James and Sara

Where to Propose in Philbrook Museum of Art

How We Met

The Summer of 2014 was when I first met James. I had heard that there was a “new guy” coming to my high school, and growing up in a small town that was a huge deal. He was going into his Junior year, and I was going to start my Sophomore year.

I remember the first time I saw him walk into the basketball gym for summer pickup games, I was immediately smitten. As my friends that were there remember, I called “dibs” on him immediately ;)

Wedding Proposal Ideas in Philbrook Museum of Art

When the school year started I continued to have this insane crush on him but did absolutely nothing about it. I assumed he didn’t know I existed, but he says that was never the case. Neither of us had ever dated anyone else, much less had any idea how to make a move.

Funny enough my Dad actually pointed James out to me at some event and said: “that boy seems nice, maybe you should try to talk to him.” He was right!!

Proposal Ideas Philbrook Museum of Art

Whenever the list came out for who made the basketball team that year, I happened to be sitting at the cafeteria table with him. I was showing people at the table the photo I took of the roster and he asked me to text it to him, so that’s how he got my number, very smooth!! We ended up with the same basketball number and I thought somehow that was fate. We talked for a few months and we just had so much in common. I asked him to Christmas banquet, and he asked me to be his girlfriend during a basketball tournament in February.

James's Proposal in Philbrook Museum of Art

After TWO WEEKS, he told me he loved me. I responded with a very quick “goodnight!” before literally running away up the stairs we were standing on. I do not recommend reacting in this way when someone says they love you. I will never live that down hahaha.

Whenever he graduated in 2016 and started college, we had to start driving almost two hours to see each other, but it was so worth it. We’re still making that drive work to this day!

How They Asked

The week we got engaged I was a little suspicious, mainly because James kept saying he wanted my family to come to visit his family and see the new “Gathering Place” in Tulsa. I was probably a little too nosy as well because I kept asking my Mom questions like “don’t you think it’s weird James wants all of you to come over?” But, my Mom completely changed my mind. She flat out lied to me and said: “trust me, Sara, I know when he’s proposing and it’s not this weekend, also it’s raining all weekend so we aren’t going anywhere anyway.” I was so bummed but completely believed her. So going into the weekend I was completely in the dark. I decided to go visit see him on Thursday and Friday, and we were going to come back to Arkansas for the church.

Friday came and James got off work early and we went to lunch, and after that, we just hung out at his house until he mentioned going to a burger event at the Philbrook Museum of Art, one of our favorite places. He said they had super good veggie burgers and we should go. I looked it up and the story checked out, every Friday on the patio was burger night there. I was ready to go, wearing something very casual. James said, “let’s have a fancy date, everyone that goes to these things dresses up nice.” Me being stubborn I say something like “I like what I’m wearing, I don’t want to change.” He then tells me that he’s changing into nice clothes and if I don’t want to I don’t have to. So I end up changing into what I planned on wearing to church, thank goodness!

Driving to the museum was when I started getting suspicious again. He was acting nervous, he kept telling me to pick the music, and he was talking A LOT. I said, “are you okay you’re acting funny?” and he said something to the effect of “I’m just super hungry” which I completely believed because he’s always hungry hahaha!

Finally what really gave me the biggest hint was when he kept texting someone while he was driving. He never does that so I knew something was up. When we got to the museum he was holding my hand so tightly and walking very fast. The only thing I couldn’t figure out was the fact that there was no ring box in his pockets. I started walking towards one of the hallways of exhibits and he quickly says “we can look at the art later we need to go straight outside for burgers now.” I was just like wow this boy is hungry because I wanted to see some of the new exhibits and he refused. Little did I know it was because both of our families were hiding down that hallway on the balcony!

We walked out down the steps onto the patio and that’s when he threw his phone, my phone, and all our other stuff into a bush. I was very confused by that but I knew what was going on when he grabbed my hands and knelt down. He had a special ring box that was flat and as small as a wallet, so that’s why I couldn’t see it in his pocket, very sneaky!

He asked me to marry him, I said yes of course, and I was just so unbelievably happy! It wasn’t until after that both of our families were clapping from the balcony above and I realized they were there! My brother was taking photos of the whole thing. They had all taken off work to come to surprise us and that just made it all the more perfect.

Also, afterward we actually did end up having burgers! Yay! After over four and a half years of love and the best times, I cannot wait to marry him!

Special Thanks

Eddie Hall
 | Photographer