Gabrielle and Alphie

How We Met

When Alphie and I were in high school, our choir teacher requested that we sing a duet for our school’s fall concert. Considering we were just friends, and the fact that he was two grades ahead of me, it felt a little bit awkward to be singing a love song together. As time went on, the friendship grew and grew, and in the spring of that same year, Alphie and I shared our feelings with each other. While we both really liked each other, we knew that the timing was not right because Alphie was graduating and I still had two more years left of high school. We made the hard decision to remain as just friends for the indefinite future.

Engagement Proposal Ideas in Downtown Chattanooga, TN

Although it was a long two years apart, we tried to stay in touch throughout. In the fall of 2016, we both ended up at the same university. I was nervous about how things would be between us, considering that people can change a lot in two years. But even after two years spent away from each other, Alphie and I picked up right where they left off. We started dating a few months after arriving at university, and from then on we both knew that we wanted to spend forever with each other.

Gabrielle and Alphie's Engagement in Downtown Chattanooga, TN

How They Asked

On the weekend of May 4th, Alphie was graduating from college. That meant that his family was in town visiting. My family was also visiting that weekend to get to know his family. The spring break before (in March), Alphie had secretly asked my dad for permission to marry me, and both of our families knew what would be happening this weekend.

It was a rainy Saturday afternoon. We went to the Incline Railway in Chattanooga and the plan was to head back to campus to have a little friend’s gathering inside because the weather was not great. Right before we were about to leave the Incline Railway, Alphie told me that we should take some pictures at the nearby Coolidge Park with our families before we headed back. I didn’t really suspect anything because Coolidge Park is something that everyone who is visiting Chattanooga should see, so I agreed.

We drove the 10 minutes to the park and headed towards the water where there was a great view of the Walnut Street Bridge. Our families together were about 20 people, so it took awhile for our little crowd to move from where we parked. I noticed that Alphie was starting to act different. He seemed to be anxious and in a rush. I wondered if this could be the moment, but I figured we were in too much of a rush.

When we reached the end of the sidewalk, about to walk around the large trees, familiar music began to play: it was the song that we had sung together in high school years and years ago. At that point, I knew this would be our moment. I saw one of my best friends, Jenny, and as I looked further down the sidewalk, I saw all of my closest friends lined up. They each had a prop to represent parts of the song. For example, one part of the song says “don’t stand in the rain with me”, and as Alphie sang those words, my friend Grant handed him an umbrella that we stood under while two of my other friends sprayed the umbrella with water.

As we walked down the sidewalk, surrounded by my closest friends and family, Alphie sang to me and we both tried to fight back the emotions. Just when I didn’t think things could get any better, my closest friend Remington (who goes to school in Texas) jumped out and surprised me. I was so overwhelmed with joy and love, and then Alphie asked me if I wanted to marry him. It was the easiest “yes” ever! What a dream come true.

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Special Thanks

Olivia Harris
Photographer
Benjamin Williams | 
Photographer