Hallie and Matthew

Image 1 of Hallie and Matthew

How We Met

Almost all of my best friends from middle and high school went to college in a different city. Our colleges were about an hour and a half apart, so it was definitely a long distance friendship. I had made plans during my sophomore year of college to visit them and get to finally see the city where they live and meet the new friends that they had made. The night before I left, I spent about an hour on the phone with my best friend Morgan who was giving me the long list of people that I would be meeting when I got there that weekend. As she was listing off the names, I was searching them on Facebook, so that I could put a face to a name. Towards the end, she got to her friend Matthew. I remember thinking he was incredibly cute, but I had recently had a lot of back luck in relationships and was really enjoying the time that I had to grow as an individual.

I left to visit my best friends the next morning and got to their apartment before Morgan was done with classes. As I am waiting for her with my other best friend Hannah in their living room, Morgan walks in the door followed by her friend Matthew. I had absolutely no idea just how much my life was about to change. We all spent the next few hours in their kitchen talking and I was stunned by how handsome he was and how easy he was to talk to. It was so refreshing. There was something about him that drew me in and made me feel like I had known him my whole life. I could tell he was so special.

Side bar: My best friend, Morgan, never would see him after class. However, somehow that day they ran into each other on campus, and she made him come back to their apartment because she “had this friend that he just had to meet.”

I spent the whole weekend trying not to seem too obvious about wanting him to join everything we did, but I’m sure my friends will tell you how obvious it was. My plan worked and my friends coordinated a big dinner at a restaurant followed by a drive to an overlook in the city. Throughout our time together, I did everything I could think of to get to spend as much time with him as possible. Little did I know he was doing the same thing.

The next morning as I was getting ready to leave, I received a text message from him ( he never personally asked for my number, so it was quite a surprise). He wanted me to know how much he enjoyed getting to know me and how he hoped that our paths would cross again. Despite being in different cities, we texted every day after that. Texting turned into phone calls, which turned into Skypes, which turned into visiting each other in our mutual hometown (never knew him growing up!! Crazy?!), and then visits to each other at college.

I knew after a few weeks I loved him. It was about two months later that we officially started dating, and it was about then that I knew he was the one.

It was the perfect set up. Neither one of us were looking and neither one of us wanted a long distance relationship, but here we are, four years later starting the rest of our lives together.

how they asked

Matthew has always known that I am probably the hardest person to surprise, as I am pretty good at figuring out almost everything. He knew that being able to plan the perfect surprise proposal would take A LOT of planning.

I had an idea that the proposal would be coming in the next couple months, but did not think that it would happen as soon as it did. Matthew is a groomsman in a wedding this April. It all started with him having his best friend text him while we were together, asking him to come to his city (about an hour and a half away) to get fitted for the suits for his wedding. I bought it and completely thought he would be out of town that weekend.

One of my best friends lives in a different city, so a couple weeks before, she let me know that she would be in town the same weekend as Matthew going out of town, so we needed to make a girls day out of it. She suggested that we get our nails done together, and then we would go to Nashville for a nice dinner at a new, popular restaurant. I fell for that also.

We spent the day together, mostly talking about my ideas about when the proposal would happen and my frustrations with having to wait so long. We had already been together for four years, so this was something that Matthew and I were both incredibly ready for.

That night, my best friend picked me up for our dinner in Nashville- looking back, thankfully, I had no idea where this restaurant was. As we are getting closer to downtown Nashville, we seem to be driving through a major industrial area with just lots of parking lots. There is seemingly nothing around, other than the NFL football stadium.

By this point, I am so confused as to why we are in this part of Nashville. It is evident that we are no where near the restaurant we were going to. She tells me that she’s going to pull into a parking lot and turn around, because she is so lost. As we get towards the back of the parking lot, there is Matthew. Standing there in his suit waiting for me. I don’t think I have ever felt more excited, confused, stunned, and thankful in my entire life.

He opens the car door for me and grabs my hand to lead me out of the car. Immediately, I see the wedding photographer whose work I absolutely LOVE. It hits me. This is the moment that I have dreamed about my entire life. This is the moment that he and I have discussed for almost four years. He leads me up a path to a park overlooking the Nashville riverfront and we take the last walk we would have as boyfriend and girlfriend.

By this point, I am in tears and so unbelievably overwhelmed at the magnitude of what was happening. I could not believe the day I had always dreamed about was FINALLY here. He leads me to the overlook of the river with the entire Nashville skyline in the background. The next thing I know, he is on his knee asking me to spend forever with him.

Image 2 of Hallie and Matthew

It was more perfect than I could have ever imagined.

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It was just the two of us, as I have always wanted. He somehow managed to get the photographer that I love on the ONE weekend she had off this year. And the fact that Nashville, the city we both love dearly, painted the background for our proposal was perfect. Through almost three years of long distance, Nashville was the city that would bring us together in one place. Here we were taking the next step in our relationship overlooking the city that was so special to us.

The night didn’t end there. He drove us to my favorite restaurant, where our families and so many of my closest friends were there waiting to celebrate our engagement.

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I could not have planned a more perfect proposal myself. He exceeded every desire that I had ever had for my engagement. I am so incredibly fortunate that I get to spend the rest of my life with this man.

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Special Thanks

 | Janelle Elise Photography