Emily and Michael

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How We Met

My fiancé Michael insisted he would write this part.

The year was 2012, I was a soon to be graduated senior in high school and Emily was a fun-loving sophomore. The biggest event in all young people’s lives, prom, was around the corner and I needed a date. My friend group at the time, including Emily’s older sister Mary, told me to ask her. She was (and still is) beautiful, so of course, I agreed! Before asking her, I spent time with her to get to know her better and quickly realized she was someone special, someone, who could be so much more than just a prom date.I won’t lie, the beginning was rocky. She had other guys with interest in her and she doubted I would take her seriously as I was older and started college in a couple of months. I asked her to take a chance on me.

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Luckily for me, she said yes. Prom came and went, but I wanted more with her. I had to be persistent, as she dodged me at school and rarely gave me the time of day, but slowly she started to come around. She agreed to a first real date with me, and that was the true beginning for us. Shortly afterward, I asked her to be my girlfriend, and we haven’t looked back since. Who would’ve known that a “prom date” would turn out to be my best friend, the love of my life, and my future wife? The last 8 years together have been quite the ride. We have gone through college together, and now she takes care of me as I finish medical school. As the years have passed, we have grown as individuals and as a couple. With so much change over eight years, some things have remained the same. We are still a couple of high school kids madly in love and looking forward to spending the rest of our lives together.

♥ You always!! Michael

How They Asked

Our proposal happened during Christmas break, 2019, when my family and his family were vacationing in Asheville, North Carolina. At first, the trip did not seem out of the ordinary for me, because our families have been on many vacations together. On the first day of the trip, we planned to visit the beautiful Biltmore Estate. When we arrived, my older sister, Mary kept suggesting to see some random statue. Little did I know that Mary was in on the proposal and was secretly guiding us to the ideal location. I remember being very defiant and refused to walk all the way up a hill to see the statue, it took my entire family (including my little cousin with an injured ankle) to push me up there. During all this, I noticed Michael was a bit quiet and distant from me. I also noticed he wouldn’t take his hands out of his pockets.

Image 2 of Emily and Michael

Something was going on; I could sense it. I asked him about his hands, and he said he was keeping them warm from the cold air. I even asked to feel the pocket, but he changed the subject. We finally started walking up the hill. He grabbed my hand and we started to move slower as our families got further and further ahead of us. I did not know at the time, but behind me a secret photographer ran up the hill to her hiding spot to capture the moment.

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Next thing I noticed, Michael had stopped walking and pulled out a Christmas card. Every year he writes me a beautiful Christmas card. It is one of my favorite traditions with him, and I have saved every card he’s given me. He started reading the card out loud, but he was clearly nervous as he struggled to even read properly. He finally gave up on reading the card, dropped down to one knee, and asked me. He later told me that he had so much to say but was speechless at that moment.

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I knew this moment would be coming, and I even sensed something was different about that day, but it still didn’t prepare me for how happy I would be. Of course, I said yes and immediately started celebrating with him and my family. I always told him that I wanted my family to be a part of it.

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Later that evening, we all shared an amazing meal together. We went around the table as everyone took their turn to express kind words, well wishes, and funny stories that culminated in one big toast to celebrate our engagement.

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Everyone started crying, including Michael, who never cries. It was a heartfelt meal celebrating our love with my closest family and my future husband. The perfect ending to a perfect day. A day I will never forget.

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(Sorry they are a little out of order!!)

Special Thanks

Jennifer Callahan
 | Photographer