How We Met: Will and I met in 2008 at a challenge youth conference in Gatlinburg TN. Later on, I attended Freed-Hardeman University and met him again in 2011. He was a senior and I was a little ole freshman who had the BIGGEST crush on him! Of course he didn’t know though. We were best friends from the beginning. And now, who know I’d get the man I have always wanted to be with?
how they asked: Over the past few weeks, Will had been planning on taking me to Nashville to buy some new shoes for a wedding he will be in next weekend. Of course I said I would go with him, I mean, who doesn’t love going shopping in Nashville? Early Saturday morning, I got up around 7, took a shower and got ready to go. Will picked me up at a friend’s house I was staying at for the weekend around 8 and we were Nashville bound! When he picked me up, I hadn’t finished my make up yet so I took it with me and did it in the car. On the way there I kept falling asleep and waking up over and over again. I was EXHAUSTED for some reason. Will was driving like a mad man to get to Opry Mills Mall at a certain time…. but of course I didn’t think anything of it.
Once we got there, we went straight to Cole Hann to get Will’s shoes. He picked them out SUPER fast and checked out. While we were there we ran into two of our friends from Huntingdon and we stopped and talked to them in the store. After we walked around the whole mall, we ended up back at the food court. Will walked over to some tables and chairs and said “I’m going to put my shoes in my car! You stay here, I’ll be right back!” So I sat in the food court by myself and waited. As soon as Will walked back into the doors of the food court, I noticed he had a backpack on his shoulders. He walked over to the table I was sitting at and said “Come on! Change of plans!” I gave him a weird look and just got up and walked with him. I was still oblivious to what was about to happen. As soon as we walked out of the mall, I spotted a limo parked right by the doors. Limos in Nashville are normal right?
Well… this limo wasn’t for a famous person. It was for ME! The driver got out of the car and opened the door. Will looked at me, grinned, and took everything out he had in his backpack. He handed me my teddy bear (that has literally gone with me everywhere) my favorite candy, his laptop, and a million tissues. He kissed me and said “press play as soon as you leave the parking lot. I will see you soon!”
Immediately after he closed the door I started bawling. It was happening!!!!!! Once the limo driver left the parking lot, I pressed play and the song Mirrors by Justin Timberlake came on along with a slideshow of pictures from the time we started dating to now. After the slideshow was over, videos from my family friends, and the youth group popped up on my screen. Will had told EVERYONE to make an individual video about why they love me. I am pretty sure I watched over 50 short videos by the time it was all over. I heard from the youth group, my very best friends, grandparents, cousins, aunt, His mom and dad, grandmother, brother, cousin, and then the very last video was my mom dad and sister. Did I bawl like a baby? Absolutely. For 44 minutes and 48 seconds, my heart was so full of encouragement and love from my loved ones.
Once the video was over, the limo driver pulled up to Edwin Warner Park. I saw Will standing there waiting on me.
He opened the door and I cried even harder. In the background I saw Meg and Joe (who we accidentally bumped into at the shoe store earlier) taking pictures of every single moment. We walked over to the park where Will and Mrs. Ginger had decorated EVERYTHING. Flowers and pumpkins were everywhere, a big banner with tons of pictures on it that said “I will love you every step of the way”, another sign that I had actually pinned on Pinterest that said best day ever with the date of our engagement on it (that him and Kenneth spent hours on!), an “M” hung on the tree for my future initial, and a table set up with sparkling grape juice, a picture of us, and THE RING displayed beautifully on the table.
He walked me over to the table and got down on one knee and asked me to marry him and of course, I said YES!
You’d think the surprises would be over by then, right? Yeah, I thought so too. We started taking engagement pictures right then and there after he proposed and all of the sudden I see two cars that were very familiar to me. My four best friends came running out of the car to hug me! They surprised me with my ENTIRE closet, my whole shoe bin, my massive jewelry case, and all of my scarves. So naturally, I just picked out one outfit of my whole closet to where for the rest of our pictures! Haha!! We drove around to another park in Nashville and got some more engagement pictures with my friends, the ring, and tons and tons of pictures with Will! It was so much fun. Megan Bulter is an amazing photographer, by the way! Her and Joe were so much fun to work with!
Once we got all the pictures taken that we wanted, Will told me that we were going to Alabama to see both of our families and show off the ring! He made me wait to post anything on Facebook until we got back to Huntingdon so we could grab our things and then head out to go home. On the way back to Huntingdon, I called my parents to announce that we are engaged! But Will still wouldn’t let me put it on Facebook or instagram yet. I was literally dying. Little did I know, we drove all the way back to Huntingdon to see everyone at our surprise engagement party! My family, His family, our friends from Freed, the youth group, and church members were there to celebrate! And Meg was still capturing moments of everything! I was and still am in total shock. I never thought he could pull off surprising me and completely throwing me off. I knew it was coming, but I had no idea it would be October 19, 2013. It is definitely the most special and perfect day I’ve ever had. Will thought of every little detail and surprised me all day long! We are overwhelmed with the love that has been shown to us over the past few days. It has been a blessing to know how many people are rooting for us and are so excited to see what our future holds.
I wish so badly that everyone reading this could feel what I felt in that very moment because it was the most beautifully wonderful thing I’ve ever felt in my life. Out of all these people in this big ole world, Will chose me. I feel like I’ve won my own personal lottery. I have found “that person” and he is legitimately my favorite person on the face of this earth. Every little girl deserves a happy ending to her fairy tale, and that’s exactly what I know I’m in for. I found him, and I get to be his wife.
Photos by Megan Butler Photography