Lauren and Zachary

How We Met

Zach and I met in April of 2016 when he came to visit a friend at the college I was attending in Tennessee. His friend, Aaron, just so happened to be my brother, Brad’s, roommate, so I knew him quite well. When Zach got here to visit, he and Aaron were going to sit at a local coffee shop to catch up, and conveniently this coffee shop was located right next door to the bridal shop I worked at. Aaron thought it would be nice to try and introduce Zach to as many people as possible to help him feel welcome, so they dropped in to say hello. It’s always interesting watching guys walk into the bridal shop because they usually clam up and are not exactly sure what do in the midst of so many girly things, but it was different with Zach. As Aaron came in and headed straight for the lounge area, Zach introduced himself and instantly began asking me questions about my specific role and then the shop, and I’ll be honest, I was intrigued. Although the boys did not stay in the shop for long, I was relieved to know they would be back at the house where my brother also conveniently would be, so, me visiting would not be out of the blue. Of course, I was not trying to get caught up as I knew Zach would be headed back to Colorado in just a few days. So, after a week or so of a few hangouts, he headed back out West and I tried to shake off whatever feelings may have developed, knowing the likelihood of me seeing him again was few and far between.

Lauren and Zachary's Engagement in Chilhowee (mountain) lake front, Cleveland, TN

While obtaining my undergraduate degree, I was involved in various clubs and on-campus jobs, one of those jobs being a Transfer Leader who works directly with students that transfer into the university… (I’m sure you can guess where this is going). I ended up staying in town all summer to earn some extra money. As summer came to an end, the friend/my brother’s roommate, reached out to me and said Zach was interested in transferring to Lee in the Fall and wondered if I would reach out and get him connected since it was my job to do so technically. Obviously, this had great potential to have many benefits come from it, so I willingly accepted the offer. Zach arrived a few weeks before school to familiarize himself with the area and search for off-campus jobs. Of course, I couldn’t let him be alone for those few weeks because that’s sad and I thought he needed a friend, right? And that’s truthfully where this all began. As the semester took off, so did our friendship and we began to do everything together. Looking back now, we are both so thankful we chose to pursue a friendship for a while before pursuing each other. Although, as I’m sure you can imagine, that friendship only grew and after a semester of being friends, things suddenly changed. Zach went home for winter break and I missed him… more than I thought I would. We didn’t talk much over break, though, so I didn’t really know what to expect.

As the Spring semester started up in January of 2017, Zach and I picked up right where we left off. Only this time, things were different. One night I went to visit Zach and a few of his roommates. Being a lover of stars, I asked them to come lay outside with me under the stars because it was such a clear, beautiful night, so we did. After about an hour, his roommates begin to trickle inside until it was just Zach and myself. Zach began to move a little closer and eventually, took my hand. I swear my heart was beating a million miles a minute. I knew I had feelings for him, but I couldn’t believe after so many months we were finally, maybe starting things up. We did not discuss what was going on, we just laid there hand-in-hand until 2 AM when I eventually decided to head home since we had to be up early for church the next morning. The next morning rolled around and I honestly had to recap to make sure I didn’t dream the things that took place just a few hours before. I picked Zach and our friend, Mitch, up and we headed to church. Things seemed normal, but obviously, we both knew something was going on. Me, being the girl I am, sat on the other side of Mitch, #1 because I was nervous, and #2, I figured I’d make him work a little for it to make sure he was really into me. Well, moments after we sat down, in the midst of a decently large crowd, Zach decided to step over our friend and myself and plopped down next to me as he proceeded to put his around me. In public. In front of everyone. Mitch was just as shocked as I was, but I guess that answered my question on whether or not he was into me. Everything moved pretty quickly after that and Zach asked me to be his girlfriend a few weeks later. Although we had been friends for over a year at this point, I still freaked out and said no. Luckily that did not keep him away and after another few weeks, he asked again and I said yes.

how they asked

It only took a few months from there to decide we wanted to spend forever together, and here’s how the forever part of the story unfolds. On Saturday, February 3rd, 2018, one of my best friends, Coco, asked if I would like to accompany her to a photoshoot for her friend’s portfolio and I said I would. That same weekend, Zach’s twin brother, Jeremy, was flying in from Missouri and his best friend, Aaron (the friend from the beginning of the story), just so happened to be flying in from California. Keep in mind, we live in Tennessee, so this was definitely a little suspicious. Well, as Saturday rolled around, Zach could not have been calmer, which led me to believe nothing was going on because I can normally see right through him. He informed me that he was having a day with the guys, but I was welcome to join them for board games later that evening. Additionally, my roommate, Allea, had plans that evening and so did a few of my other friends, so other than the photoshoot I really thought nothing was going on. Quickly those few plans I had for the evening were altered as we approached the lakefront where the photoshoot was supposed to be and as I saw Zach’s twin brother, younger brother, Dan, and best friends Carlos and Aaron, awaiting my arrival with their hands waving me in, I knew.

Immediately my eyes were flooded with tears as Zach’s younger brother took my hand, helped me out of the car, and told me I looked beautiful. Still crying, we headed towards the stone steps that led down to the water. As we approached the steps, my roommate and dear friend, Allea, was standing at the top with a single white rose and a note. The first flower Zach ever give me was a white rose. The note read, “Green eyes”, something Zach loves to call me. Trying to gather myself, I stepped down a few steps where another sweet friend, Mary Grace, was standing with another white rose and a second note that said, “You are kind”. (Zach sends me messages each week that say, “You are kind, you are wise, you are beautiful). As I continued, I was met by another friend with a single rose and the next note reading, “You are wise”. Only the last note was held by my best friend in the entire world, Raegen, who had a baby only a month before and lives eight hours away. I could not believe the efforts Zach put into making this day so special. After she wiped my tears away, I looked up to see one of my younger brothers, Brad, standing next to my mom holding a bouquet of white roses. As I approached them, I heard a song playing in his pocket, the song I want to dance to at my wedding. As the song played, my brother put out his arm for me to grab and softly asked, “Are you ready?” (Getting teary-eyed as I write this).

Marriage Proposal Ideas in Chilhowee (mountain) lake front, Cleveland, TN

With a shaky voice, but a full heart, I grabbed his arm and we headed down a path of red and white rose petals to the man of my dreams dressed in black and white waiting for me by the lakefront. He greeted me with a hug and began reading the sweetest words I’ve ever heard. Unfortunately, out of pure shock, I did not hear much of what was said but don’t worry, he let me keep the letter. Once he was finished reading, he got down on his knee and with tears in his eyes, he asked me to marry him. I said yes.

Ten months later brings me to today, writing to you as an engaged woman to the sweet, intriguing man I met on a whim at the bridal shop a few years back. It’s crazy to reminisce about all of the times we’ve had and adventures we’ve shared leading up to this point, but I’m sure none of it compares to the journey that lays ahead. Truly, I am blessed with the kindest friends and family and now have the honor of spending a lifetime with the sweetest man I have ever met. Life is short, but love is worth every single second of it. Thank you for reading our love story.

Proposal Ideas Chilhowee (mountain) lake front, Cleveland, TN

Engagement Proposal Ideas in Chilhowee (mountain) lake front, Cleveland, TN

Special Thanks

Megan Beavers