Hayley and Matt

How We Met

Matthew and I met while working at the famous KFC. We quickly became friends and it escalated to a relationship that would last a lifetime. We had our first date at the lovely Starbucks where I was extremely shy and he was giggly. Our second date was at the Allen County Library downtown Fort Wayne, Indiana. As we chuckled through the aisles of books, he grabbed my hand and said ‘let’s do this’ and my face filled with the color red. He quickly met my family soon after on New Years (we started dating December 30th, 2015). Oh boy! Ever since we have been enjoying each other while traveling and doing what we love.

How They Asked

We went to the Smoky Mountains for a vacation of summer 2018. We planned to set on an extreme hike (at least to us). It was time to do one of the biggest hikes in our LIFETIME…the Appalachian Trail to Charlies Bunion. I’m not going to lie…I almost chickened out on this one. This strenuous hike is 8.1 miles (roundtrip) with an elevation gain of 1,640 feet just off the Newfound Gap parking lot.

We decided to get there at nine in the morning and begin the long walk. There was hardly anyone around at the beginning…and I was extremely nervous. What if a bear comes out? Will my legs randomly stop working? What if I were to trip on the rocky path and fall down the steep hills? To help my anxiety, I brought a bluetooth speaker and played the album ‘Evolve’ by Imagine Dragons. Not only would this help time go by, but it would scare of the bears…right? It’s what helped me enjoy this hike. This album was honestly perfect and I will always relate it to this day.

After about two hours, we had arrived at Charlies Bunion. After coming out of the deep woods, the sky opened up and we saw the mountains at its finest. We met several hikers at the peak and everyone was just so nice! Some people from Louisiana and some from AUSTRALIA! We snapped some photos and Matt asked me to follow him…so I did.

He told me to set up the tripod so we could take a photo together. I hear the timer going off as I run back to him for a pose. Snap! The photo is taken. He asks me to do another one. I click the shutter and the timer goes off once again and I run back to him. He faces me and gets down on one knee and asks me to marry him. Of course, I say yes!!! At this point, this was one of the best smoky mountain hikes I have ever done.

Special Thanks