How We Met
Ethan: I am the Children’s Ministries Coordinator at my church, and my co-youth leader at the time had told me she was going to set me up with someone she was going to bring to church. I told her that was a bad idea, but she convinced Kimberly to come anyway. We shook hands during the greeting, but I had to get back on stage with the praise team. We then had pizza at Cogan’s after church, along with two other couples. Our first date I asked her out to was a David Phelps southern gospel concert. I had seen it advertised and thought it would be a great thing to go to, and Kimberly and I had been talking after church, so I decided to go for it.
The concert was amazing, but there was a Tornado warning. I was afraid she wouldn’t come because of it, but she did. At intermission of the show, we learned the tornado had wiped out a church down the road from my seminary, but we stayed and finished out the concert! Afterward, we went to Cook Out for shakes and fries, and we closed the place down at 2 am. It didn’t take long, maybe a month or two of dating really sealed it down for me. We talked so much during and after our dates I felt like I knew her heart, even if much of it was still guarded against me. I knew I wanted to get to know her better and better for the rest of my life.
Kimberly: I had a colleague who suggested I come to her church to meet this guy who was “exactly like me”. I kept putting her off because I was really happy where I was and wasn’t really interested in meeting new guys. She persisted, so eventually one Sunday in February I went to her church and she dragged me right over to meet Ethan. The first official date was a David Phelps concert in Virginia Beach. After the concert, we went to Cook Out and had snacks and milkshakes. I knew he was serious because he put his arm around me the whole concert. I knew the day I met him that I could spend the rest of my life with him. I’m not sure when I knew I actually wanted to spend the rest of my life with him, though. Probably sometime in June.
how they asked
Ethan: We were going to be traveling over New Years, and so I sneakily made arrangements to get a photographer (Laura Sue Brod Photography) to do a shoot for us at Natural Bridge State Park, VA, on our way home from the holiday travels. Natural Bridge is one of Kimberly’s favorite places, and I wanted to make it even more special.
I disguised the photoshoot as a Christmas present, and I spoke to her parents and picked out the ring while she was traveling abroad. When the day came for the photoshoot she still did not know that I had gotten a ring or asked her father’s permission, so the question was a surprise to her!
Laura Sue and I had coordinated a certain picture set that would let me know when she was ready for me, and when it came I got so nervous! Eventually, I got my mouth working, and I said, “What are you looking at me for?” Kim replied, “I’m waiting for you.” I then said, “You’re waiting for me? Are you waiting for this?” and then I knelt down with the ring up and asked her to marry me! Her first response was, “Are you serious?!” and after I said that I was, she said yes! We then got to finish the photo shoot as an engaged couple.
Kimberly: I went overseas for a month and during that time, he kept hinting at a big Christmas surprise. Well, Christmas came and my surprise was a photo shoot at the Natural Bridge (which is one of my favorite places ever). In the back of my mind, I was thinking that this would be the perfect time for him to ask me to marry him, but as far as I knew, he hadn’t asked for my dad’s blessing, and I knew he wouldn’t ask me without asking dad. Several things happened in the lead up to the photo session that really made me think it could happen, but still, I thought that he wouldn’t without asking dad, so I was getting disappointed.
We drove to the Natural Bridge on January 3rd and walked the stairs down to the Bridge and met up with Laura Sue, our fabulous photographer, and started taking pictures. Laura Sue directed us to walk towards the bridge and then walk back. As we were walking back, she had me stop and Ethan kept walking towards her and then she had me join him.
I can’t remember exactly what he said at this point, but I think it was something like, “what took you so long.” and I responded, “I was waiting for you!” and the biggest smile spread across his face and he said, “You were waiting for me, huh? Or were you waiting for this?” and he pulled the ring out of his pocket.