How We Met
The Kilgore and Teal families go way back before Joey and I were ever even thought of. Our Dads were the pitcher and catcher on the same high school baseball team, and our Moms were neighbors. Joey’s grandfather actually built the house my Mom grew up in. Also, he and my sister were in the same kindergarten class, so we have always known of each other. But if you had told us in high school that we were soulmates, I think our joint response would have been, “What?!”
Funny how God knows these things better than we do though.
Fast forward to 2014, we had both moved back to our beloved hometown and worked out at the same gym. I noticed him and thought “Hmm, Joey Teal grew up to be pretty cute”. He noticed me and thought, “Hmm, there was no way she’s single”. After a few weeks of covertly checking each other out, fate finally intervened. We happened to be leaving at the same time, and he held the door open for me, taking the opportunity to strike up a conversation. This quickly became our nightly routine (thanks to me strategically timing my workouts to end when his did).
So, our town has a big block party downtown every year on the night before Thanksgiving, and on our way out one evening, Joey asked if I would be going to it – to which I responded yes and then quickly texted my best friend saying we HAD to go, no excuses. We found each other that night, and spent the entire night talking and ignoring everyone else around us and the rest, as they say, is history.
how we got the ring
Joey and I both grew up in Tullahoma, TN, about an hour south of Nashville. If you ever wanted to go shopping or do anything, Nashville was where you went. I can remember all the way back to high school, going shopping at Green Hills Mall and driving past Genesis Diamonds thinking “Oh I hope I get to go there one day!”. Their reputation has always been stellar, and we now understand why.
In February of 2016 we decided we were ready to look at rings. While I loved the idea of being completely surprised by whatever he would pick out, I am just far too particular, and Joey wanted to make sure whatever we got was exactly what I wanted. After scouring Pinterest for years, I thought I knew exactly what I wanted; a cushion-cut solitaire with a delicate, yellow gold pave band. I even sent a picture of one from Pinterest to my mom one day and she apparently broke down in tears at work thinking we had gotten engaged and she hadn’t known about it!
When we finally decided we were ready to go look, I convinced Joey that Genesis should be our first stop. We were helped by an amazing sales associate named Stasia – she listened to exactly what I said I wanted, and showed me just that, but when I tried it on, I realized it actually wasn’t “The One”. She asked if I would be open to the idea of a round center stone with a cushion halo, which would give me the shape I wanted, with all the extra sparkle that a round cut allows for. As soon as it went on my finger, I was done. It was beautiful! She then made me turn around so Joey could show her the price range he felt comfortable being in, and we were never pressured to go beyond that.
In April, I was working one weekend and Joey told me that he and his Dad were going to go up to Nashville to go to TNT Watersports and Camping World. This was completely believable since wakeboarding and camping are the other loves of his life. Apparently that was the day that they went back to Genesis to order the ring, and the same story was believable enough to warrant another trip back to pick it up a few weeks later too. After that, he hid the ring at his parents’ house for 2 months, and obsessively would check it, convinced that there was no way the size 4 could actually go on my finger, since it wouldn’t even reach his knuckle! In the end, it fits perfectly, and I could not dream of a more perfect ring. You always hear about people “upgrading” their rings later on in life, but I will cherish this one and the promise it represents for the rest of our lives!
how they asked
For my 28th birthday, Joey planned a surprise trip to Rosemary Beach, Florida. We had been to the area the year before and fell in love with it, so when I found out that was where we were going I was ecstatic. On our second night there, Joey said we should go back to La Crema Tapas for dinner, a restaurant we had been to the year before, and I had been obsessing over ever since. After we ordered Joey said that his stomach felt kind of funny, which I attributed to the rum and coke, pina colada, and red bull he had consumed throughout the day. He barely touched his dinner, and I was about to let it go to waste, so like any proper lady, I ate both of our plates. After dinner Joey said we should go down to the Western Green and listen to the band that was playing. They were playing songs from Disney movies that night, so he didn’t have to ask me twice.
We walked over to the green and found a the bench where we had a special moment the year before. On our last trip there, we were sitting on that same bench waiting for our dinner reservation at La Crema and watching all the families and kids run around and play. There was one young father and son in particular that I noticed, and I thought “that is exactly the kind of dad Joey is going to be one day”, and I knew in that moment that he was The One. Apparently, Joey came to the same realization in that moment, so he leaned over and told me that he “couldn’t wait to put a big diamond on my finger one day”.
Fast forward to present day – we were sitting on our bench, listening to the music, and watching everyone once again, We even saw a family meeting up with a photographer getting ready to take beach portraits. After a few minutes, Joey said we should go down to the beach and watch the sunset. I agreed so we got up, started to walk, and that was when he stopped, turned around, and grabbed both of my hands. Immediately all the sirens started going off in my head, “This is it! This is it!” He told me that this place would always be special to us, because it was where we were when he knew he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me, and then he proceeded to get down on one knee and ask me to marry him!
I was shaking and crying so hard that he had to hold my hand steady to put the absolutely beautiful ring on it. The band played a congratulatory song, and everyone around us cheered. Then he told me that wasn’t the only surprise.
I turned around to see my Mom, aunts, and his entire family pop out from around the corner!
They had been down there the whole time hiding out, and that photographer I saw? She was there for us and captured the entire thing!
After a lot more crying and congratulating, we finished the night with a bonfire and champagne on the beach.
If it weren’t for the beautiful pictures by Joanna Rae Photography, I would still think the entire thing was a dream!