Hayley and Chad

Hayley's Proposal in Athens, OH

How We Met

Chad and I have known each other for nearly our entire lives! Our sisters played fastpitch together when we were young (5 and 6) and our dads were their coaches. Our families went on vacations together to the Outer Banks in 2001 and 2002; overall, we spent a lot of time together when we were younger.

Life happened and our families lost touch throughout our teen years.

Wedding Proposal Ideas in Athens, OH

We went to the same middle school, high school and our colleges were both in the MAC (Bowling Green & Ohio University).

It wasn’t until we were both out of school that our families reconnected.

Hayley and Chad's Engagement in Athens, OH

Our moms were texting on Christmas Day 2016 talking about going to wing night the following evening. My mom asked if I wanted to go, she said Chad would also be there so I thought why not, I’ll go and it’ll be nice to see what he’s been up to. Come to find out, we were both in the exact same job with the exact same company, just different locations. I really enjoyed talking with him, but I wasn’t going to get my hopes up. My future MIL told me at a later time that Chad thought our parents were trying to set us up! Definitely not the case.

His family came to my family’s St. Patrick’s Day party in 2017; after that night we never lost touch. I made the first move and slid in his DMs that night with my number. As they say, the rest is history.

Where to Propose in Athens, OH

How They Asked

Every other year, my family takes a trip to the Hocking Hills, OH during homecoming weekend at my Alma Mater, Ohio University. Hocking Hills is about 30 minutes from Athens, OH and Ohio University’s campus.

We got down to Hocking Hills on Friday 10/11/2019. Chad and I had plans to take the drive to Athens on Saturday 10/12/2019 morning for the homecoming festivities.

After I had met up with some of my former professors, Chad asked if we could take a picture by the Class Gateway. The Class Gateway at Ohio University is an iconic spot on campus, I had taken my graduation pictures in that very spot in 2016. I thought it was strange he asked to take a picture (it’s always me initiating that!), but I didn’t think too much of it.

As we were walking over, he was telling me how he’s so proud of me, proud that I am his girlfriend, etc. He said, “I know how much Ohio University means to you and how many memories you have here..so I’d like to make one now too.” He proceeds to reach in his pocket and get down on one knee. I was shocked and didn’t hide it. “Hayley Ann Baldzicki…” “WHAT? WHAT ARE YOU DOING,” I said. “Will you marry me?” I responded with, “What the… I mean YES!!! But what the %$#*”

I was absolutely speechless.

For about an hour after I just repeated, “I can’t believe it” because I really couldn’t! I was so shocked, happy, excited.. you name it I felt it!

Chad had no connection to Ohio University other than myself and his sister going to school there. He chose a spot to ask me what was important to me.. not us, not him, me. It was the most selfless proposal he could’ve given.

We went to some of my favorite bars on Court Street, and traveled back to Hocking Hills to celebrate with my mom and dad.

As we entered the driveway, pink balloons were at the gates. Chad said, “Okay, there’s one more surprise.” As he pulled up, I saw his parents’ van. Again, I was shocked.

I said, “Your parents are here?!?” I walked into the house, saw everything decorated, our parents cheering, our parents’ dogs running around.. and that’s when I lost it.

I was flooded with emotions at that moment because I realized how much planning it took to pull something like this off.

Truly, I could not imagine a more perfect proposal.