How We Met
Hannah’s side: I met Dalton during orientation week at Freed-Hardeman University. All the freshman go on a canoe trip the day before classes. While canoeing down the river my friend who was in the boat with me thought she saw a snake and freaked out which caused our canoe to flip. I’m pretty strong but there was no way that my friend and I could get the canoe back over without help.
As I looked around I spotted two guys in a canoe ahead of us and the one in the back (Dalton) was so cute. I yelled for them to come help and they laughed and just kept going. I was so mad and thought that the cute guy was a jerk. Eventually someone came and helped us get the canoe out of the water and we went on our way.
After about another 30 minutes we came up to those two boys that we had asked for help, and they were helping two other girls get their canoe out of the water. I was so irritated, and disappointed so we just kept going. There came a place in the river where people had pushed their canoes against the banks and they were out flipping the canoes that tried to pass in the river.
We got flipped and stayed in the river and then those two jerks that wouldn’t help us with our canoe came up and I decided they were going under. I got close and they knew what was happening but accepted defeat and got flipped. After that we flipped some other people and got back in our canoes started back down the river. They introduced themselves but all I cared about was Dalton and getting to talk to him.
We had about 4 canoes linked up and spent the next few hours laughing and getting to know each other. When we got out of the canoes and rode back to the beginning to pick up our car I had lost Dalton in all the people and thought I might not see him again and was sad cause I thought we had hit it off.
After getting back I kept looking for him and when I couldn’t see him I went ahead and changed and got ready for the long drive back. I was sad because he hadn’t asked for my number or tried to make any type of plans. But then right as I was getting into the car I heard Dalton call my name.
He was running towards me and when he reached me he was out of breathe but he just smiled and said “Hey can I have your number”. And with that big smile and confidence, I knew there was something special about this guy. So I gave him my number and that began our love story. Now 2 1/2 years later, I fall more in love with Dalton every day.
how they asked
Dalton’s side: I never knew that my engagement would be the most stressful week of my life. I had been thinking about this special day for months now and I had the absolute perfect idea. I knew when and how I wanted to go about the most important day of my life. After a little help from Hannah’s sisters to find the ideal location, I knew it was time to get to work.
I included Hannah’s sisters in on my plan and they were overjoyed. Then, the first problem arose. I needed to personally ask Hannah’s parents for their blessing, but we were still in school until six days before I wanted to make my commitment to Hannah. So, I began texting everyone I knew what I was planning so they could come join us on this special day that I was planning to propose. After arriving at Hannah’s house, I managed to vacate the house besides Hannah’s parents and me.
This was possibly one of the most nerve racking experiences I had ever been through. This was not because I thought Hannah’s parents would say no, but because I did not know exactly how to ask them. So, after pacing back and forth in the bathroom and giving myself a pep talk, I finally found the courage to sit them down and ask for their blessing.
After telling them all the great things that I loved about their daughter, I pulled the ring out of my pocket, and with tears in my eyes, I asked if I could marry their incredible daughter. Without any hesitation, their parents gave me their blessing and all of a sudden, a huge weight of anxiety lifted off my shoulders. Her parents and I talked for hours discussing all the plans I had for our future and how I planned to ask Hannah to marry me.
After all of this, we prayed that God would guide our future and bless our marriage. Hannah’s parents agreed to help keep this a secret along with help get everything set up. The image I had in my head for the special day including a gazebo that was a little remote and filled with lights. I gathered every strand of lights I could get my hands on by texting everyone I knew for white Christmas lights.
After this, I realized that the gazebo was no where near any electrical source. So, I had to find a generator to run the lights at night. Hannah’s parents referred me to a family friend and neighbor that happened to be an award winning producer. They believed that he would be of great help to me in setting up my plan. So, I contacted him (Mr. Steve) asking for help and he was more than happy to help because he absolutely loved Hannah and her family.
Now the plan was to go and set everything up the day before to make sure no bad weather destroyed the setting. With the help of Mr Steve and many hours of set up I was finally set up to propose to my girlfriend. While setting up, the second problem arose. I needed a reason to get away from my now-finance to set up.
