Lauren and Will

Image 1 of Lauren and Will

How We Met

Our first date was on January 16th, 2016 at our favorite restaurant, Soul in the Plaza Midwood neighborhood in Charlotte, NC. Will’s first words to me when we met were, ‘I’m going to have to try really hard tonight’. I laughed, and felt comfortable right away! Our dinner date lasted three hours talking about friends, our families, and our love for Charlotte. We discovered that we’re both fans of a local dive called the Thirsty Beaver, a place full of fun people and where Waylon Jennings (Will’s favorite) is always on the jukebox. I told a friend that I had a great time and would definitely hang out again. He told a friend that he had fun, but wasn’t sure if I was just a friendly girl who liked nice dinners. Haha!

Five days later, it snowed in Charlotte. For those that have ever lived in the South, you know that even a little snow on the ground can shut a southern city down for several days. Will called me after work and convinced me to take a walk in the snow and grab dinner in my neighborhood. He opened my car door when we parked and with our gloves on, grabbed my hand to cross the icy street. I thought it was the sweetest thing, and was smitten at that moment.

A couple of months of dating led to our first weekend trip together. We decided to travel to Asheville and see the Biltmore’s beautiful architecture and gardens. We explored Asheville’s lively downtown, listened to live music, read books at the Battery Park Book Exchange, and watched the sunset atop SkyBAR. We fell in love with the city and each other that weekend.

Image 4 of Lauren and Will

how they asked

Every Christmas season, for the past five years, I’ve dressed as Mrs. Clause for my annual cookie exchange with friends. I always imagined that one day Mr. Clause would join me. It wasn’t long into our relationship before I started asking Will to play the part of Santa and surprise my friends for a few pictures at the party. He declined week after week, saying that it just wasn’t his style. I thought he would come around and kept asking him for several months. A few weeks before the party, I gave up and moved forward with my party plans – with no Santa. On December 7th, after sweets and laughs were shared with my closest friends, the evening was winding down. With perfect timing, Santa burst through the door with a booming “HO HO HO!” Will had bought a costume, brought a sack full of presents, and posed for pictures. As I turned to my friends with tears of joy, he leaned back over into his bag of presents and rummaged around exclaiming he had one last gift… Down on one knee, in front of everyone’s high pitch screams, he asked me to marry him. Of course I said yes! The only two friends that knew about the plan then walked over with their phones, and revealed my family and grandmother were on FaceTime to witness the whole proposal. It was especially moving to see my grandmother, because my costume was the very same outfit she wore alongside my grandfather as Santa and Mrs. Clause every Christmas. My grandfather passed away earlier this year, but I know he was looking down and smiling on us during our engagement. I can’t wait to continue my grandparent’s tradition next year!

Image 2 of Lauren and Will

Image 3 of Lauren and Will