How We Met
We met on a Sunday afternoon in the fall of 2010 at a small restaurant in our hometown of Maryville, TN. We were both there eating with our families when we saw each other across the room. Lane was wearing an orange shirt, eating with his dad, and looking so very handsome. I knew I had to meet him. Nervously, I pointed Lane out to my family and my momma informed me that she knew Lane’s dad. Momma decided that we should walk over their and speak to his dad with hopes that his cute son would notice me. We did just that. A few weeks past and we continued to run into each other at Young Life events and football games. Each time I would see him in public, I would excitedly tell my friends, “I saw the cute boy from the restaurant again,” and something in my heart knew that he was special even though I knew nothing about him.
One day I got up the nerve to send him a Facebook friend request, which he promptly accepted, keep in mind, I was only 14 at the time, so this was a pretty bold move in my head. A few weeks of “friendship” passed and then Lane decided to make a move. He messaged me on Facebook, we chatted a little, and he asked for my number. After a few months of getting to know each other, he asked me to be his girlfriend on September 13, 2011. We were high school sweethearts, college sweethearts, and today we are both 21 and still each other’s sweetheart.
how they asked
For months, Lane planned the day of my dreams. In November, Lane knew it was time to ask my dad for his blessing. He knew it would be difficult to speak with my dad without me knowing what was going on; however, over thanksgiving break, I had my tonsils removed and was sleeping most of the time. Lane took advantage of the situation and asked my dad. Of course, he said yes! With my dad’s blessing, Lane continued to brainstorm how the big day would go. He bought a beautiful diamond ring and crafted a plan. On the weekend of January 15, our dear family friends were coming in town to visit. My mom asked me what we should do while they were in town and I excitedly responded, “we should take them to Market Square!” Little did I know, Lane had already been planning a proposal in Market Square on that weekend for months. He knew that it was my favorite place and that I would suggest it.
He knows me so well. I also informed my mom that I desperately needed a pedicure and that we should all go get our nails done together. She jumped right on board with my idea, again, little did I know what was really going on. Sunday morning rolled around and Lane came to my house bearing my favorite vanilla iced coffee with skim milk from my favorite coffee shop in Maryville. We went to church together and the sermon was on relationships, and I kid you not, the pastor made this joke: “guys, if you like it, you better put a ring on it.” I nudged Lane and jokingly said, “yeah, Lane. If you like it, you better put a ring on it!” He nervously laughed. Again, I had absolutely no clue what the day would hold. After church we headed to Market Square. We went to my most favorite restaurant and I ordered my favorite meal.
Lane was super nervous and kept excusing himself from the table. I noticed that his hands were clammy and I was worried that he might need to go home. He reassured me that he was fine. While we were at lunch, my little brother sent a group message to my momma, my sister and I. He asked momma to distract his girlfriend right after lunch so that Peyton and I could sneak off with him and help him pick out a gift for their anniversary. I really thought I was in on the secret. Turns out, I was actually the one being distracted. We spent over an hour wandering around a store in downtown Knoxville. I grew impatient wondering why we had not picked out a gift yet and why we weren’t returning to our group. They ignored my requests to leave the store because Lane’s plan was not completely ready for my arrival.
As soon as the plan was ready, my momma called me and asked us to come meet them at our family friend’s apartment. We left the store and headed in that direction. As we rounded the corner, I heard music begin to play behind me, and I saw the backs of my two best friends from high school. They turned around holding the first picture Lane and I ever took together in 2010. I immediately knew what was happening and my eyes filled with tears. I hugged my dear friends and then my siblings led me along a path that was staggered with our friends, mentors, roommates, family friends, and family. Close to one hundred people that have walked with Lane and I through the past six years were on the path that led me to him once again. Each group of our dear friends held a picture of Lane and I over the years–reminding me of all the sweet memories that we share. After getting a special moment with each group of loved ones, I continued along the path with them following behind creating a sea of support behind me.
After my heart was already overflowing and my eyes were overflowing with tears of joy, I came to Lane’s dad who hugged me tight and gave me a beautiful bouquet of flowers. Next, I fell into the arms of my own daddy who gave me a second bouquet to match the first–flowers from both of my dads. The last person on my path was my sweet momma who handed me a letter, hugged me, and wiped some of the tears off my cheeks. I took a deep breath as I looked across the street and I saw my handsome man standing in the middle of Market Square. My parents stood on either side of me and walked me to the edge of the path were Lane stood. I walked to where my sweet man stood and we both had eyes filled with tears. He spoke the sweetest words I’ve ever heard and then dropped to one knee. He pulled out the ring of my dreams, and said, “Graysen Caroline McConnell, will you marry me?”
I said yes about twenty times in a row! I kissed my groom and we turned with arms raised to our sea of supporters. Our friends and family rushed over surrounded us, and Lane asked one of our dear friends to pray over us. She did just that and it was the sweetest prayer. My heart was completely bursting. I have never felt more loved than I did in that moment.
After a few engagement pictures with our amazing photographer, we climbed into a limo and headed home. Just when I thought I had already seen all the surprises, we pulled up to my house and all of our loved ones were waiting in my yard to celebrate with us! There was a huge engagement party waiting for me. My momma and our dear family friends decorated our whole house I’m pictures of Lane and I over the years and Bloom puns. We ate delicious food and took a million pictures and even had guests submit their wedding hashtag suggestions. I could not have asked for a more perfect day or a more amazing groom!