The story of our engagement is a good one. Quite a while ago, Kayla emailed me a link to ‘the ring’ she wanted from Esty. I didn’t make a big deal about it because I of course didn’t want Kayla to know when I was going to ask the big question. In June of 2014, I began my preparation. I went to Bell Jewelers in Murfreesboro, TN to start figuring out my options for a ring. I took a look at what they offered as far as engagement rings went but didn’t see anything quite like the ring Kayla wanted. I asked if they ever did custom ring designs and luckily their response was yes. I showed them the etsy link to the ring Kayla wanted. Greg Tidwell (the manager) said they could definitely build the ring custom. I was not expecting acquiring the ring to be so easy but Bell Jewelers were amazing! Within a few weeks, Mr. Tidwell had the main stone in for me to look at before beginning to build the ring. I loved the stone and gave the go ahead to begin the building process. This was some time in July. In order to get the ring built to fit Kayla’s finger properly, I somehow had to get her finger sized. With the help from my mom, we came up with an elaborate plan to get Kayla in that jewelry store getting her finger sized. My Grandmother had a ring that she could ‘give’ to Kayla that wouldn’t fit her finger giving my Mom the excuse to take Kayla on a adventure to Bell Jewelers to get the ring fit. Boom. Tricked Kayla into getting her finger sized. After that, the ring started to be built. About a month later (August-ish) I was with my Mom to go pick up the other ring that they were having sized. While there, they pulled out a box that just arrived that morning. It was the ring. I was dumbfounded at how gorgeous it turned out. I knew Kayla would be floored whenever I gave it to her.
Now that I had the ring, it was time for me to figure out exactly how I would pop the big question. Kayla had always told me she wanted to get engaged in the fall season since it was her favorite time of the year. She also has said that she would love to have me proposing on video and photos taken. When she tells me these things, it was like she was just showing me something on her pinterest board, I would take note but not visibily so she wouldn’t suspect me. With all this in mind, I had to configure a way to romantically propose but also capture the moment on video and in photos. Quite the task. At first I thought I could just have some friends be there but I got to thinking. I have a wedding filming business on the side which Kayla has now been working with me now for a year, so she knows what a good wedding video looks like. I had the idea of hiring someone to film and photograph our big moment. The only thing was figuring out a way to trick Kayla into not suspecting what I was up to.
In September, I started talking with Sarah from Seek First Productions about them capturing the day for me. Their company offers both filming and photography services so that made it an easy one stop place to get both services. Over the next month and a half, Sarah and I constructed the story to how I could propose. We had to come up with a reason why there would be a film crew and photographers following us when I asked Kayla the big question. I came up with a brilliat plan. I would tell Kayla we were invited to have some fall photos taken under the ruse that this company needed to build their portfolio. I know Kayla would be excited to have a fall photo taken of us and our new puppy, a boston terrier named Lulabelle Jolene-Rose.
I would have to wait untill closer to the day of before I told Kayla, that way she wouldn’t have that much time to try and figure it out. I decided on a date (Sunday October 19, 2014). I figured a Sunday would be best because the both of us would be off work.
Now the only thing I needed was a location.
The weekend of October 11th, Kayla went back home to Memphis to visit her family. I used that weekend as the location scouting weekend. I had already googled a few spots that would be great to propose at but already had Radnor Lake at the top of the list. I visited Radnor Lake first and knew it was the place. I found this amazing spot close by the edge of the water. It even had a wooden fence as an aisle leading to the water’s edge. It was perfect.
I visited a few other places but couldn’t get Radnor Lake off my mind. That Sunday, I went back to Radnor Lake a second time and actually hiked all the way around the lake to just relax and make sure I had found the spot for us. After my hike, I went down to the spot I had chosen the day before and just stood and looked out at the water and the trees changing in the fall weather.
Now that I had the spot, it was time to hammer out the details to make sure everything would go smoothly. I waited until Thursday morning to mention to Kayla the fall photoshoot that I had volunteered us for for the coming Sunday afternoon. She was instantly excited about it and began to plan our fall outfits. I knew a bit of suspicion would come about but anytime she asked a wondering question, I simply diverted her thoughts and changed the subject. I also mentioned to her that my parents were coming along to have a fall photo taken as well. In reality, I needed them there to be my dog wrangler and ring holder for when the moment came.
That Sunday morning arrived and the weather couldn’t have been more perfect. Before we got up for breakfast, we layed in bed and talked about how much we loved one another. We spoke of how we had met and how we had both fallen for one another. It was like magic that we were speaking on those things. I hadn’t scheduled this into my plan but I’m so happy that we had that conversation the morning of the big day. Once we got our lazy butts out of bed, I made us a big brunch of biscuits and gravy, scrambled eggs, sausage, and of course coffee.
After gorging on breakfast foods, we got ready for our close ups. My parents picked us up and we headed to Radnor Lake. Once we finally found a parking spot, we went to the spot where I told Sarah and her crew to meet us. Now, at this point, Kayla is only expecting to see 1 photographer but when we get to the meeting spot, there were a crew of 4. Easily explained. I had told Sarah to tell us that she and the photographer were going to take the photos and the other two were going to shoot some video for a promo video for their company. That easily convinced Kayla it was perfectly fine that the large crew would be there. Next, the put a mic on me to ‘capture some natural sound to use in the video.’ That easily convinced Kayla it was fine that I was mic’ed. So at this point, I’m wearing a mic, there are 2 people taking photos and 2 people filming us all without Kayla suspecting much of anything. My plan was coming together perfectly. We slowly walked down this gorgeous walkway along the lake covered by beautifully fall colored trees. They snapped some photos of us here and there with Lulabelle as we made our way towards the spot.
Sarah then said she knew of a spot that was perfect to capture the lake and the beautiful trees (the spot I had told her to take us down to). We got down to the spot and took some photos of the three of us (Me, Kayla, and Lulabelle).
I then had the photographer suggest we take some without Lulabelle in the shot. This was when I would walk over to my Mom to hand the dog to her while she handed me the box with the ring in it. During this exchange, I had the photographer distracting Kayla by taking a few single shots of her. I walked back over to Kayla, the ring in my pocket unbeknownst to her.
We took a few more photos then I had the photographer say the phrase ‘Okay, Casey, let’s do a prom style pose with you behind Kayla with your arms around her’. I got into that position and then had the photographer say the key sentence ‘Now whisper in her ear how much you love her.’ That was how they knew I would be asking the big question after that phrase was uttered. I whispered a few romantic things to Kayla then pulled the ring out and got down on one knee. Kayla was instantly shocked.
I asked her to marry me and she was overcome with immense joy as was I. The whole moment was so surreal, it was like an out of body experience. We embraced and I put the ring on her finger. We were both so excited. I was excited to have finally gotten to ask her and she was excited that I had completely surprised her.
I then told her that the crew was there because I wanted them to capture our special moment, not just to take a fall photo. I had also arranged for an engagement photo session to happen after the ring was on. We took some more photos in the park and then headed to Nashville to take some around the pedestrian bridge with the Nashville skyline as our back drop. The day went so well! Everything went as smoothly as I was hoping for and I was happy that I was able to make this moment special for Kayla.
Photography & Videography by pyxlbop