Julia and Nathaniel

Julia and Nathaniel's Engagement in Southaven, MS

How We Met

When I was 17, I got my first job as a hostess at everyone’s favorite chain Italian restaurant. Yes, the land of breadsticks and soup & salad: Olive Garden. I started working there in February of 2016, which was my senior year of high school. It was like any other job you had in high school, you goofed off with friends and made a little spending money. I had been working there for a month when a tall boy with curly hair and glasses came in and waited in the lobby. At first, I thought he was just another customer coming in to have dinner on a Friday night. It wasn’t until one of our managers walked up and greeted him that I realized he wasn’t just a customer. He had recently been hired as a busser and a host. As he walked into the dining room with the manager, I leaned over to some of my fellow teenage girl coworkers and whispered “dibs, dibs, dibsity dibs”.

After a few months of back and forth and him asking me out several times (I was trying to play hard to get, okay?), we went on our first date to a local bar and grille and to see Finding Dory. The night continued with us taking a walk at a park near us and ended with me throwing three times at the said park. He held my hair back every time and even carried me to his car. Needless to say, I knew he was a keeper.

How They Asked

We were going into the summer before our junior year of college. By this time, we had talked seriously about getting married. Since he was in the ROTC program with our school, we planned to get married soon after our college graduation. Because of that, it was one of those situations where I knew (or hoped) there was a proposal in the near future. We had planned to go on a road trip to see all of our families at the beginning of that summer. We went to college in Minnesota, but my dad lived in Mississippi, my mom lived in Florida, and his parents lived in Kentucky. I had always wanted a beach proposal so I was hoping it would be happening while we were in Florida. We went to his parents in Kentucky then to my mom’s in Florida. It was our final day in Flordia and there had been no proposal. I was starting to feel like an idiot. Of course, he wasn’t going to propose when I was expecting it. I shrugged and figured it would happen at some other time. We made our final stop in Mississippi at my dad’s. We had a good time with family and on our last day in my hometown, we planned to go on a hike at one of the nearby state parks. We left the house to head there and Nate lagged behind, which was strange because I was always the one holding us up. On the way there, we laughed and poked fun at each other like we always do. We got to the park and chose a trail that went through a swinging bridge over a creek. The swinging bridge was about a quarter-mile in the hike but Nate insisted we take the route backward

I thought it was strange but we went the route anyway. On the entire hike, he had been walking in front of me, but once we got to the bridge, he had me go ahead of him. I stopped about halfway to take a look at the creek and the rest of the scenery.

He got closer behind me and grabbed my hand to turn me around. By the time, I was turned around, he was already on one knee. I thought he was joking and got mad at him until I saw the ring and realized he wasn’t joking. I started crying immediately, which made him cry and forget everything he was going to say. He managed to get “Julia, will you marry me out” and I said yes! He then proceeded to put the ring on the wrong hand.

We followed the proposal with an ice cream date at my favorite place I went to as a kid, where he proceeded to tell me the story of the headache the past week had been. As it turns out, he had planned to propose in Florida. He had ordered my dream ring and it was supposed to be delivered to his parents’ house in Kentucky so I wouldn’t see it and so he could do it in Florida. The mail carrier service ended up delivering it to the wrong house and the distributor had to send out a whole new one, which had arrived on our last day in Florida.

Julia's Proposal in Southaven, MS

After it actually happened, of course, it didn’t matter where or how it happened, only that it did happen.