Maddie and Pierce

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How We Met

Mad and I have known each other for many years, and I honestly can’t remember exactly when we met! It was definitely either through the bible camp that we both attended, but as soon as we did meet we hit it off! For the past three or four years we have been each other’s best friend – spending practically all of our time together, laughing, crying and making memories everyday. Tomorrow is our one year anniversary of when we started dating, which all started around Thanksgiving last year. We had planned to spend the weekend together, and on the way to my house we stopped at Maddie’s to grab her bag. On our way out the door, Maddie’s mom invited me to their family’s Thanksgiving dinner that was to be had the next day, and I enthusiastically accepted! After making Mars Bar squares that night, watching a movie that night with my mom, watching The Walking Dead the next morning and then going to the corn maze by my house, the Thanksgiving dinner was sort of the cherry on top of the development of our relationship. Dinner consisted of Mad’s Mom, Dad, siblings, nieces and nephew, one of her uncles and her cousin from Ontario, and me, her best friend!

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The dinner was so much fun, and after Mad and I returned from the grocery store with a crying, teething nephew, we drove back to my house to spend the rest of the evening together. Maddie didn’t want to go home because she knew that her parents would be asking all about me and why we weren’t dating, and it was going to be awkward, so on her way out the door I said, “what if it wasn’t awkward?” It caught her off guard, but she came back inside and we talked about the weekend and the few months that had passed, and we decided that we should try dating! People always say you should be with and marry your best friend, so why wouldn’t we? She texted her sisters at 2AM when we finished talking, told her mom the next day before church and told her dad as I pulled in the driveway to ask if I could date his daughter. So began day one of us dating, 8 months before I would get down on one knee and ask my best friend to marry me!

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how they asked

The process of asking the love of my life to marry me started about three months before I popped the question. I texted Mad one morning telling her how excited I was to marry her, and she was in the middle of a mail route with her mom, who exclaimed, “then what are you waiting for?” We really didn’t know, so the pre-wedding planning began, as we wanted to get married next summer before we potentially went off the Island for me to attend medical school. I started quizzing Maddie on the sort of ring she would want, so that I could design one that was perfect for her through Brilliant Earth! The support team there was so helpful to me, who knew nothing about engagement rings, and I was so pleased with the result! It was perfect.

From the minute we started talking about getting engaged, I knew that I wanted to have photos of the proposal itself, so I masked the proposal as simply a couple’s photoshoot. I didn’t have to go very far to find a photographer, as a good friend of mine, Mad’s sister-in-law, was chomping at the bit to do a proposal shoot. We knew that Melissa would always be the one to shoot our couple, engagement and wedding photos, so Melissa Harding Photography was my go to! About two months before the question, I asked Melissa what she would think of shooting a proposal and she was over the moon. I got the Saturday off work, and Melissa and her husband did the same, as they needed to make a special trip from Halifax for the weekend. Luckily, Mad’s sister was going to have her baby around the same time, so we hoped he would arrive to warrant the surprise trip – to cover the scent of a proposal! Around the same time, I made sure that we could take the photos at the bible camp where we met and worked together for years after.

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So now that our photographer was conveniently coming for an extra visit in the summer, she asked to do the shoot with us to help her build her portfolio, and Mad loved the idea! We had her hook, line and sinker! Maddie also didn’t know that I had already met with her dad and asked him if I could marry his daughter. Time and time again, Mad kept telling my that I needed to ask him still, and all I kept saying was something along the lines of, “I’ll ask him before I ask you, don’t worry!” The ring arrived at the start of the August, Solomon (the new nephew) arrived in the middle, and Melissa and Jake (Mad’s brother) arrived the day before proposal day!

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It was the morning of August 27, 2016 and Melissa texted me, “what’s the game plan?” I needed a way to hide the ring and get the ring into my hands until I got down on one knee, all without Maddie seeing. I also needed to make sure her nails were painted, because she said that her nails needed to be nice when I proposed! We decided that the ring would stay in the camera bag until I needed it, and Melissa would hand it to me as we did back to back photos. Melissa decided that she would do her nails right in front of Maddie, in order to make Maddie feel like she needed to do the same… success! The final challenges were getting the ring in the camera bag, and getting Mad dressed and out the door. As the day went on, we won her over and as she was getting dressed, Melissa opened her bag, I dropped the ring in, and before we knew it we were on the way to the camp!

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Near the end of the shoot, we had made it to the dock and did the back to back pictures. Melissa mouthed, “are you ready?” to me, I nodded and she handed me the ring box. She ran back down the dock and told us to stay back to back. Maddie was trying to figure out why my hands weren’t by my sides like hers were, and I panicked a little, thinking she might see the box! Melissa yelled at her to look forward and stop worrying about me, and once she finally listened and stood forward, I got down on one knee. The pictures after that speak for themselves! We are so excited to be tying the knot on July 8, 2017! #smithhitch2017

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Special Thanks

Melissa Harding
 | Melissa Harding Photography