My best friend happened to only live an hour away from my girlfriend. I texted him saying that I was going to use him as an excuse to get away from Hannah. I said, “If Hannah asks, I’m with you.” However, some confusion of that phrase happened and he did not fully grasp what I wanted him to do.
After telling Hannah I was going out to lunch and Christmas shop with my best friend, I went off to the engagement spot. While I was there my best friend posted a picture on his Snap-chat of him at the new IKEA in Memphis, TN. The issue is that he was suppose to be with me in Franklin, TN, an easy three hours away. Hannah viewed the Snap-chat and texted my friend to see what the deal was.
After realizing that I was not with my friend, Hannah began to text and call excessively trying to find me. It did not help that the engagement spot had no cell signal, so I did not receive any messages until about an hour after all of this was occurring. Hannah was furious with me but she eventually calmed down after a little bit and someday I will forgive my friend.
Now the day has come. Hannah’s family helped me convince her that we were taking family pictures at a place 40 minutes away and that we all needed to dress up. Hannah’s father and I told Hannah that we needed to leave early to pick up a special present for all the girls. Then, we left to go get everything set up. After arriving and checking everything, some of the lights happened to not be working. At this point I was panicking but I prayed and was reassured that no matter what, Hannah would still be my fiancé by the end of the night.
After my family and a few close friends arrived I was able to get ready. After all the prep, I come to find out that Hannah, who is with her mom and sisters, witnessed the fuse go out in the bathroom. After a 20 minute delay, they finally were on their way. The entire time that they were driving I was nervous.
No second thoughts ever crossed my mind, only thoughts about what our future would hold. I thought of every single good and bad moment that we would encounter and how God would always be there to guide our way. As soon as their car pulled up, I was not nervous anymore. I knew what I wanted and I knew that I loved Hannah. Her father walked her halfway to the gazebo and I met them to walk her the rest of the way.
I didn’t know if I should write down what to say or just go from my head. I came to the conclusion that I wanted to speak from my heart.
I wanted my heart and feelings to come out in words of affirmation as I told Hannah how much I loved her. I told her that I wanted my life with her and I had known this for over a year now.
I reassured her that she will always be more than enough to make me happy and be mine. Then, I dropped to a knee, and asked my beautiful, wonderful, sweet, and amazing girlfriend to be mine forever.
And with tears in her eyes and pure joy in her heart, she said yes.
This was the absolute most amazing moment of my life and I knew that I was now the luckiest guy on the earth.
The happiness in my heart was something that you only think happens in fairy-tales. I knew that life wouldn’t be perfect and that things wouldn’t always be great, but I knew that with Hannah I could get through anything. After this, we obviously needed some extra pictures taken.
So a month before I asked Abi Lewis to come capture this special moment. Abi was a childhood friend of Hannah’s but I never could have guessed how amazing her pictures would be. Because of her, this once in a lifetime moment will never be forgotten and will always be adored. Pictures were taken, and everyone was happy. We went back to Hannah’s house where I had many of our friends and family waiting for our return.
The people that came made us feel loved and cherished because some drove as far as six hours away just to come wish us congratulations and show their support.
At the party someone asked me what my favorite part about the whole process was. My answer to this was something I learned just prior to this question being asked. I was told that as Hannah’s father walked her towards the gazebo he told Hannah something that I will never forget.
He told his daughter that he and his wife had prayed since she was 14 for a Godly man to come into her life. He said that they had prayed that he would come and bless her and her family. He said that without a doubt that he knew that this person was me.
And as I heard that, I cried. I thought about every bad experience I had in my life. I thought of every instance that I didn’t think life was fair. It all made me realize how all of those bad experiences led me to a wonderful woman. How every bad thing that happened to me was made okay because now I was going to marry the most incredible woman in the world.
This was now my favorite moment. I didn’t want my proposal to be simple. I didn’t want it to be easy. I wanted it to represent the hard work and courage I was going to put forth in our marriage.
I wanted it to be perfect and for Hannah to be blown away. I wanted it to show my eternal love for her. That night was the best night of my life and I will be forever grateful for the everyone who helped me along the way.