALWAYS thoughtful. My mom was in town, and she told me that DJ felt bad, so he got that together before he left for work. She suggested that we go get our nails done, and conveniently, my best friend, Chloe, was right around the corner… waiting on her invite ;) After we got our nails done, we headed to lunch. We live in a little downtown area with shops and restaurants all in walking distance. DJ’s sister and mom conveniently texted me to see if I wanted to get lunch, so I, of course, invited them to join us!!! After lunch, Ginger, DJ’s sister, said she wanted to walk over to my favorite boutique, Personify.

Emily and DJ's Engagement in The Lawrenceville square - right outside of where we had our first date

Wedding Proposal Ideas in The Lawrenceville square - right outside of where we had our first date

When we walked in, an employee handed me a little bag with a letter in it. It was part 2 of the love letter I received earlier that morning. Another precious love letter that had turned into a scavenger hunt. It included a note telling me to pick out an outfit and head to our favorite date spot to have a drink (I knew that meant the brewery right across the street). TWO outfits later, we headed to the brewery. This brewery was fairly new, so DJ and I were considered regulars when they first opened. They had a photo album of polaroids that they took of the regulars, so naturally, DJ and I were in the album. When we sat down, the waitress casually walked by our table and placed the photo album in front of me. There was a letter sticking out of the book, and when I opened it, it was on the page of mine and DJ’s photo. It was part 3 of the scavenger hunt. Another tear-jerker of a love letter that ended with a poem telling me to get ready and head to the spot where we had our first date. Now, keep in mind that a DJ’s job is 24 hours. There is no getting off early or calling in sick. That’s why I was so thrown off. I didn’t think HE could possibly fit into the equation because he was at work.

Proposal Ideas The Lawrenceville square - right outside of where we had our first date

While having drinks, everyone slowly started talking about how they had to leave to go do other things… my mom (who is my best friend and another half) was all for the idea of a dinner together, and she insisted that we head home to get ready! Chloe said she had to let her dog out but reassured me that she would meet back up with us for dinner! My stepdad, Bobby, picked me and my mom up for dinner, and that’s when things got interesting. My mom was being SO weird. It was pouring down rain, and she kept asking me where the parking garage was. I told her there was much closer parking to the restaurant, but she was ADAMANT about parking in this specific garage. We got to the Lawrenceville square, and we parked in the garage (you win some you lose some)… we were walking to the restaurant and my mom grabbed my hand and started power walking – I mean full on POWER WALKING. As we sped past the gazebo in the center of the square, I saw it all lit up. I thought it was still decorated for Christmas, but as we got closer, my heart dropped. Was this it?! Was it happening!? I was in the midst of having a panic attack as I looked at my mom; she had tears rolling down her face, and nothing had even happened!?

The next thing I knew, a fire truck pulled up, and two men got out. I was expecting DJ… but DJ never got off. “Did someone named Emily call 911,” they asked. My mom perked up, “Oh! This is Emily! This is Emily, but she didn’t call 911!” Sirens roaring, lights flashing, rain (and tears) falling – two more firetrucks turned the corner and closed down the road. DJ got off the fire truck, and I immediately lost it. He opened up his umbrella for us, grabbed my hand, and we started walking towards the gazebo. There aren’t any words to explain the magic in the air that night. It was more magical than any Hallmark movie. Pictures don’t do justice, and I wish I could remember what he said, but when he got down on his knee, I blacked out. I immediately grabbed him and cried even harder than before. As soon as I said yes, all of our closest friends and family popped out of the bushes and cheered!!! *More tears* Little did I know, Chloe and her mom were the ones behind the scenes doing all of the decorating!!!

My other two friends, Cameron and Lexie, also came to help set up, and my sweet friend Emily was the master behind the camera; she captured every moment PERFECTLY. To top it off, we walked over to the restaurant where we had our first date, and DJ had planned an after party to celebrate!!! Even more family and friends were there, and all of my school moms were there (I’m a teacher, and they are my support group and cheerleaders). Everyone who holds the most special place in my heart was there, and it was THE most magical night of my life. DJ is everything good in this world, and I am THE luckiest girl in the world.

Special Thanks

Emily Forro
Photographer