Erin and Aleks

How We Met

Aleks and I have known each other for a very long time. Since high school actually. But in high school I always knew him as my best friend’s *really cute* brother…so I always knew he was off limits. But after leaving high school and entering into college, I come home for the summer and meet up with my friend from high school which included Mira, his sister. We are eating our dinner and talking about crazy things we want to do. Mine was to ride a motorcycle. Mira pipes up and says, “Aleks has a motorcycle, let me text him and see if he’s home”. Totally taken back that I may ride a motorcycle tonight, I just sit there and say “sure!” thinking nothing would come of it. Well, Aleks texts back that he is home and wouldn’t mind taking me for a ride. So my friends and I finish up dinner and Mira and I head over to his apartment. Now I hadn’t seen Aleks since my high school graduation, and even then I didn’t really talk to him. So when we come over and he answers the door, I just have to keep telling myself that he is my best friend’s brother. So Aleks comes out with helmets for each of us. I get on his motorcycle after a 5-minute conversation, and we take off.

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So I can always tell our kids that we were once the cool 20 somethings on the motorcycle, but I can also tell them to never get on a bike with someone on a “first date”.

We come back safe and sound to his apartment and hang out a little bit before I take Mira home. We say our goodbyes and exchange numbers. Mira and I get in the car and all I can do is giggle.

A few days go by and Aleks and I have been lightly texting each other periodically through out the day. One day while sitting in my summer school class I get a text from him asking me if I wanted to come over to his apartment and play Monopoly with him, his brother, and sister in law. I immediately text Mira and ask her what she was doing that night…and tell her to cancel her plans and come with me to hang out with Aleks. She’s such a good sport because she came with me that night and endured Monopoly with us. After the Monopoly date, I get a little more comfortable going and seeing him by myself, so we meet up for dinner the next night to the wonderful Chick-fil-a. I always joke with Aleks now that the main reason I was interested in him was because of his bike and his puppy, Emmy. But for almost 3 years, Emmy and Aleks have been my joys in life and our adventures together mean the world to me!

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How They Asked

This story begins with my friend Maddison asking me if I wanted to go with her to take pictures with her on Saturday. This was nothing really out of the ordinary, Maddison and I love going to take pictures together, so I, of course, said yes. But when she told me where she wanted to go, I started to get a little suspicious. She mentioned this gazebo up on Chilhowee Mountain, which is a place close to Aleks and I because it is where we took the motorcycle on one of our first real dates. So I agreed to meet her at our local Starbucks and drive up there with her! That night I told Aleks our plans, and he was acting a little weird about it. Just saying “oh okay, sounds fun” and “we can hang out after”. Normal Aleks behavior, but a little off…you know how we girls can tell. I chose my outfit I was going to wear up there and went to bed with an abnormal amount of butterflies in my stomach.

Erin and Aleks's Engagement in Chilhowee Mountain in East Tennessee

So on Saturday, Aleks and I head to his parents’ house for Saturday lunch. We’ve been doing this almost every Saturday since we started dating. So when it was time for me to go to his parents for lunch, I got ready and Aleks picks me up and off we go. Aleks was kinda quiet on the drive to his parent’s house, and I noticed how nice he dressed. Normal Saturday attire for him was a t-shirt and jeans, but he had on slacks and a button-down…another thing a little off!

Lunch was over and Aleks and I were sitting at the table and I was about to leave. I asked him to help me with my things and he just kept saying “okay see you later” and “okay we can hang out after”. Let’s just say my stomach was filled to the brim with butterflies as I was on my way to meet Maddison.

It was near Christmas so Maddison was SO SWEET and brought gifts when we met up with each other. But when she went to give me the bag, she quickly pulled it back saying, “oh wait there’s something in here for the new year”. INSTANT KNOTS. I opened my gifts, gave Maddison hers, and we were off to our destination.

Now, I said earlier that Aleks and I went here on our first date, but that was 2 and a half years ago…with him driving…and every time since then he drives. So I personally have never had to drive this road to get to the park. I’ve ridden with many friends to this destination but never had to find it myself. Long story short, I lead Maddison to the backside of the mountain. The side with the huge cliffs and off-roading roads to get to the top. We quickly realize that’s not the normal way in and I call Aleks to ask him which exit we were supposed to take. He answers and tells me, has a good laugh that I lead Maddison the wrong way, and we’re off on the right road.

So we FINALLY make it to the gazebo. When we pull up everyone leaves. Kinda normal, kinda a little off. We get out of the car and I get situated in my jacket because it was cooler up there while Maddison is on her phone and getting her camera ready. We go to walk into the gazebo, and Maddison tells me that she wants to test the camera and the lighting. She takes a few shots of me standing and then asks me to sit down on this rock. Now when Maddison tells me to do something I usually do it when she’s taking my picture because she just knows what will look good, so I do it. And I’m really glad I did. Because 5 seconds after sitting down, I hear footsteps behind me. I turn around and let out a shriek. Both out of fear and sheer confusion because I scare easy, and because I see Aleks walking towards me. I turn around to Maddison and she is on the verge of tears. I turn around back to Aleks and can’t stop asking “what are you doing? why are you here?” And then it hits me why he’s there…and I just start to cry.

Aleks leads me into the gazebo and says the sweetest words to me about why he brought me up here. He then gets down on one knee to ask me the best question I could ever hear him ask; will you marry me? And I gave the easiest answer of my life to him; yes yes yes of course.

Special Thanks

Maddison Carver
 | Photographer